By R.J. Garcia

Buffy the Vampire Slayer once revealed a great truth. That truth is, the hardest thing to do in this Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-world is to live in it. Buffy had to battle vampires, demons and prevent apocalypse on a regular basis. What almost destroyed Buffy was depression.

What is depression? It can be lack of serotonin to the brain, which can now be treated with antidepressant and that’s okay. It can be situational, including but not limited to regular teenage angst, like a break-up or the feeling you don’t belong.

Years ago, I even wrote a poem about my depression:

The Lovely Awful Thing

At first I found it most attractive like a family pet.

It alone understood me,

and licked my wounds

with acid spit.

My mom only said,

“You’re looking too thin lately.

Eat your peas.”

The lovely awful thing told me

not to tell a soul, and whispered,

“You’re useless and alone.”

But one day I decided

to send the lovely, awful thing away.

I gathered and collected

all the words and garbage it gave

and decided to junk them.


Depression doesn’t have a type. It can happen to you if you’re pretty, young or old. Although there is no blood test to diagnose depression, it attacks us from within like a disease. It can be fatal. There are well-established symptoms. If you’re depressed, you know you’re depressed. Tell someone. You won’t want to, but make yourself. You’re worth it.


“Everything will be okay in the end.

 If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”




If you’re a fan of creepy small towns, unsolved mysteries, and meddling kids, you might want to check out this haunting tale. Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced is a roller coaster of crazy that the four main characters endure. Let me introduce you to them.

Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker

Tommy Walker

Tommy grew up quickly in Chicago caring for his little sister and covering for his drug-addicted mother. After Tommy’s mom is arrested, he and his sister are sent to live with relatives they have never met.

Tommy is fiercely loyal, braver than he realizes and smart when he has to be. He has his fair share of angst., but also has a sense of humor that helps him deal with things.

Finn Wilds

Finn Wilds

Finn Wilds 

What can I say about Finn? He has a lot of heart but is rebellious and at times acts before he thinks. He is brave because he doesn’t know any better. He doesn’t over think things, but goes on instinct..

After his mom remarried the town sheriff and had a slew of beautiful blonde haired babies, Finn is literally the red-haired stepchild. His abusive stepfather never lets him forget it. This leads Tommy to question if it is harder to be removed from a screwed up home or to be left in it. The boys bond over their heartache.

                                                                                    Silence Harper

Silence Harper

Silence Harper

Silence’s “go eat shit and die attitude” could be registered a lethal weapon. She is tough because she has to be. She’s twelve years old going on thirty. She also appears older than her physical age, and is tall and beautiful. Named Silence to let her mother’s kidnappers know the secret would never be told, things aren’t easy for her.

Silence is a hardcore realist while her best friend, Annie is the exact opposite, dreamy and optimistic. The two bicker like an old married couple. Silence might love Finn, or Tommy, but is twelve and changes her mind as she goes along. She does care about her mother and her friends, but feels the world has let her down.

Finn first saw Silence on the baseball field in little league. He thought she was either a pretty boy or fierce girl and had it bad for her ever since. Tommy also develops strong feelings for her early on that confuse him at first. Even Annie idolizes her.

                                                                                    Annie Riker

Annie Riker

Annie Riker

Last but not least, there’s Annie. Annie is small in stature and often overlooked. Because she is a wallflower, she’s always changing her hair, and style, trying to be seen. Despite being a work in progress, she knows who she is deep down. Hippie-like, she loves her friends and the planet. Having gay mothers in a small town hasn’t always been easy. More than likely the kids sensed how soft and sweet she is and gave her a hard time because they could.

Annie is immediately infatuated with Tommy who doesn’t seem to notice her. She later becomes interested in Tommy’s older and criminal friend Simon, who comes to visit. Undenounced to Annie, Tommy begins to not only count on her, but see her as everything that is good with the world.

NMOTM_3dWant to learn more about these characters, order early!

Questions for Casey

Questions for Casey Casey pic

Writers and Wallflowers is excited to have its first  interview with 16-year-old Casey Millette, author of Cursed the Hunter Inside! This book is going to be epic!

