Untitled. So far.

I know I have been AWOL for over a month. I am trying to find a balance between School, Work, and what type of writing I actually want to do. I feel like journalism is what I want to do, because I love reporting. At the same time, I really want to become an author. I like creating my own stories as well. I think I will try to balance both, on top of all of the research papers, discussions, and essays required in in my Journalism major. This is something I started writing today that I really feel could become a great story. I will be posting this rough draft so far on here, but I will be maintaining a second page coming in Late October that will be exclusively for excerpts from books I want to write. I would like to start selling them on Amazon shortly. I tend to keep things short when I write stories, but I wouldn’t mind feedback on if you feel that this story could have more package to it.

Alright, here is the beginning of the story. Do not hesitate to express your opinions in a comment below. I would be more than happy to respond.

“I could go on to create some elaborate delusion about how my Father is the president of a finance company and my mother is an accomplished lawyer, but my family is too well known in this city. Instead, I’ll just tell you the truth before someone else does.

My father is an abusive drunk who we rarely see. If he isn’t out with one of the crack whores up and down the avenue, he’s out swindling some poor passerby for booze money. I don’t know why my mother stays with the bastard, but she won’t leave no matter how many ideas I come up with. I plan to change that very soon.

My mother was adopted by some old German family back when she was like 9 years old. She didn’t know her biological parents, and some days I envy that. Her dad died when she was 16, and her mom died when she turned 17. That’s when she met my dad.

From what I’ve heard, my dad was a great man in the beginning. He was in college for Business, had his own house and his own car. He met my mother when she was 19 and working at a Burger King and offered to treat her for dinner. Of course, like any 19 year old girl who has become an outcast, she falls in love with him out of what I assume is pure desperation. They get married and here I come out a year later.

A part of me believes I am the reason dad turned to drinking and prostitutes. My mom felt that she had to “give me the love her mother didn’t give her” or something like that. I completely engulfed my mom’s life, and the two rarely spent time together. It’s sad, honestly. By the time I was 4 years old I knew I hated him. That was time when I realized he treated mom badly.

13 years have passed, and the feelings remain the same. I can’t wait to get out of this house. I’m taking mom and my little sister with me.”


Coming in January

What happens when your high school sweetheart is not who she appears to be? After 3 years of marriage, Matthew receives a letter in mail with a chilling message that reads:

“Sarah’s parents were unable to pay the fee they promised, so they paid with their lives. How much are you willing to pay to have your wife back and to know her family secret? You have 72 hours to respond.”

What will Matthew do? Will he make the call to save his wife? Or has her secret life fulfilled the prophecy of her family’s demise?

This is the first adult Thriller/Suspense piece I have successfully began to work on. I’m excited just talking about it! I hope you guys will look forward to reading this one!

Writing Origins

When I began writing as student in middle school, there were no signs in sight that told me I would be writing later on in life for fun. Well, except for the poetry I loved to write, the daily journal entries, and my obvious excitement for creative writing. (That did not happen until 9th grade, and I had a pretty amazing creative writing teacher in my defense.) I am pretty sure most of us did not simply start writing because we were bored. I started writing because I loved the stories I read. I am a huge fan of the Lord of The Rings,  Lord of The Flies, and my all- time favorite, A Tale of Two Cities. The visuals these tales create are so powerful, you are pretty much forced to just paint the picture in your mind. When I started writing, my strength in writing was descriptive scenery. Taking something like, “The fog was thick outside.” and turning it into “A blanket of fog so thick only gave way to the outlines of the bare-boned tree branches.” I was the guy to take the long way in writing. I found more appeal in what’s really there, and imagining myself as the character I’m attempting to create. What does he see? What does he feel? What sounds are around him? I always asked myself those types of questions when I would write.

