Wonderful Quote Artwork

This is amazing!

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

This is wonderful artwork from Cristina G., a quote from my newest book, Mad About God.

It perhaps encapsulates the entire theme of the book.
Thank you for the art, dear sister!
— J.S.

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Peeta and Katniss…The Remaking

A short story I’ve been writing to try and explain the unwritten years between the end of the Hunger Games and the epilogue…Let me know what you think! I do not own the Hunger Games at all! I just like the idea of providing literature on what pieces are not there. I suppose this counts as me wallflowering on Katniss!


It would never be the same. Peeta’s memories were warmed now, but he would never be my devoted lover again. I’d never feel that same undying affection for only me because of all we’d been through. Now, it was more like a mutual respect…it felt like a normal relationship should, but I didn’t want a normal relationship…I wanted our relationship.

It has been years since the revolution’s end, and Prim’s death still weighs terribly on my heart. I still could not look at Gale for too long. All of these little tiny shards of glass seemed to forever fly about my mind. No matter what memories my brain chose to focus on, sharp edges seemed to outline them and pain enveloped every thought.

I told them that I was better. I just couldn’t stand talking to that damned therapist anymore. Every meeting unsettled me because I would rather go through the Games again than try to pick out each memory shard and force my brain to take a closer look. I would rather just put my memories behind; it seems less painful that way. Happy ones brought the pain of missing them, while upsetting ones hurt for obvious reasons.

As the world had been struggling through rebirth, Peeta and I had been trying to rebuild our relationship. In the beginning, I wanted to stay as far away from him as possible. I didn’t want to witness Peeta’s mood swings of hatred for me leading into a patched up apology. Not having my rock killed me, but either out of cowardice or some form of brave lover’s feeling for his betterment, I managed. Eventually, things seemed to get better for him; hardly any mood swings, and some sign of possible remembrance. For a few weeks now, we have been going on daily walks and occasionally out on “dates.” They seemed to me too small and simple for where our relationship should be after everything, but Haymitch seems to think there is hope in regaining at least some of his feelings by starting fresh. Acting like we just met, but never forgetting.

The thoughts of my lost love lead me far into self-pity (feelings I used to have the dignity to stamp out). I travel deep into that more recently developed hole of longing, until I am snapped back. Peeta appears across the field and begins to walk toward me…and my instincts tell me it’s time for our daily walk considering he wouldn’t come looking for me otherwise.

“Hey Katniss,” he greets me with a lackluster voice, one without the gloss of his pre-torture tone of admiration. I feel an uncomfortable pull at my heart, and I can’t help but force my mind to take this note on a tangent thought: Listen to clichés because there is a reason they’re so widely accepted; they are true. You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Even something as small as a tone of voice can be precious and life changing. I learned that from losing Peeta, but I could never tell him. He could not have anything to say but sorry, and it wouldn’t be a sincere one either.

I nodded, realizing I had seemingly ignored Peeta’s greeting, and we went on our way. Silence ensued as it always did while we walked through the dark, dust-ridden street to get to a happier part of town, and I started to wonder why we put ourselves through this with no hope of a result.

“So, how is your day?” he asked, not seeming to genuinely want an answer.

“Normal,” I replied, “I was hunting most of the morning, and then I was just in the field relaxing. What did your day consist of?”

“Sleeping,” was all he responded with. This never would have been Peeta’s morning routine before. He thought sleeping late wasted the most beautiful part of the day, but now beauty didn’t seem to mean as much to Peeta. Nothing did.

“Peeta, can I ask you something?” I found myself boldly proposing. Maybe a bit of our natural comfort had subconsciously slid back into our conversation…usually I wasn’t able to keep words flowing between us…let alone to ask a question.

“What’s up?” Peeta turned his head toward me, and made a moment of eye contact before pursuing forward. I swore I just saw a flicker of interest in those usually dull, worn eyes.

“Well…” there was so much I needed to say, and because of the pressure, usually at this point I would shut down and silently move on. When did this become me? Afraid of a boy…of my Peeta none the less? Instead…I mustered up all the courage I could gather and blurted out, “do you ever actually remember?”

He looked a bit frazzled at the enormity of the question I just seemed to throw up, which showed with the furrow of his brow. Peeta always made the most adorable face when he was thinking. The slight wrinkles on his forehead have an honesty to them, giving way to whether or not he truly is in a deep thought process. His eyes also seem to twinkle with the depth of a whole galaxy when they fade into thinking mode. I took all this in, sighing at the beauty of a simple, familiar situation.

Peeta looked quizzically at me until answering with, “Well, I think you are asking if I ever sort of phase back into old me. Whether or not the bits of memory that I regain seem just like pictures to me, or I feel like I actually lived them. Am I right in taking that from your question?”

I nodded eagerly.

“Yeah,” Peeta answered, “I suppose I do experience that. It’s kinda like deja vu…but more personal. I remember things for a little while, and I know they are really my experiences; it’s just a matter of placing them.”

Peeta looked back at me and smiled with triumph. A small victory. This could get us somewhere.