  1. What advice do you have for other young writers?

Find a  “flow time.” Set aside 1-2-3 hours every day and get the job done. Every. Single. Day. You`ll be amazed at how effective setting a goal for yourself is. If you`re a night owl, work until midnight; if you`re a morning person, be like me and get up at 4. Anything is possible as long as you work hard enough. In a world dominated by school, work, friends, and family, it can be incredibly difficult to find time to write, so make it!


  1. If you went to Hogwarts, what house would you be in?

Gryffindor. Hands down. I`m comfortable with called myself a brave person, willing to make risks, but that can often come back to bite me in end.


  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

It takes a lot to make me cry. When I do release the water works, it`s more commonly over the death over a treasured animal rather than a person! I`m going to have to say Where the Red Ferns Grow.


  1. What is your biggest distraction when writing?

Sometimes the internet, but mostly my slightly demonic cat.


  1. Tell us 3 things about yourself people might not know.

I`m a blackbelt Taekwondo instructor with my own school, I`m passionate about playing cello, and one of my biggest goals in life is to climb Mt. Everest!


  1. How did you come up with the title for your debut novel, Cursed: The Hunter Inside? Cursed Hunter Inside

The story came first. Afterward, I took major keywords from the work, as well as assessing what the characters were doing specifically to each book. Having finished the Cursed series finished definitely helped, as I knew the book`s core and what separated the series from other fantasies. I knew the title had to stand out!

Cursed the Hunter Inside from the Parliament House is available March 27th wherever books are sold!

Pre-order here!


Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced

cover reveal

Two huge things happened! Nocturnal Meetings has a cover and is now available for preorder!!


NMOTM 3-d picOrder early here!

In honor of these monumental events in the life of a book, I’m sharing the first two chapters of my story!





Chapter One

The Drive


I was alone in a small windowless room with four white walls, sitting at a table, on one of those metal chairs, not designed for comfort. I could feel every second, knowing if I looked nervous I seemed guilty, and if I was too calm, I was a run-of-the-mill sociopath.

Every now and then, I glanced up at a small black camera mounted on top of the wall. Its little demonic eye beamed down on me. I thought of giving it the finger but decided against it. Finally, I rested my elbows on the table and held my head with my hands. My ankle throbbed, and my butt went numb. I had signed some paper saying my caseworker didn’t have to be present during questioning and wondered if I had signed my life away.

After almost an hour the door flew open. The detective with a hulk nose entered, in uniform. I noticed the star on his lapel. He had a wannabe superhero look, with blocky side-parted hair and broad shoulders. His imposing frame lorded over me before he sat down in the chair directly across from mine. “Hello, Tommy. You remember me, Deputy Bennet?”

I nodded my head. “Yes.”

“Let’s get down to business. You and your friends like meeting late at night and starting fires. You’re really fascinated with fire, aren’t you?”

“It’s not like that. We just—”

“You’re sixteen, but you like to hang around younger kids. Kids you can influence.”

“No,” I mumbled.

“A lot of interesting things have happened since you moved here to Summertime…homicides…arson. Why do you end up at all my crimes scenes?”

‘Um, I had some bad luck.” Holy crap, I was becoming like that guy who got struck by lightning seven times. No one trusts that guy. My chest ached the way my stomach felt after binge eating like it was all too much.  “Can we just get this over with?” I asked.

“It’s not that simple.” He sounded calm, friendly even. The more he talked, the more freaked out I felt inside. “You see, I want to know everything that you did since you moved to Summertime, so don’t leave out a thing.”

I squinted at him as if to ask, ‘What?’

“I’m going to chat with you for hours and then I’m going to talk to your redheaded friend.  I’m going to see if your stories line up.” He threaded his fingers together to emphasize the point.

I realized I was holding my breath and exhaled. Breathing was no longer a natural thing.

“Let’s start from the beginning. How and why did you come to Indiana in the first place?” he asked.

“Okay, Sir, I guess it started with the drive here?” I asked, confused. What was he looking for?

“Alright let’s start with the drive,” he decided.

I channeled my inner hard-ass and told that cop only what he needed to hear. This dark story started long before my time, but the memories of my nine months in Summertime, Indiana played in my head like a 4-D movie.


