Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Coffee

Coffee

by Jourdan Cameron

I watched him every morning from the alley. He’d arrive in his suit, coffee and half-eaten sandwich in hand, and leave the latter atop the gray trash can that stood against the once-red brick wall. With no other ritual or ceremony, he’d walk away every day, sun or rain. Whenever he left, I’d come out from the shadows and be the first to grab what he’d left behind. I had to be quick; opportunities in the city are snatched up almost before they’re made. What’s it matter where it comes from? A chance is a chance, especially when you’re a wanderer like me.
Besides, I liked to sit on the can when eating the sandwich. I got some funny looks from passers-by, and parents would occasionally clutch their inquisitive children a little closer, but the people leave me alone. Just the way I like it. Speaking of things I enjoy, apparently the fellow- the sandwich-leaver- he’s got a taste for ham. Every morning, ham. It’s the best part of the sandwich in my opinion- I can’t tire of the stuff.
After breakfast, I’d always roam the streets a little less hungry in search of more. Folks took pity on me- if you saw me walking down the street with my ragged gray coat and half-blind old eyes, surely you’d be inclined to help me out a little, at least? At least a little. That’s how I got by- a little from everybody. One day, though, I got a little more.
The suited man passed by the can again and deposited his sandwich in its usual spot. I crept out of the shadows and, as usual, enjoyed the ham. I suppose you could say I’ve grown a little bolder with time- I didn’t wait until the man was completely out of sight. I watched him walking down the street, coffee in handy, to eventually disappear through the thin, early morning crowd and past the buildings. “Enjoying it?” I looked up, startled by the wheezy voice above me. The man’s suit was wet, and a rather brown stain across his once-white shirt told me that he’d somehow lost his coffee.
I eyed him suspiciously; in hindsight, I needn’t have. With one big gesture, he swept me off my feet. I hadn’t the will to resist. He took me to his apartment- I no longer have to depend on the pity of others. Some nights, I get to sleep with him- he keeps me fed, warm, and dry. I don’t have a care in the world, except him.
He’s even given me a name: Coffee, the Cat.
----

I originally posted this story here on Reddit. My inspiration for the character's voice was taken from a Makoto Shinkai short

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What is Goodbye?

For an assignment in my creative writing course, I had to write a piece of poetry that mashed together things I learned- I wound up with with the following piece.

What is Goodbye?
by Jourdan Cameron

I

The stars grew dim and faded from the velvety sky,
But it matters not to me.
I sought you out of obscurity and we rose to fly,
But it matters no more.
There's no reason you bore to change- why? We could've gone so high,
But it matters nothing now.
I let you hold our heart in your hands, and you neglected it and left it to die.
But it mattered more then.
They couldn't see us and they couldn't care less, we could've let the world go by,
But it matters less now.
I watched you change and fall and lie, you left me alone- l could but cry,
Those moments you missed, they matter.
There's no way to know what all those moments meant to you- can we see eye-to-eye?
You should know that I miss having them.
I don't lightly loose this bond, and I'd sooner ready my noose than friendship untie,
You know I have reasons.
A double-talk-word slipping so easy off the tongue as ripping fish-hook- it is goodbye.
But it matters not to me.

II

We did great things and dreamed yet greater,
We did great things and dreamed for later,
'Ello, nightmare.

You forgot me sleeping in the somnorium,
You forgot me sleeping in the sonorous somnorium,
Sugarcoats turned to ash insomnium.

Ours was understanding and an inner freedom,
Ours was understanding that gave us freedom,
You didn't forget, you let go.

We did great things and dreamed yet greater,
We did great things and dreamed for later,
You can't forget, you just let go.

Our house of ideas stands a monument to forever,
Our house of ideas stands for all dreaming ever,
It's our last good thing, you know?

I did what I could to be good and kind. Cruel? Never.
I did my best to be good and kind. Was I cruel? Never.
When stars fall, they dip unknowably low.