In my writings today I focus more on creating a story based on a character people can relate to. I typically write a story based on the typical teenager going through typical things. I’m building myself up to work on more adult-related content. It’s less about the scenery and more about the personal battle with what would be the “scenery” (I.E, peers, family, teachers, etc.) to give each reader a different picture of what the character is going through. I don’t read too many novels these days. I am more inclined now to read blog posts of a persons successes and struggles or a personal review on things. I would like to break into a good novel. Any personal recommendations are greatly appreciated.

So how exactly does one stay committed to writing? Well, I am sure I speak for all writers when I say it is not an easy task. But it’s a rewarding feeling and a well deserved accomplishment when you finish  a piece of writing. Writing Novels, Short Stories with a continuation, and even how-to guides takes time and effort. There will always be some stories you start but do not finish, some you start and finish, and some you want to start but you have difficulty getting all of your ideas together. The one way I learned to get through times like that is to walk as your character. Fill in the details step by step. Take yourself out of the writer’s chair, and into the characters’ shoes. Ask yourself, “what would I be doing now if I were (character name here)? It works for me whenever I write my short stories, especially because I am focused on actual conditions. So say you have a character named Ron, and he had Diabetes as a child. What would you do if you had diabetes as a child? I won’t say the method will work for everyone, but it will for sure open some emotional doors as you really think about the story of your character. Another method is just drawing yourself a bubble map of your character or subject and then just going wild with possible key ideas for the story. My goal is to always have at least one key idea and no more than three.

So for anyone wanting to pick up writing, it is definitely a skill that will take you places, but it also takes time to get there. One bad story doesn’t make you a terrible writer. Without that one failure none of us in any of our talents would truly grow in them.

Go for Jo!

I do not believe I have introduced myself entirely. My name is Tavis “Jo” Jones (Jo is self-bestowed) and I am in the process of becoming a professional writer. I live in California with my two dogs Bishop (Standard Poodle) and Otis (Chihuahua/Toy poodle mix). I grew up entirely raceless. People were just people, and that was it. It was probably for good reason, I am finding out. At 16, I started looking into my background. Asian, Irish, and Sudanese is what I found out. From then on, I tried learning to fit in to what I had recently discovered about myself. Today, I am more inclined to the Asian side, but I do not deny the others. It’s a challenge, especially when you don’t exactly look the way genetics say you should look.

Any who, I started writing in about the 7th grade. One day my Aunt bought me a Harry Potter Journal and away I went. I wrote songs and poetry at the time.  I wish I knew where that journal went. Now, I write short stories in a fictional perspective with a non-fictional approach.

I hope you guys enjoyed the preview of my short story titled “Adam” which was posted earlier this week. My Stories present actual situations with some happy outcomes, and some sad outcomes. I try to keep them realistic with a sense of optimism. The last thing I want to do is promote a negative point of view on life.  I will be posting another preview later on in this upcoming week for the second short story titled “Madeline.”

So here is the way my short stories will work; I don’t have a specific audience I am trying to reach, I am just reaching people who are interested. My short stories range from children’s conditions such as cancer and abandonment to teenagers fitting in and dealing with eating disorders, and even elderly citizens with Alzheimer’s and depression. Each story will have a preview on my blog here, and I will publish a full short story once a month.

To give you guys a back story on Adam, he is an adopted child who has been diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma (To find out more about exactly what Ewing’s Sarcoma is, click here) and selective muteness and is starting school again. His adoptive parents are weary about putting him back into school, and since Adam is their only child there is no clear line to them as to how the experience will affect him. If this story sounds like something you may like to read about, I hope you stay tuned to find out more about Adam. I have more short stories he will be the center of, and remember I will be giving previews to those as well.

As for Madeline, she is a teenage girl who is being seen for Bulimia. While being seen, she talks to another patient who has been seen on numerous accounts for Anorexia nervosa. The two begin to tell their stories to each other and  start to realize how dangerous both conditions are. I’ll be previewing the entire short story at the end of the month. I’m really excited for this project I’ve started. I ultimately want to highlight things in a more optimistic point of view. Many times we see something wrong with a person, we blame them for the situation ( I will also have a short story on suicide, which is really touchy for a lot of people, so I will go about it delicately.) instead of looking at things from their point of view.