9 months earlier

My mom’s brother and his wife that we’d never met agreed to take us in. They lived in Indiana, two hours from the city. On the drive over, Isabella sank in the silence. Her oversized brown eyes stared out the car window as the skyline loomed into view. A collection of skyscrapers shot up like a crown. It was the picture on a postcard and not the Chicago I knew. After the high-rises, only asphalt greeted us. The lady, Reese, rambled on about Disney movies with a southern drawl. Yet she lived in the North, so I didn’t get it. She wasn’t beautiful or ugly, but somewhere in-between. She had brown hair, pulled back in a peppy ponytail, with a clean and wholesome vibe about her.

My sister blinked at me.

“Isabella likes all those movies,” I answered for her. Being polite was kind of a sickness with me. I don’t know why. It seemed easier I guess.

“And what do you like, Tommy?” Reese asked.

“I like Chicago,” I replied, my bitterness cutting through my obligation to be polite. Right when she stopped talking, the guy started in.

“What do you like about Chicago?” my uncle, named Holden, asked from the driver’s seat. I had only seen one photo of him before. It was a wrinkled, pissed on school picture that my mom always kept with her. He was about thirteen in the picture and a cool looking kid. He was taller and more potato-like as a man. Some women might have found him attractive. He could have played the dumb, but lovable best friend to the leading man.

I wasn’t sure how to answer him. Getting stoned, I thought, but my own head knew I was lying because I didn’t even do that very often. If I did, it happened on a Friday, or Saturday, with Isabella, safely tucked away for the night. “I like hanging out with my friends.” I didn’t have many friends.

“I’m sure you’ll make new friends, too,” the woman said, still looking in the mirror.

“He mainly watches TV,” Isabella said coming to life.

“Well, we’ve got a TV,” Holden offered up.

They seemed alright. I can’t say I relaxed. The guy was big and my main concern. I’d have to watch Isabella closely. My eyes fixed on the backseat window, watching yellow lines on grey roads, trying my best to zone out. I looked up at the Welcome to Indiana sign and felt a curious pull toward the life we were driving away from. Isabella felt it, too. She started crying, saying she wanted our mom. Reese partly turned, facing the backseat and said, “It’s alright, baby.”

I decided to tell Isabella we would see mom soon. I told myself this. Yet a second later, I thought we would never see her again. The two thoughts wrestled in my brain.

Isabella stopped crying, and I stared out the window. We drove by one cornfield after the next, all a steely, faded color. Was there really that much demand for corn? The further we drove, the more convinced I became that we weren’t ever going back.

We fell into an uncomfortable silence.

Isabella shrieked as she saw a few horses, almost jumping out of her car seat. I pretended to be happy about it. “That’s cool.”

Reese called out, “This is it.” Suddenly, we turned off the expressway. A sign welcoming us to Summertime further confirmed it. It was a place you would pass on the way to somewhere else. We drove past a post office, library, Mabel’s Antiques, Summertime Diner and a DQ. It looked clean and old-fashioned as if we had traveled back in time. Again, we turned away from what little civilization there was and rolled down a long country road, the street sign eerily reading Old Cemetery Road. My stomach moved with the car. Sure enough, I spied a small gated cemetery. A couple minutes later, we slowed down at a house that had a stand with tomatoes for sale. A redheaded boy about my age sat on a lounge chair as if he worked there. Some smaller kids scampered around the lawn, all of them blonde and each cuter than the next.

We pulled into a driveway, the rocks crunching under the wheels. Dust from the pebbles found the energy to drift and collapse on a flower bed. I looked up at a split-level house, composed of yellow siding with a little brick, on a big plot of land. A similar house stood next to this one, but it had a front porch boasting thick, stone columns. Only the panorama of woods lurked behind these two solitary houses.

“Here’s our house. Your house, too, for now,” Reese said, her voice friendly but not that phony kind of friendly. I wished she wouldn’t be so nice because I already decided not to like her.

I looked over at Isabella. Tears dripped off her face onto her neck as she hugged herself. Reese opened the car door. My sister looked at me with a confused and tear-streaked face. A kind of pain swept through me. I managed to get the words out. “It’s okay, Izzy. Go with her.”


Chapter Two

An Invitation

The car was parked under the branches of a towering tree. The sunlight streamed in between the branches in thin, hazy shafts. Even the bark of the tree looked a strange white color. Nothing seemed real about that day.

