Poem: Running Through a Daydream

I wake up in the morning,

Throw my hair in a bun.

I lace up my sneakers

And head out for a run.

 

I’m out of breath

By the end of the block.

Still I push myself harder,

Never checking the clock.

 

All this time I spend running

My daydreams take shape.

I go into a world

One I cannot escape.

 

There are monsters and demons,

Zombies and vampires too.

A red-headed stalker

With eyes oh-so blue.

 

There are heroes and good guys,

Someone there to save the day.

It wouldn’t be a fantasy

Without them out to play.

 

There are castles and oceans

And skies with bright stars.

I see chaos and beauty

And love hidden behind by bars.

 

All these things that I see

As I jog through the world

Are created by one thing;

My twisted mind unfurled.

 

I can run on forever

In the madness of my mind.

And keep going and going

Until the end of time.

 

But, alas, I cannot

For my breath has run short.

It is time to head home

And rest up from the sport.

 

I’ll start again tomorrow

With my dreams set on high.

I’ll see where they might take me

And always reach for the sky.

 

Copyright 2017 T. R. Justus

 

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I can’t Write Normal

This weekend I was asked why I don’t I write something “normal” or something that isn’t filled with things that could never in a million years happen. I was asked this because the person would really like to read something I’ve written, she just doesn’t like those action/adventure, out of this world, fantasy, science fiction novels; whereas I do.

As much as I’d love to write something that she would really enjoy, my mind can’t seem to grasp the concept of normalness to fill the pages. Sure, I can start off on a new project with my mind set on making it your average, run of the mill book. The type where the guy gets the girl and they spend their lives proving their love to one another. My project might start out this way, but something happens and my mind switches to the abnormal very, very quickly.

The idea of my characters falling in love will almost always take a drastic turn for the dangerous side of things. They’ll hit a speed bump (literally) and run into monsters or bad guys or some sort of alien that drops down from the sky to ruin everything. (There’s a little inside on what The Day The World Burns is about.)

I thrive on the stories that are so packed full of fictional adventure that I’m not sure if I’ll make it out alive or not. My head enjoys the thrill of the ride while reading and writing stores or books that get your heart pumping. The ones that keep you on the edge of your seat with action and perilous tasks that leave you wanting more. I know romance novels and coming of age stories, and other types along that line are also filled with edge of your seat words and there might be a day where I find myself sitting down to write something like that. However, at this point in my life, I just can’t do it.

I can’t do normal when normal is boring.

The Music That Moves Me

Every night as I sit at my desk and get to work on my stories and books, I plug my phone into the speakers and let the music take me to a place that sets my fingers in motion and the words flow onto the page. I’m not the only one out there that has to listen to music while they work–no matter what that work might entail. I can’t listen to classical hits or tunes from the 70s and 80s eras. Although, I do have a few Queen and Journey songs on my playlist.

What gets me motivated the most? The songs that have a good beat. Rock music, mostly, but I do have a few hipper songs on the list. However, if you go through my phone you’ll notice that the majority of songs come from my all time favorite band on the planet, Fall Out Boy. They have been my favorite since high school, so about 15 years. (Man, that makes me feel old and I’m only 29.)

But, it’s with these select songs that I’m able to get over any writing slumps that stand in my way. They help me see the story happening as I punch the keys with delicate and, sometimes, angry care. Without music, I believe the world would be a very dull and boring place. What would we have to sing badly to? What would we have to fight off the dreadful silence of the night while we sleep? How on earth would we get to work without pumping our favorite tunes as loudly as the speakers will go?

I don’t think humanity would survive without music or books or any of the creativity that drives this planet forward. It’s in the arts of all generations that makes this planet spin smoothly.

And thus ends my rant for the evening!

Free Book: Crazy For Love

I thought it was time again to do a special promotion for one of my books, Crazy For Love. It will be free starting today and going through this weekend, ending on Sunday. Go ahead and download your copy for Kindle today and leave a review with what you thought of it.

This makes a great read for anyone who enjoys a good suspenseful page turner. You’ll follow a young man on his short journey of slipping out of the clutches of a female stalker. She fell in love with him so easily, she just had to make him hers. Nothing will stand in her way of making that happen.