We did great things and dreamed yet greater,
We did great things and dreamed for later,
I caught your star; it burned my heart so!

III

A day with you- is it a year? It doesn't matter, both run by too fast.
I was always without fear, I found one like me to good time to share.
Your eyes are safe to stare, I often found myself getting lost there,
I could cry and you'd hear, I was important to somebody at last.

I couldn't just leave, you'd be left bewildered, broken, aghast,
Approaching night's eve, time slips away- know that I care!
As you grieve, know this wasn't a choice made easy on the air,
High your head do heave- remember forgetting your being in the past?

I imagined us forever, what a capital concept to dream!
I imagined you shared that, how logical does that seem?
Forever isn't long, for it is easy to be a star in the sky.

I imagined you'd never forget, lying in a lazy sun-beam,
I imagine I was right; you let go and woke up from our dream.
Forever wasn't long, and this means goodbye.

----

As of late, I've been tremendously busy with Me Squared- it's finally published! In case you want to read more about it, be sure to check out the official site here.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Impressions of the Etrian Odyssey Untold Demo- In Poetry

In case you haven't heard the news, Atlus is holding a contest for it's latest game, Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl. If you're interested in winning one of their 3DS RPGs, check it out! Now, as my entry to the contest, I've decided to review the the demo- in the form of a poem, a short parody of The Raven. Here goes.

Etrian Odyssey- Plenty More
by Jourdan Cameron

Once upon an afternoon sunny, hopping the eShop like a bunny,
Over many a game I quick browsed through Nintendo's store,
Buttons clicking, screen flashing, a certain demo caught my eye-
I gasped in delight- 'twas a thing succeeding Etrian Odyssey Four!
I sighed, remembering a limitation- 'Tis a demo, nothing more.'
Not losing my eager anticipation, I downloaded it from the store.

Distinctly I remember during bright warm September,
The demo colored ember, present sitting at my 3DS door,
Only this, and nothing more!

In my excitation I unwrapped the present and soon was transported,
Taken away to some bright place of forest, near a sunlit shore?
I watched a cutscene- it was no bore!

Deep into my console I was peering, cranked up the 3D,
'Twas gorgeous as I sat staring, and soon there was a tutorial tour,
Sooner than later, I'd reached my the forest floor.

With my stylus I sat mapping,
Buttons clicking, X-Y-A-B-tapping,
Fighting monsters on the forest floor-
I had fun with this and plenty more!

Overall I love this demo- it's quite pretty,
Good looking cutscenes and dialogue that's witty,
It's sitting, waiting on Nintendo's electronic store,
If you're bored and of adventure you're dreaming,
Check out the new Etrian Odyssey- you'll be bored nevermore!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chrysalis

Chrysalis
by Jourdan Cameron

"Isaac, is that you?"
"In the flesh."
As if she were falling horizontally, the woman's frilly red skirt flowed behind her as she glided across the abandoned beach.

"I just had a feeling I'd find you here," she said breathless. "You always would come here on gloomy days like these. Nobody comes here when they expect rain except for you." She extended her hand, and he shook it gingerly.
"So," she said grinning, "what've you been up to lately? I heard you landed a role in a big movie."
He nodded. "That's correct, Natalie. I'm the lead actor in an adaptation of Bradbury's Rocket Man."
"That's so fantastic! You've always loved stories. It has been so long since I've seen you. We should go celebrate at our old place, you'll never believe what Tony did with his pizzeria-"
"Natalie." Isaac was staring out at the ocean waves as they licked the infinite sand into an unfathomable abyss. He always wondered which had come first- the sand or the waves. He always supposed that the waves came first, seeing as they at some point chewed down great mountains, that they might be swallowed and redeposited elsewhere.