“Come here, cutie. I bought you some things,” Reese said as she took my sister’s hand, helping her out of the car.

I got out, too, feeling weightless, and slammed the car door shut.

Isabella’s tears came to a halt, and she said, “I like toys.”

“It was a lucky guess on my part.” Reese smiled, picking Isabella up.

Even the fresh air seemed suspect. Nausea moved in my stomach. It all happened so fast. The grim serenity of not being present slipped away from me. This was my new house? I considered the house. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great.

Then the weird, redheaded boy abandoned his vegetable stand and ran toward us. Before long, the boy was almost in my personal space. My feet stirred the pebbles on the drive as I backed up.

Holden grinned. “This is Finn, our neighbor. This is Tommy, my nephew.”

“Hey,” I said. Reese stood next to Holden, still holding Isabella on her hip.

He started talking, “My last name’s Wilds, but the rest of my family are Bears. You know because my mom remarried.”

I wasn’t sure what he was talking about. I just knew he was a clueless kid without a care in the world.

“Want a tomato?” He extended his hand with the tomato toward me.

“No thanks. I’m good.”  It seemed like a lonely street and I wondered, “Do you make any money?”

“Nah, we’re just playing store.” The stupid kid started eyeballing me up and down, sizing me up. “Oh man, I was hoping you were bigger. You’re shorter than me,” he complained. I noticed he held the tomato like you’d hold a softball.

“Let me guess why you want him to be bigger? Mudget,” Holden smirked, standing over six feet tall, dwarfing me and the kid named Finn.

Finn shrugged. “Well, yeah.”

I didn’t ask who Mudget was because I didn’t care.

Reese looked at me and then Finn, promising, “You guys will be great friends.”

This made Finn smile. He started telling me how he had a dirt bike that he was working on. I guess that was cool. “We could work on it together and share it,” Finn generously suggested.

“I’m from Chicago. I can’t fix things.”

“Just keep me company while I work, and we can still share it,” the boy said. A series of nervous blinks followed the offer, calling attention to his long white eyelashes.

“That sounds good,” Reese said, her voice honey-coated, yet sincere. How did she think she could answer for me?

The kid tossed the tomato up and Holden leaned in and caught it. With a toothy grin, Holden tossed it back to him. Several small ones from next door invaded the lawn. Reese set Isabella down and they all began to run around. A ripple of giggles followed them. They were happy little creatures, most of them with sticky, food crusted faces.

“Are you sixteen?” I asked the boy.

“I’m almost fifteen. But I’ll  still drive it.” Finn turned his head and spit, maybe trying to look tough. Yet he kept his eyes wide and friendly.

Isabella was already holding hands with a blonde girl around her age. It was the kind of instant friendship that only happens when you’re three or four.

“Tommy has to follow the rules because he’s a ward of the state,” Holden said. Reese hissed at him and told him not to put it that way. Finn looked down.

“I’m not a ward of the state. It’s temporary,” I squeaked. An overwhelming sadness rushed in. I tried to think about something else before I lost it and did something stupid like cry.

Holden broke in. “Do you want to see your room? It’s not much.”

That helped me pull it together. “Yeah, sure,” I said, sounding casual.

Isabella ran in circles with the other small kids. I only had to say one word to get her attention. “Presents.” Isabella hurried over to me, her face lit with nervous anticipation. Reese again took her hand. Holden grabbed the large suitcase with everything we owned in it and walked toward the house. I lingered by the white Chevy Malibu that brought me to this strange new life.

Finn whispered, “If you’re interested, me and a couple of friends meet around midnight on Saturdays.” He walked away before I could reply.

I became instantly intrigued by the midnight thing. “Do I just knock on your door?” I called out.

He pivoted back around, his face full of color and alarm. “If you want to get me killed!” Walking back over to me, Finn’s voice returned to an easy whisper, but this time it had a twang to it. “Just meet me by my mailbox, would ya?” Then he started running around, waving his arms to gather up all his younger siblings. Finn rushed to pick up the smallest one, who was crawling toward the road. Looking around, I counted four.

I imagined having to take care of that many. “Holy crap,” I muttered to myself.

Reese called to me from the front door.

