I Met You in a Dream

A poem.

I met you in a dream
I couldn’t see your face
Beneath your body glow
But I was sure it was something beautiful
Someone I’d love to know
And I met you in a dream
Yet you didn’t speak a word to me
While I ranted and spoke in some otherworldly cacophony
And I met you in a dream
You were close and I was so far away
I’m pretty sure I loved you
But you told me that it was meant for other days
And just like that –
I was awake
What was given to me was still yours to take
And in those waking moments I still had such love
That I didn’t quite know how to release
I met you in a dream
And though I remember such melancholy
You snored and rolled over
And that’s when it came to me
It wasn’t some lost soul taunting me
With love that would never be
It was always you
Sleeping in our bed
Snoring lightly next to me
I smiled and was content as I gently kissed your forehead
Last night, in a dream, I saw you –
And the very next day my dream came true!


Are you happy? – 2018

This is the third time I’ve tried writing this post.
I don’t know why I seem unable to come up with a coherent thought on this matter that I actually want to say and I don’t mind putting forth, but here it goes.

I don’t want to focus if I’m happy or not – it seems the more I think about the subject, the more unhappy I become. Call it blissful ignorance, for sure – but if I don’t seem to realize how unhappy I am with everything, I feel like I can go about my life in a bubble of sort of faux happiness.

But I’m not delusional – I take medication to make me feel okay. I start on another in a day or so to help with my anxiety. Actually, I’m taking all the same medications now except for a sleeping medication that I took back when I had my first battle with depression – with an additional medication to help with my cholesterol, because heart problems run in my family, but I digress.
I don’t have friends, except for my girlfriend. She has friends, and they associate with me through her, but ever since I graduated I don’t talk to anyone.
I don’t write anymore, as much as I’d like to. It seems like I can only write poetry when I’m going through something and I feel like all my fiction has been shit thus far.

Literally all I have the energy to do is watch YouTube, eat, and sleep. I can’t even bring myself to start a series or something because it’s too much work and commitment.

I try to talk to my girlfriend about it. I don’t like therapists and I don’t really trust in my family, so she’s the one I try to go to, but it feels like she can’t really understand it. And I find it hard to explain it. How do you explain that you feel one step out of sync with the rest of the world? That everything continues on and you’re just stuck, ski-skip-skipping.

I don’t have any suicidal thoughts – on the contrary, I am literally so afraid of dying it’s crazy. When I drive to work, or when I walk through the shady parking lot on the way back to my car, or when I go into a crowd, or when I read any news about the state of politics. Or when my grandmother tells me she’s having open heart surgery because bad hearts run in the family.
Or when I have a pain in my chest, or I can’t get enough air in my lungs, or my vision gets blurry because my headaches get worse and worse and I’m afraid of having a brain aneurysm, heart attack, and lung collapse all at once.

I’m afraid that I don’t believe in God and when I die it’ll just be another thing that I got wrong and I’ll spend eternity in pain.
I’m afraid that I’m right and when I die, that’s it, and I’ll never recall being who I am and everything I experienced and all the trouble I went through will mean nothing.
I’m afraid of pushing people away who needed to stay and keeping those who I needed to step away from.
I’m afraid of being so afraid that I don’t take any of the steps in the direction I want to take to better my life and do the things I want to achieve.

I’ll be twenty-one this year. If my girlfriend and her parents have their way, I’ll be engaged by the end of it. We’re looking at houses once our lease ends. I’m in a steady job that I hate but pays my bills and has cohesive benefits. We make enough money that I can mostly buy what I want without too much concern. My girlfriend loves me and I have no fear that it’s insincere.

On the outside things are okay. I’m doing better than I ever have been, and if seventeen year old me could look in on this and see what’s going on, he’d probably sock me in my mouth and berate me for complaining – after all, this is nearly everything I had hoped for.

But it’s never as good on the inside. I’m not the person I wanted to be. I’m scared I won’t be – scared I won’t ever have the chance to be.
The world moves on but I’m just ski-skip-skipping.

And that’s it. That’s it on one page. That’s the pain and struggles and worries I have – that I try to keep inside and not think about in the hopes that they won’t bleed through the cracks. And with everything out on one page maybe I can keep in contained – locked away in a webpage prison, separate from myself. Maybe I can will it out of my head and into the real world where I can keep it away from me.

Maybe, someday, it’ll fade away and I’ll catch up with the rest of the world and finally feel in sync.


Here’s to 2018.


I Don’t Know Why I’m Sad


If has not been made obvious yet, either through the content and themes of my poetry or the few and scattered journal-like posts, I have depression.

I’ve dealt with serious depression since I was roughly fourteen years old. I remember vividly being younger than that – perhaps around ten – and writing in my journal something along the lines of :

“I feel sad a lot for some reason. I feel depressed – not the medical kind, but I don’t feel too happy.”