Think …

So…I’m listening to Landslide by Fleetwood Mac (cliche and corny…I KNOW!). I’m just sitting here in my office…looking out the window…and using this beautiful song to invite old memories back home. Join me. Take a moment. Pick a nostalgic song and think about all the places you’ve seen and all the things you have done. Chances are…it will amaze you. I know thinking about how many moments I’ve experienced is enough to set my nostalgia buzzers off…let alone thinking about the content of those moments. Appreciate time. For what it has been…and for what it will continue to be until you have no more of it. Live in accordance with this indefinite continuance of life. You’ll never get that last second back. Care to share your moment or nostalgic song? Comment! I love you all. 🙂

So…I had an anxiety attack last night…

…and even writing those words is a realization to me.

It’s hard to accept the fact that anxiety actually exists. I’ve always been one of the doubters…oh anxiety? That can be fixed with some breathing strategy and repetitions of happy thoughts.

I was wrong. Anxiety is real…and I have been dealing with it for some time.

I started to feel dizzy at about 10:00 last night when we were watching Les Mis. I remembered at 9 PM mass that a family friend passed away a few years ago, and reality smacked me in the face: humans are fragile.

I tried to forget the weakness I started to feel in my own organs…and to forget all the deaths surrounding me. But…my stomach pressed on…almost as if I was about to perform…my stomach dropped lower and lower to the ground…and I could not breathe out of it this time. I couldn’t jam my toes into the ground to stabilize myself; nothing was working. The anxiety came at me with it’s own tidal force.

Eventually, I began to really hear my thoughts, “You are going to die…tonight.”

“They say people know when it is their time; is that what is happening to me?”

My roommate tried to calm me down…so I could sleep enough to wake up early and get my paper done…but nothing worked. I felt the ice enveloping my joints and lungs. I felt the blackness circling my eyes. I was either going to pass out or have a heart attack. It was that simple.

I began to freak out about all I hadn’t done in my life. “I have to call my parents…I have to call my boyfriend…I have to see Italy! I’m so young.” And here came the height of my anxiety.

This lasted for a few hours…until I called my dad and he calmed me down. Families are medicinal.

So…I can attest…anxiety is real. That statement may be more for me than for anyone else, but at least now I appreciate it’s sway.

Today is better. Hopefully, there will be sun.

Somebody tell me what life is all about…

…and try to refrain from the happiness answer. I’m struggling trying to add meaning to my life…and I need something more substantial than “to be happy.”

Where do I go? What should I do? What am I doing wrong? How can I find my purpose and what exactly is the point of being on this earth?

I certainly know hardly anyone can answer this with certainty. Just…someone give me something to think about or do…

Digital Witnesses

So…listen to this song by St. Vincent:

This song makes a VERY strong point about today’s society. “Digital witnesses. What’s the point of even sleeping if I can’t show it, if you can’t see me? Watch me jump right off the London Bridge.” Well…doesn’t that say something about our social media use?

I think it hits something spot on. Social media makes life almost pointless. We spend hours scrolling through pictures of “happy people” who, in reality, spent more time trying to get that picture than actually doing what they claim to be doing.

It creates a monster in us that whispers, “Why do it if no one can see you?”

Why go to the Grand Canyon if I can’t show the world I did? Why go to that dance? Why bother sleeping without that last good night snap so they can see how cute my pajamas are?

See what she is saying? Or at least…what I took from it. Wow.

What are all your thoughts?

Certain things

Certain things make me nostalgic without ever having known me before.

I know I’ve written about how nostalgia affects me already, but this new-ish experience kinda freaks me out.

In a summation, I’ve had “nostalgia attacks” where I am thrown into my past moments by a familiar scent, sight, or thought. These have started to make sense to me. I feel things very heavily and I yearn for the past. So naturally, when something reminds me of another moment I’ve already experienced and that I miss, my mind is violently transported from the present moment to one of my past. Almost to the point that I lose touch with where I currently am…my thoughts become a physical presence.

However, now I struggle with these “nostalgia attacks” that seemingly sprout from no where. I am drawn to another thought of another time or moment that I haven’t actually had.

For example, the other day I was on the Metro and I caught a whiff of some guy who walked by. My mind did its strange little thing…and my thoughts ran wild…but not in some expectant way. It was more like…I had an intimate remembrance of the scent. I remembered it from somewhere…but I am almost certain I’ve never smelled it before in my life.

Now…this could be labeled as deja vu, but it was more personal than that, I think. It was activating an actual memory that my brain thought I had, but there was no actual memory there.

Has anyone else experienced this? What do you think it means? Does it reflect some idea that we are connected with other’s in their memories? Could it be evidence of our “other life”? I’ve never really believed in those things…but what else could this mean? Any thoughts?

How I Afford to Travel… And You May Not Like What I’m Going To Say

Now THIS is awesome!

Kate from the States

The honest truth – I never have the money I need to travel, but I buy the ticket anyway. I’ve realized that money comes and goes, but the more I make, the harder it is to part with it and weirdly, the less I have, the easier it becomes to budget.

I don’t do that saving account, checking account, travel account thing either. I am not rational. I am extreme. I want to travel and so I do. There is no in between. While I was working my first career job in public relations, I realized early on that it was going to take me forever to save all the money I would need to see the world. I come from a middle class family, I’m the middle child of five and I live in one of the most expensive places in America – Long Island, New York. I don’t…

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Tell me something about you…

So…I was intrigued the other day by another writer’s blog post compiled only of one sentence that turned the writing table on me. I’m interested in doing the same. I want to hear about you guys! Tell me something  random about you…or answer this: What is the driving force in your life and why?

Love you guys! I’m really interested in reading what you have to say!