I followed Holden to a small room in the basement. It had a bed and beat up wardrobe in it. There was cheap peel-and-stick flooring and dark outdated paneling on the walls, but I lived in worse places.

Next Holden led me back upstairs to one of those bright and sunny kitchens. He invited me to take a seat and called Reese in, too. Izzy sat next to her, not saying a word. Yet her hands fluttered on her lap like two caged birds.

“I want you to feel welcomed,” Holden said but made it clear he wanted me out of the way. I had to be in bed by ten o’clock, or at least be in my room by that time.

Lines appeared by Reese’s eyes that made it look like she fought the urge to smile. Yet her thin lips bowed into a concentrated frown.

Of course, there was, “No drinking, or smoking. Ask before you go out. Always treat Reese with respect. She’s number one here. Your job will be going to school and mowing the lawn if you want to keep your cell phone.”

I felt out of place. After all, I never had rules or a kitchen table before. I nodded and agreed with whatever the big guy said.

I observed the clean white appliances, a hanging plant, and even a spice rack.

They ordered pizza for us and we all ate together and then they let me lie on the floor of Isabella’s room.

It was a small pink room; they’d painted just for Izzy, with a tall window overlooking the backyard and woods. The window was open about an inch. A thin, lace curtain billowed in and out, almost as if it was breathing. I stayed there watching it until my little sister fell asleep around ten o’clock.

Anyway, I hadn’t been able to sleep much and thought I might as well meet that kid, Finn. I texted my friend Carlos about the secret meeting. This way, at least one person would know what happened if I ended up missing or dead. Yeah, I watched a lot of true crime shows. Carlos said it might be a cult because that kind of thing was big in small towns. Finn didn’t seem dark enough.

There would probably only be Finn and another lame kid with a flashlight and comic book and it wouldn’t be worth pissing off Holden. But my brain needed a night off from thinking and trying not to think. I’d sneak upstairs and if I got caught I’d pretend to want a glass of milk. Otherwise, I’d slip out the back.

I put on my raggedy Nikes and crept up the stairs, stopping each time a step creaked. Squeezing the narrow, wooden banisters, my nerves kicked in. I was really going to do this.

I placed one sneaker on the kitchen’s tile. The lights were off, but the moon and starlight trickled in. I could see the patio, only feet away from my freedom. I heard the TV from the next room. According to my cell phone, it was already midnight. Would Finn still be waiting? I decided to go for it. I held my breath as if that would make me lighter and grabbed the handle of the sliding-glass-door as a man’s voice asked, “Where do you think you’re going?”

I jumped, startled, bracing myself before turning back around to face him.

“We’re in the middle of nowhere,” Holden said.

“I wanted a little fresh air,” my voice came out in an uneasy whisper.

He walked toward me in his sweatpants and a t-shirt, holding a can of beer. His expression hardened. You saw where not following the rules got your mother.”

“Yeah, I saw.” I glumly nodded. He seemed calm, but I didn’t know if he was angrier than he let on, or what he was capable of.

It surprised me when he said, “Tommy, it will get better. I promise.”

Reese came in the kitchen, turning on the too-bright light. Her hair surprisingly disheveled, and partly veiling her face, made her look kind of pretty. She closed her pink terry cloth robe. “Do you want some milk or something, sweetie?” She squinted at me.

I ran my nervous hands over my face. No. I’m going back to bed. They both stared at me with blank expressions as I went by.

Back in the basement, I walked around. That was when I noticed a large window ground level and my easy escape, but I didn’t feel like going anymore. A multicolored afghan lay folded on top of the sofa. I snatched it and walked back to my strange, new room. I sprawled out on top of the neatly made bed. I texted back and forth with my friend, Carlos for a while and then watched YouTube videos for hours. My cell phone read five o’clock in white numbers like it did— when pounding woke me up. I was half asleep and freezing because we kept the thermostat at fifty. I grabbed a blanket from the bed and wrapped it around my body and got up. The dawn crept in through the flimsy blinds.      

I walked into the living room, scrubbing my eyes with my fingers, under the fluorescent glare. Then I saw my mom open the door. An older, black lady in a business suit stood there, with two police officers posed just behind her. They all wedged their way in. One of the officers was Hispanic with a bone-clean head and Vandyke. The other officer was a muscly, white guy with a big neck and bloated face.