Little did young me know that it was, what I had called, the ‘medical kind’ of depression. Inherited through my mother’s side, it kicked in hard when I was in my early teens and I started taking medication. My depression was a very key factor in my growing up and a factor in my personality, for better or worse. I started writing poetry and short stories as catharsis for my many sad thoughts, my lack of a social or love life, and just the constant feeling of being alone. It helped me feel better. It helped me feel like I wasn’t alone, even though I was just reading my own writing.

When I reached seventeen or so, I stopped taking my medication. I had reached a point where my depression was no long a constant roommate – always looming and poking at me and being an active part of my life. It had been relegated to a recurring character in the story of my life, hitting me in small bouts every so often through out the year, and kicking in with my Seasonal Affective Disorder in the second half of the year. But it was no longer a big part of me – and being able to function and be me without the medication was a worthwhile trade.

I was okay. Maybe not happy, because I have only felt truly happy a few times in my life – but content. And okay.

And it stayed like that for a while. About two and a half, three years. I even stopped writing poetry, for the most part. I was a changed person, and I mostly embraced it – sometimes I would worry that my depression was too much a part of me, and that something was missing in my life without it.
But ultimately, I knew that that was a ridiculous notion and I continued moving forward – and mostly had a great deal of fond memories wrapped around it. I was in the first serious relationship of my life, I had entered theatre in my junior year of high school and after trying a handful of various activities I finally felt like I found the place I belonged – I had friends. I had people who liked me. I was as happy as I felt like I could’ve been, and I didn’t want to let it go.

That’s why I ended my first relationshjp – because I felt that as I was attempting to rise above the confines of my depression that I had let define me for so long and finally become someone new in of myself, the woman I was with refused to do the same. I felt that she wanted to stay depressed and I felt like she was pulling me down with me – so I ended it after nearly two years, and I went back into my life with confidence and by god… I was actually happy. For about three months, I felt truly and completely happy – I was popular and liked and I felt attractive and wanted and talented and I fell in love with someone new who didn’t compromise my emotional growth and I. Was. Happy.

It quickly faded. I jumped out of theatre to work more hours at my job to pay the medical bill I had been given after a car wreck, and that stands as the biggest regret I have so far. I faced a lot of those little bouts of depression off and on as the year went on, and I hated how things regressed so quickly.

A couple months later, something happened and then my depression showed up on my front door with its suitcases full of sad songs and tattered clothing and anxious thoughts and reminders of my mortality.

He lives with me now, full-time, a constant companion again for the first time in years – but in those years we weren’t together, he went to the gym and ate well and came back as some sort of jacked up mother fucker who not only made me sad, but gave me more anxiety than I have ever had before – done in such a way that I am never out of their grasps. I get anxious, and it makes me depressed, then I’ll get anxious about why I’m so depressed, and it’s a vicious cycle that shows no signs of relenting.

I have many of the things that I always thought would make me happy, back in the old days of being depressed. Not all, but many of them – and yet, none of it makes me any less depressed.

I don’t know why I’m sad. Sometimes I feel sad about things that I know I’m not sad about. Sometimes I just sit and soak in a pool of black – and nothing is real to me except for the fact that I feel terrible and it’s who I am right now.
For god’s sake, I wrote a whole new poetry book in just under a year dealing with a lot of it.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to go. I don’t know what to say. Would theatre make me happy again? Would actually having some god damn friends make me happy again? I have no fucking clue. Things have passed that I thought would mark the end of my depression, but surprise! It’s still there. So for all I know, none of that would make it go away, and that’s the scary part – I just don’t know what to do.

I feel helpless. I even considered rethinking religion because I feel so damned lost, but I can’t bring myself to do it because it’s so damned ridiculous.

At the beginning of this year, I asked myself and whoever the hell reads this if I was, and if you were, happy. And here at almost the end of the year, I can say – I am not. I don’t know when I will be. I’ll ask the same question next year just to check in, but things don’t seem to hopeful.

Though I am always hoping things get better. Every day. Because no matter what I sometimes feel, I am not depression and depression doesn’t make me who I am.

Also – “The Rubble Before Us; Fleeing Dreams and Other Things” will be out sometime in the next six months, hopefully, maybe. You can read all of the poems in it on here, anyways.

Well… we’ll see.
See you next year.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 8:45 PM

Reception in the Middle of Nowhere


Is she always there
Standing over me
Watching as the seasons change
Over some sleepy, wondering sea
Across her face and beneath her eyes
Is always the same wistful gaze
Reflections floating like young waves
Crashing just to show their size
The air gets dry
As the music grows dreamy
Synth sounds and electric emotions
As my head gets heavy beneath me
Roads pass by
And signs grow far out of distance
The radio changes with the reception –
Before we hit the chorus
And I sit looking out the rearview mirror
The radio tower lights blinking at me
Like a watch tower searching for a signal
And I wonder
If I might’ve left it on the interstate
And that’s why the music sounds so abysmal
And the static that crackles is its own accusatory finger
Blaming me for not trying harder
To get it back