If my blog seems interesting so far, I hope you stick around and continue to read. I’m not a heavy writer on how-to blogs, and I am really just going for something people want to read simply because they enjoy reading.

Preview of: Adam

    Hello all. I have been going through some stressful times to think of what I want to do with this personal writing career I am starting. I’ve gone to great lengths to find inspiration, and I realized I was looking in all of the wrong places.

    I have learned to not look in myself, but to look into how I would like to see things, while maintaining a realistic approach. With that being said, I have started a completely new style of writing. Now, I won’t be giving everything away for free. I will soon be self publishing my first book, and I will be sending 10% of each sale to www.childrenscancer.org.

Without further ado, I give to you a short preview of one of my short stories in “Silver Hearts: Optimistic Short Stories of Real Conditions.” I give to you an excerpt from “Adam“:

    “As the buses pick up the students, and the parents arrive to take home car-riders, Ms. Hanover asks Adam and his parents if they could stay back for a moment.

    “Mr. and Mrs. Benson, I wanted to talk to you about Adam,” Ms. Hanover starts. “Is everything alright?” Mrs. Benson asks.

    “Oh yes,” Ms. Hanover says. “Adam has been an amazing student since in the month he has been here. I was a bit concerned at first. I did not know how he would fit in with the rest of the students, or how the students would accept him. I was very pleased when the class told me they had known about his condition this long and had continued to treat him no different than they accept each other.”

    “We are very happy to hear that,” Mr. Benson says. “We were a bit skeptical about sending him back to school this early. Between the constant hospital visits and the general stress on Adam and us as a family, it was not an easy decision for us to make.”

    “Well, I assure you Adam is doing very well, “Ms. Hanover assures them. “His attitude is very polite, and his communication skills are above the average for a child with that has gone through so much.” As Ms. Hanover continues to speak with Mr. and Mrs. Benson, Adam is in the back of the classroom writing his alphabet. Mrs. Benson gets up to see how well he is able to write them.

    “Honey, why are you writing with your left hand?” Mrs. Benson asks. “Ms. Hanover, you are aware Adam is right-handed, yes?”

    “Yes I am, Mrs. Benson.” Ms. Hanover answers. Mr. Benson and Ms. Hanover walk over to join Mrs. Benson in awe as her son writes identically with his left hand as he does with his right hand.

    “I teached myself to write with my other hand so if I lose my right hand, I can still write,” Adam says without looking up. Ms. Hanover and Adam’s parent did not know how to respond to his reason.

    “Could we step outside of the classroom for a moment?” Mr. Hanover asks. Mrs. Benson and Ms. Hanover follow Mr. Benson outside of the classroom. Mrs. Benson looks back to make sure Adam is alright.

    “Ms. Hanover,” Adam’s Father starts.

    “I know what you are going to say, and I assure you I am accommodating Adam without making him feel singled out.” Ms. Hanover answers.

    “So you are aware of Adam’s occasional muteness?” Mrs. Benson asks.

    “I am. It was not apparent at first, but I went home and looked into it, and it is usually only apparent when the child is in a stressful environment. I do what I can to keep the classroom stress free.”

    “As a teacher, you sure do go out of your way to accommodate for children in your classroom,” Mr. Benson adds.

    “As a teacher, it is my job to care for each student as if they were my own. With Adam, it is personal. I volunteer at the Adoption agency Adam lived in. I was shocked to see he had been adopted and has ended up in my class. When I met you two, I knew Adam went to a loving family. Being a single mother, I lost my son to cancer three years ago. Adam reminded me of my son when he was his age. I understand the emotions you two are going through, and I do my best to do my part as his guardian in school.””