The lady asked my mom if she was Jennifer Walker. My mom made a non-committal noise, before saying, “Yeah.” Next, the lady told my mom her name, and that she was with, “The Department of Child Welfare.” I took a couple steps toward them. The lady talked to my mom. “I am here for the welfare of the children.” 

My mom asked her to “Please go.”

The social worker did this thing where she put her hand up and said, “Ah, Ah, Ah, I am here for the welfare of these children.” This time, the lady over-enunciated each word.

My mom looked small and shaky.  She started to slur her words a little. “I’m a good mom.” She looked over at me, her eyes with a peculiar glaze over them. Her right hand was nervously clutching at her collarbone as she said my name over and over like I could get her out of this. The police officers came out of my mom’s room.

I didn’t know what to do. “She’s a good mom,” I mumbled. I heard the patter of small, quick feet. I turned to see Isabella running to me. I picked her up. Her face never left my shoulder.

The caseworker was a fat woman made puffier by superiority. The white officer held up a small bag of crack and looked at my mom. I flinched inside. My mom always told me not to use anything stronger than pot. “You’re going with us, good mom,” he said. I hated that guy.      

That was it. I felt a twist in my gut. My life ended.

I pushed the pain down until I felt hollow. Then everything stopped.  I guess I fell to sleep.


Existential Crisis

by R.J. Garcia

Have you ever had an existential crisis? Have you ever tripped out and had the wow this is me moment? Followed by what am I doing with my life freak out? Have you wondered what is the meaning of life? Well, relax because it is all part of the human condition. It’s normal— I think.

All these questions are part of the reasons why I like reading and writing. For one thing, both are an escape. Also, reading or writing a story, or drawing can make us feel like we have a small grasp of something bigger or a glimpse of some new truth.

It reminds me of that famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “The mind, once stretched by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.”

RonReading a book can change your thinking in some small way forever. Case in point, reading Harry Potter transformed a lot of people into Potterheads for life. It unites us and even makes us argue about who Hermione should have ended up with. Well, duh, Ron of course.

I have a friend who wonders why people ask questions you can’t really answer. I feel sometimes those are the most important questions to ask. I kind of believe that we are all connected. These questions somehow connect us. Literature and art connect us, too and help us acknowledge the imponderable, and unknown things about life.

Conspriacy Theories – Yay or Nay?

  1. Secret Societies Control the World – The Illuminati thing seems pretty real to me.
  2. The Reptilian Elite – This one didn’t really make me a believer.
  3. The fake Moon landing – Why don’t you ever see any body walking around the moon today? If we landed on the moon in the 1960’s, there should be a reality show taking place on the moon by now? Come on, with all the modern-day advancements? And check out Rupert Grint’s cool indie movie, Moon Walkers, about the fake moon landing.Halloween Contest (2)
  4. Area 51 and Aliens – Yes. Yes. And Yes!
  5. The JFK assignation second shooter theory – Just doesn’t do it for me.
  6. Barack Obama is controlling a mini government which is planning on taking down the Trump administration. – No, I don’t think so, but would it be that bad?
  7. According to Vanity Fair, there’s a conspiracy theory that Taylor Swift is the head of a Satanic Cult. I can neither confirm or deny this, but Taylor Swift says it’s not true.wall-e-passengers
  8. There was some theory that the characters in Wall-E were cannibals, staying fat by drinking the dead. – If you think about it, there is no other way to explain how they never run out of those strange smoothies.  Disturbing, and yet makes a weird kind of sense.
  9. Another theory that has come back again is the world is flat. – Nah, I don’t think so.
  10. Now we have gone full circle, back to the illuminati, the eye of Providence, or the all-seeing eye on the dollar bill, which is said to show a conspiracy with our nation’s founders and yes the Illuminati. – I need to think about this one… Which conspiracy theory do you believe? 

Nocturnal Meetings

The countdown for the holidays is underway. This is an exciting time of year! I’m extra excited because my debut novel, Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced will be released in five months. For me it’s like waiting for my book baby to be born.

I really appreciate the cool people who visit this little blog, and those who share their amazing work, too. I thought I’d give you a sneak peek of Nocturnal Meetings, where late night meetings in the woods becomes the place where a group of teens can finally belong, until they discover dark secrets that might get them killed.