"Natalie, I have a story you'll love."
"Oh?" Her voice cracked a little in anxious anticipation. "Maybe you can tell me at the restaurant?"
"It won't be long, I assure you." Isaac shifted his stare to Natalie's eyes. "Long ago, a boy found a fantastic red caterpillar- redder than the fabric of your skirt," he said, pointing.
"The boy fed it the finest leaves he could find, and he marveled as it grew larger and brighter. The boy showed it to his friends, and they all loved the caterpillar."
Natalie broke away from Isaac's dead gaze and sat on the sand to stare into the gray sea as he continued speaking.
"And so the caterpillar kept growing- and it grew sluggish. Though it was a beautiful creature, covered in strange outgrowths and incredible patterns, it began to bore the boy, who continued to feed it. One morning, though, the boy looked into the jar that bore the creature. What he found was a chrysalis. The caterpillar had hidden itself from him. And so, the boy waited."
Isaac seated himself on the sand beside Natalie, noiselessly.
"And so, the boy waited," he said with a sigh. "As he waited, he took long walks in the woods, and do you know what he found? Another caterpillar, twice as big and just as bright as his old one. Without hesitation, he took it home and tossed the old caterpillar's chrysalis into the woods. This new caterpillar crawled restlessly around the jar, refusing to all the fine leaves and vegetation the boy gave it. The creature wouldn't eat, and after a few days, it's jewel-bright colors began to fade. His conscience itching, the boy realized what he needed to do, and released the larva into the woods."

He sat silent for awhile.
"Is that the end?"
"No, it's not. While the boy was in the woods, do you know what else he found?"
Natalie shook her head.
"He found the empty chrysalis lying among dead leaves. He brought it home with him, never knowing how beautiful the butterfly that emerged from it was. He only had his memories of the larva before it destroyed it's form in pursuit of something greater."
"That's quite a story," said Natalie, glancing about the beach. "Some kid's going to learn patience from it. You writing a kid's book?"
He shrugged. "I could."
"You know, I'm friends with this one guru, she's a great artist, I could get you guys together."
"That would be nice," he said, as the two stood up. "So, what happened at Tony's lately?" Isaac took off his thin nylon jacket and draped it over Natalie's shoulders.
"You shouldn't wear such short sleeves on such chilly days, you know."
With that, the two left the beach.

----

I wrote this piece for a school assignment- it was about a secret being spoken, though not quite too obviously- rather like in the story Hills Like White Elephants; I feel that I could've benefited from a bit more subtlety here, but I still like the results.

If you're wondering about my book, Me Squared is still coming along nicely. I've already finished editing it, and I'm just getting things sorted with copyright and such. I'll be sure to post about it once I have everything together.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Vernal Pools

One of my recent school assignments was to write a poem modeled, in part, after Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, by Wallace Stevens. Enjoy!

Thirteen Ways of Looking at Vernal Pools
by Jourdan Cameron

I
Your time has come little pool,
Spring rains bring hydration,
Very soon you shall come to life, pool,
You'll be home to larvae and frogspawn in their undulation.

II
"Somebody ought drain that squalid puddle, it breed disease!"
"You need to understand, it's vital to our ecosystem, listen please!"
"This world's creatures are none of my concern, nature's making me wheeze."
"There are things you don't know, do not tamper with them, hear me out, please."
"Tell me what the point is of keeping this infernal mud-hole!"
"It's a vernal pool that supports amphibians and dragon-flies, it plays a vital role!"
"Well, what a pity, those things make no difference to me."
"You can't see- how very blind can you possibly be?"
"Why don't you go hug some poor diseased tree?"
"Dragonflies control the mosquito population, surely that means something?"
"So does bug spray, do me a favor and get out of my way, you're annoying."
"If you destroy the pool, you'll miss so much! You'll never hear the frogs sing."
"You imbecile, frogs don't sing, are you living in some mad fantasy?"
"Shut up."
"Wha-"
"Listen."
"You're not talking."
"No. The forest is. If you open your heart, you might hear it."

III
In the heart of the forest in the place untouched by man,
Lies a body of water between a puddle and a pond- a vernal pool.
Year and again it fills with precipitation dyed by leaves a shade of tan,
It's home to many larva growing quick in the water cool.