What if…

I’m a bit of a believer of life after death. I tend to think that there’s more to be experienced in a different life once this one is fulfilled. Being a writer with an insane imagination, my mind took that thought and came up with a what if scenario for those who are imaginative and weird like myself.

If you’re anything like me and you come spend 90% of the day daydreaming and having little stories in your head, then you’ve lived a ton of lives in your own imagination. Now, let’s say those stories and random thoughts are more than that. What if they’re actually memories from a different life on a different planet or in some sort of parallel universe? What if  you’ve already lived a dozen or so lives before this one and your soul has travelled millions upon millions of miles to get where it is today?

I don’t know about you, but I’m not exactly sure that’s a good thing. In my case, half of the stories I think of and daydream about are terrifying. I’d hate to imagine living in a world with zombies, vampires, monsters, aliens, etc. In my head, I’m the main female character. I get in trouble a lot and wind up in sticky situations. If, by some chance, my stories are actually memories (I’m doubting they are) then I’ve lived a lot of scary lives. I’ve been kidnapped, I’ve fought aliens and demons, I’ve travelled the world through hell and back just to save the one I love. It’s adventurous and wonderful, yet terrifying and exhausting to think about.

I’m sure my thoughts are nothing more than thoughts. That my dreams are simple stories created by the mind of a person who craves the abnormal parts of life. But, and this is a very bit but, if there’s any chance that they are more than just dreams and stories, I’m a little afraid to find out where my soul might head to next. I hope she’s prepared.

Crazy For Love

I just wanted to take a moment to pimp my stalker novel, Crazy For Love. My run tonight was filled with nothing but daydreams about when I came up with the idea for this one. I wanted something out of the ordinary that didn’t involve a man going after a woman, but the other way around. I thought, “How exciting would it be for my girl to just go nuts over this guy she hardly knows?” I had a lot of good nights bringing this one to life and really getting my heart pumping during the suspenseful scenes.

You can pick up your own copy–either ebook or print–at the link below. And, like always, I appreciate any review you feel to leave.

Enjoy!

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 28

Lightning took over the sky with thunderous roars erupting in their ears. The clouds weren’t threatening with rain or an oncoming storm. The wind wasn’t picking up nor were the ocean’s waves getting more intense. It was strangely calm during the bright flashes of light.

Sam continued her struggle against the tight grip of the pirate’s hand. She managed to free her right arm and dug her fingernails into the skin of his arm still clasping on. She clawed him enough to break the skin and blood began trickling down, but he still held on. She glanced to the sword fight for a short moment and her heart raced faster.

Darrick was able to block another blow coming from Flint. He held the sword with shaky hands, feeling weaker by the minute. He was short of breath and knew he wouldn’t last much longer. The gash on his arm still bled and the pain radiated through his entire body.

Flint stood strong, cracking his neck from side to side. He saw that his opponent was wavering and soon he would fall. Then he’d get the chance to make the last strike and Sam would be his forever.

He stepped closer to Darrick and took another swing which was blocked, “You’re getting tired, boy. You might as well give up and let fate take its course.”

Darrick shook his head, swung the blade wildly through the air, and said, “I’ll die before I ever give up.”

Flint laughed and stepped out of range so Darrick couldn’t hit him. Darrick sliced the air again with his sword, spinning around with his arms. Flint stepped back and Darrick missed once more, but this time Flint struck his back with the handle of the sword. Darrick cried out in pain and dropped to his knees. Flint kicked him down and the sword slipped from his grasp. Before Darrick could reach for it, another pirate kicked it away.

Flint laughed deeper and moved to stand in front of the boy, “It looks like you’ll be dying sooner than you think.”

Sam pried on the pirate’s fingers until his grip finally loosened. Before he could grab onto her again, she slammed her elbow into his gut and dashed away. She pushed through the crowd, moving away from the fight. She stole something from a fat man’s belt, he didn’t notice, and she got away.

Darrick stared at the shiny blade mere inches from his face. Sweat beaded on his forehead and he awaited what was to come. He searched the faces for Sam, only so he could see her one last time. She wasn’t there and he began to wonder where she went.

A loud whistle burst through the air, catching the attention of the pirates, including Flint. Everyone spun around and faced the cause of the noise. Sam stood on the railing of the ship, appearing strong and beautiful. She held something in her hand, pressing the barrel of it to the right side of her head.