Want to follow Nocturnal Meetings on Goodreads:


R.J. Garcia

new pic for nm



Awkward Moments


by R.J. Garcia

For Halloween I thought I’d blog about something truly terrifying, especially for a wallflower, that is…awkward, embarrassing moments.

I think we all have them. Embarrassing moments are part of life. 

Here is a list of a few:

That awkward moment when

You are pulling a push door.

That awkward moment when –

You step to avoid someone, and they step the same way. Your kind of dancing. You don’t dance.

That awkward moment when –

You get called on in class, but you were zoning out and have no clue what you are even being asked.

That awkward moment when –

In an uncomfortable silence, you ask a hairstylist what they do for a living.

That awkward moment when –

Your friends post has two hundred and fifty-seven likes and yours has three, and you realized you liked your post accidentally. (It happens.)

 That awkward moment when –

You share something on social media and notice the typo only after you post it. And it’s your only cool post. Maybe, possibly you would have got more than three likes, but you have to take it down instead.

 That awkward moment when –

You’re standing up to someone, even yelling a little, and mess up a word and it ruins the seriousness of it, which goes along with this next moment…

 That awkward moment when –

You have finally had enough and storm out and realized you left something important and have to go back to get it. I hate that.

Your turn, share an awkward moment you have experienced.


The Unexplained

by R.J. Garcia

Have you ever encountered the unexplained? I mean experienced an incident that is beyond logic. I consider myself to be kind of brave. By 12 years old, I had watched all the classic horror movies: Freddy, Jason and Chucky. I had toured haunted houses and realms. A guy jumps out at you wielding a chainsaw, or axe, but really, after he doesn’t kill you it becomes a little awkward. Being overly polite, I might even say, “Hello.” In which case, the fake serial killer would smile back.

When I was 13 years old, something weird happened …It was the middle of the night. I got up to pee. The TV in the living room called to me. An old lady’s face played on the screen. What first appeared to be lines on her face began to break apart like a thin layer of Autumn ice and blood seeped down. I grimaced.

Then a wooden marionette popped up on the screen. He was in pirate clothes with a Pinocchio nose. His eyes were two circles of black. His mouth was a crooked slash of red that didn’t move when he spoke. “Hi kids! I am the Skin Taker.” His inflection sounded strangely upbeat as he held up his little puppet hands, each finger its own tiny knife, dotted in blood.

A voice called out from behind and I jumped up! My mother’s voice.

“Mom, what’s this show?” I looked back at my mom, commenting, “It’s so bizarre.”

My mom replied, “Honey, it’s just static.”

TVI looked at the TV and only a screen of static blared. My mom told me I must have slept walked and dreamt the whole thing. It provided little comfort. Thirteen or not, I kept the lights on that night.

Now all these years later when I told my daughter about my dream she said, ‘It sounds like the Skin Taker from Creepypasta.” She showed me it on google. This marionette, was also named the Skin Taker, but was a skeleton which makes more sense because he needs skin. Yet, this couldn’t have inspired my dream because Creepypasta wasn’t around back then.

This made me think of Carl Jung’s ‘collective unconscious.’ This term refers to the unconscious mind shared by all humanity. It is composed of archetypes, which are symbols of universal figures. Maybe this character is just a figure of bad dreams only slightly manifesting in form? I don’t even know. This theory is hard to fully grasp.

Anyway, to make a long story short, this is still all quite strange to me. Even with Carl Jung’s theory I don’t quite understand what happened that night, or how this guy ended up on Creepypasta.

Now it’s your turn. Share an odd experience you had.


Writer Wellness


  1. Don’t Compare yourself to other writers, except yourself yesterday.
  2. Do give yourself credit for the chapter you’ve finished, or that blog you wrote.
  3. Don’t allow anyone to determine yourself worth. Not agents. Not publishers. Not peers.
  4. Surround yourself with people who get you. Writing is a lonely life. A dog or cat makes for great unconditional support system.
  5. A good beta reader will make your writing better, and help you through the doubt.
  6. Be prepared for rejection and more rejection. Try your best to keep your spark. Remember why you started writing in the first place.
  7. The more you write the better you will get. And read, read, read.

What writing tips have helped you? Xxquills