IV
The pool has purpose plenty,
It serves some shelter and others snacks,
Low levels of liquid water it has, depth it lacks,
It is meant to be gone before great heat attacks.

V
Summer day,
All too close and far away,
The gentle buzz floats along the wind,
And quickly as it had appeared,
The sun itself leaves taking with it the day,
As the night falls so begins the old song revered,
An orchestral cacophony of chirps from every which way.
Those once-young creatures of the pool have all grown,
Spring peepers are calling, tiny tree frogs seeking one another,
Ready for the next generation's seeds to be sown.
Their love song's a lullaby, sleep bringing, from one eye to the other,
The night draws on and the sunrise makes the arrival of a new day known.

VI
A big wide hole,
A quiet dried bowl,
It played quite the role,
It gave a season it's soul.
A quiet dried bowl,
Leaf-littered hole,
Beyond grassy knoll,
It will does summer soul,
For now, a big dead hole.

VII
Two men stand near pool's shore,
Both understanding what it's for.
With great care one disturbs the surface stillness,
His net's filled with life for a camera to witness.
Soon as they came, they leave and all is quiet once more,
Those photographs are going far, with them they take the shore.

VIII
Winter comes in howling silence,
The world lies sleeping in great penance,
For now the home is frozen mud.
Bitter battering blustering squalls
Cry cacophonously, cutting calls,
For now the home is frozen mud.
Such sirenous screaming stills,
Chiming, chirping, chafing chills,
The home remains as frozen mud.
Oligarchic orchestra of otherworldly 'orrors,
Clouds cruel coldly cover, cumulonimbus encroaches!
The home is silent still.

IX
No season lasts forever, winter being no exception,
The cruel clouds that once encroached now fall to earth,
In harmony with the sun, they warm the mud, granting liberation.
Soon the pool is filled again, sitting in the earth,
With great haste come the men; they marvel at it's berth.
One snaps a shot of a water strider as across the amber edge it does surf,
They both recognize this place to be of immeasurable worth.

X
Summer days swift return and time seems to stand still,
Tiny tadpoles grew fat legs and lost their tails and gills.
With great gusto they now snap the insects from the sky,
These ectothermic acrobats from tree to tree now fly.
Far above the dried out hole they sing songs in the night,
When the dawn comes they bath amid the dew and once more take to flight.

XI
Did you hear that?
I saw nothing.
There was a flash vibrant green,
Then, nothing.
The thing I thought I had seen,
'Twasn't nothing.
It was a dragonfly, fast and mean,
Chasing something.
Those flying jaws the end of many a mosquito,
Catching something.
They, too, come from the vernal pool, snapping up smaller insects that move so slow.
They're definitely something.

XII
On and on the pool fills and goes dry,
In the forest it's unchanged as the days go by.
The cyclic chain of life and death shall eternal roll,
So many creatures grow up in that hole!
Some of the arrogant may not ignore it's value,
Yet many of shut mouths and open minds will see more than most do.
What good is a pond that's almost a mud-hole?
It grants the forest life and the summer song soul!

XIII
Maybe one day a child will visit,
His ears will catch a spring peeper's "rivet".
Maybe that child will never come back,
But for a certainty he'll keep a straight track.
He will not forget the vernal pool,
It's a memory that he'll often visit.
His mind will always take him back,
Echoing that little frog's "rivet".
Maybe one day a child will visit.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

So, I wrote a book.

As of late, my posts have been few and far between- I've been a very busy writer, and I'm proud to announce that I've written a book. The title of the book is Me2 (sometimes written as Me Squared to prevent formatting issues with the superscripted 2). It's a book that's been sitting in my head for a very long time. It all started one night about six years ago; I was lying awake in bed, staring up at my ceiling, when I came up with the idea for a book about a kid who discovers that he has a clone. The title of the book was originally going to be Blood Brothers. What's funny is that today, I'm not sure what came first- the title, or the idea. Did I think of the name Blood Brothers and think about some way to give it meaning- maybe I thought about the book idea and thought Blood Brothers would be a fitting title.