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 24

Darrick clutched the single-shot pistol tight in his right hand. Smoke rose from the barrel and the bullet went shooting into the air. Those fighting around him fell silent and turned their attention his way. Many of the pirates aimed guns and swords at him while he stood on the railing of the ship.

Jonah stood on the deck beside him, a small dagger with a Dragon etched into the steel blade was in his left hand. His heart was pounding at the mere sight of so many weapons and he waited for one of then to pull the trigger ending his life in a single blow. He held his breath as a man stepped forward, but the shot never came.

Darrick scanned the faces of the men until he spotted the tall, lanky fellow with his meaty hands wrapped around Sam’s arms. He turned his angry glare toward him and raised the empty pistol in am ill attempt to threaten him.

“Let her go!” Darrick shouted and the pirate simply spat black tar on the wooden deck while Sam struggled in his grip.

A set of footsteps clanked on the wood and Darrick turn his attention to Sam’s look alike. She was walking toward him with a devilish grin on her porcelain face. She sheathed her sword, showing him no sign that she would hurt him.

“You are a handsome young man, aren’t you.” She spoke. “What do they call you?”

“Darrick.” His voice was shaky.

“They call me Alissa.”

“Tell him to let go of Sam.” Darrick demanded, motioning to the lanky pirate.

Alissa smile and crept closer, “Why would I want to do that? I believe I’ll throw the entire crew of this pathetic craft into the sea and keep you for myself.”

Sam struggled once more in the pirate’s grip, only making him hold on tighter. She was forced to watch as Alissa inched her body closer to Darrick.

“Come down from there,” Alissa demanded, “let me get a better look at you.”

Darrick shook his head and said, “Let Sam go.”

Alissa turned her steely eyes to Sam and sneered.

The Only One

Look at me
I sit all alone
I stare at your face
And sniff your cologne

You might not know this
But I need you to be
The only one in my life
For me to feel complete

I am obsessed with your eyes
They linger on me so
As I stand above you
Never letting you go

I need you so dearly
More than trees need the sun
More than my lungs need the air
Because you are the only one

Pirates of Hardwood

Chapter 23

Sam stared at the strange woman with awe written all over her face. It was as though the both of them were looking in mirror. Alissa’s mouth hung open as she circled around the identical stranger and she wondered who on earth the girl could be. Her eyes darted back and forth between Sam and the captain and Alissa instantly knew why the girl was aboard his ship.

“You replaced me so soon.” Alissa spoke, her eyes were staring daggers at Sam.

Flint stepped forward and was quickly held back by two of Alissa’s pirates, “You don’t understand, I thought she was you when I first saw her. I would never replace you.”

Alissa smiled and said, “Just like you didn’t replace me with those two whores three nights before I left? Or the young maiden from that little town we were meant to savage, yet you found your way into her bed?”

Flint shook his head and said, “Nothing ever happened those nights. You only saw what you wanted to see and you were begging for an excuse to leave. I have never been that kind of man.”

Alissa threw her head back and laughed, “If only I could believe you, Flint. You are nothing more than scum left here to rot in the sea. It’s a good thing I found you before my men got to ya. They would make your death far less painful than I will. First, I need to get rid of my replacement.”

The tall grotesque man holding onto Sam’s right arm squeezed his grip even tighter. She winced and was quickly dragged across the deck toward the edge of the ship where part of the railing had been broken. Her heart was pounding and she dug her feet into the wood of the deck as she begged for her life.

“Alissa please don’t do this! Your fight is with me and me only.” Flint pleaded and he managed to free himself from his guard’s grip.

Alissa quickly unsheathed her sword and pointed the blade to his throat, “You’re right, my fight is with you. That is why you will watch your beloved die, then I get to watch you die.”

Sam was dragged closer to the edge of the ship and fear was bleeding through her pores. She wasn’t the best swimmer in the world and she had nowhere to swim to out in the middle of the ocean. She tried digging her fingernails into the man’s skin, hoping he would stop moving and let go of her arm. Instead, he held on tighter and shoved her a bit more.

A lone gunshot broke through the air and caught the eyes and ears of everyone on board. Alissa pulled her sword away from Flint’s throat and stomped across the deck, searching for the source of the blast. She caught sight of a young man wielding a single shot pistol, storming across the deck with his eyes focused solely on the girl Alissa wanted to kill.