As for the book itself, it's a little unconventional. I wanted to write an exciting book that wasn't completely composed of dumb action- not I've got anything against action, as there's plenty of it in Me2- but I wanted to  make something for young audiences with depth, something that they would find engaging, thought-provoking and accessible. It's far too easy to get caught up trying to make something with a specific quality that those other vital elements of a book become lost in a sea of dry words. So while I would say that this is a thought-provoking book full of depth, it's also a fun book full of life. I think a mistake that's made too often is that when a writer wants to get a message across, or even just wants to write a story, he or she will harp on one thing, and one thing only. While I loved the central message in the movie Won't Back Down, I really hated the movie. It was well cast and all, but it only conveyed a single thing- it felt like I was being force-fed the idea that the whole educational system is broken and we need a revolution to fix it and the entire world is a villain except for anybody who's not fighting with us. While it's pretty true that there are some big issues with various school systems today, I didn't get anything else out of the movie. I couldn't be brought to care about the characters, their plight, and I certainly didn't wind up feeling whatever it was that the film's director wanted me to feel.

I think it's safe to say that I dodged that bullet with Me2. While I did write with the purpose of making kids think about the ethics of such things as cloning and genetic engineering, I also worked hard to create a worthwhile story, interesting characters, and all those other things that I believe make a book worth writing and, subsequently, worth reading.

I'm very proud of my sister, Kassidy Cameron- she created the book's front cover. I told her what I wanted to see and she brought it beautifully to life. If you'd like to see more of her work and also help out our aunt, please be sure to take a look at her site!

Right now, I'm in the process of editing the book. It'll be ready... Soon. Keep an eye on this blog for news!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Mind Ran Off

My Mind Ran Off 
by Jourdan Cameron 

I watched my mind cut itself loose today, 
I watched my mind just cut on loose, 
It just dashed on off bright as a spring day. 

I tried to catch it, I swear I did, 
I tried to catch it, I swear couldn't, 
That sucker done ran off and hid! 

I took a swig and looked hither and thither, 
I looked thither and hither and took a shot, 
Then my eyes gave out along with my liver. 
Goodness me, can a new brain be bought? 

I gotta find my mind before it starts to rot! 
I just need to catch my brain before it starts to rot, 
The thing just liberated itself, who woulda thought? 

The thing's gone on vacation, that's unacceptable, 
The thing's gone on vacation, that's totally trouble, 
Wherever am I to find a new one? 
I can't say for sure. 
Anybody know how to tie a brain lure? 

My mind ran off and I just can't find it, 
My mind dashed off- I can't bind it! 
My mind's escaped and now I'm can't see; 
I'm bumbling in the dark, I just wanna be free! 

I hope it's happy, wherever it's gone, 
I just hope it's satisfied, wherever it runs, 
I'm not. 
I know for sure that I'm not. 
There's no happiness knowing it can't be caught. 

My conscious is a fugitive running from the law, 
My mind is a fugitive on the run from the lawman, 
I just can't believe he left without so much as "tah". 
No formal goodbyes were exchanged, 
Boy! My mind is deranged. 

I watched my mind cut itself loose today, 
It dashed on off bright's a spring day, 
I tried to catch it, I swear I did, 
but that sucker done hid, 
I looked hither, thither, 
I busted up my liver, 
I bet it's now a-rot, 
Mind's not caught, 
Didn't say bye, 
"Please why?" 
I can but cry. 

----

Apologies for taking so long to post something- anything- I've been mad busy as of late. Something's coming. Something big. Besides that patched version of Last Days of Marconis Part II.
As for Paxcatia, it's not dead, it's just pining for the fjords. I'm going to re-read it once I'm done with the big project so that my next chapter can have an improved sense of focus.
I'll be back.