What’s Left of What Was Said

I sit beside the crowds of people I see everyday
Yet cannot bring myself to recognize
I don’t understand a single word they say
But Lord, how I try
Perching in the rafters above the rumble of empty words
Faces that don’t mean a thing to me
I look over the scape and I don’t understand what I’ve heard
Stuck like a piece of twine between two adjacent trees
Across it all
What matters at all
Is the fading permanence of it all
Imprints in the sand just meant to fade
Collide and walk away
Fiercely in love
With the concept of numbered days
And trying to walk back down roads already once tread
Picking up the pieces of what’s left in the dust
Picking up what’s left of what was said


Sitting in the back seats as the cameras roll
And the seasons shift
Everyone knows how to brace for the cold
But I still can’t manage to patch this rift
Sitting between us from across the vine
I can’t tell what we’re trying to repair
Where I am, I can only try to find the time
To try to see where the next blow is going to hit
To stand alone and wait for the world to forget
A world full of cotton stuffed people
Around me sits a sea of ingenue
Perching in the shadow of some forgotten steeple
How can flesh and blood relate to felt and sinew?
They know better than I what they’re trying to get
Desperately in love with what they can introspect
And what they’ll be able to forget
They all think we’re all just left for dead
Left holding the broken strings of their marionette
Left with what’s left of what was said

You and I – there isn’t any time
Before the buttons get stitched over our eyes
And we sit up in the middle of the night, alone from our separate beds –
Dreaming about what’s left of what was said

Generic Pop-Punk Love Song

Oh, if only I could play the guitar
Strum a little tune for you
If only I could sing
This wouldn’t be a poem
You’d have to read
If only I could write
An angsty anthem of the night
That I knew that I loved you
This could be some heavy
Punk rock melody
And you could sing along
To your generic pop-punk love song…

If only this began with some bass
And a kick-ass drum solo
I’d be able to start crooning about a life without you
Is a life full of woe
I could tell you that I love you
With every raging word
And yell obvious metaphors to describe how much I miss you
Like I was Mark Hoppus
And this was Blink-182

I’d hide my desire to sing awkward, nervous lyrics
Behind those heavy pounding drums
In every catchy, stupid chorus
Every song would have some long, irrevelent title
That still turns out to be irrefutably clever
Like “Being in love with you is like having a cold, and baby, I’m under the weather”
And you’d hear the song, and think “Man, that title made no sense.”
But hey, honey –
I’m no Pete Wentz

But I don’t know how
To use a whammy bar
I can’t show you
The frets on a guitar
I’m no Billy Joe –
No punk rocker, I know –
I don’t know how to serve up a killer chorus
Or sing a song to you from the bleachers
Like an impromptu movie performance
I just know that I
Never want to say goodbye
And I just want to try
for you.

But who knows if I’d have any success?
Maybe it’s just a waste of time
Perhaps I’ll just end up on the floor
Chiming in, asking for someone to shut the damn door –
I don’t want there to be any misconceptions
You really are the only exception
One might even say you’re my paramore

But I can’t play the guitar
To make a melody for you
And I don’t know how to sing a song
That can stop you from feeling blue
I just know that I love you
And I don’t want to be without you

So I don’t care if it’s a generic pop-punk love song that does the trick
I really think you and I click
Or even a bit of quirky indie rock
I love you and I won’t stop
So words to a poem
Or lyrics to a song
I hope you can still sing along
To your generic pop-punk love song

NaNoWriMo Final Update – Wrap Up and Wind Down

Hello, everyone! Welcome to December – the last month of the year is upon us, and NaNoWriMo has concluded.
I apologize for the lack of posts, but due to my actual job, the holiday, and the amount of writing I had to try to make up… I didn’t have any time to write anything besides my story.

So, this is my NaNoWriMo final update, and that calls for the question… how did I do? DID I make it?
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know, but yes! I won NaNoWriMo for the first year, clocking in at 50,043 words on the 29th.
My shirt has been ordered, and I’m breathing sighs of relief everyday. It was long, tiring, and hard work – but also exhilarating, exciting, and the kick in the ass I needed to get a story I had been planning for three years written.
It was completely worth it, every word, every day, every night spent working until the morning sun churning out page after page… I wouldn’t give it up for anything. And you can definitely count me in for NaNo 2015.

As for my story, ‘The Bright Side to the Dark Arts’, it in of itself isn’t finished. I have surpassed the 50k, but I still have approximately six-seven chapters left to write. I’m edging towards the finale, and I’m excited to see exactly how it’s going to turn out.

…But I’m taking a break, for now. I’m planning on a week or two of vacation before I buckle down and finish it up. I plan to have it completed before Christmas, edited by mid January, and passed around to a few people for test reads shortly there after. The completed book itself, if everything goes to plan, will be released in May.

Until then, though, I’ll keep everyone updated on Twitter and on Thursdays here with progress. I’ll release a proper synopsis, share some character information, and might even release the first few chapters for reading.

I’m very excited for this novel. It isn’t my first fiction story, but my first full length fiction novel. And I love the genre, and I’m enjoying this world so much, you know? It’s really a fun place to be, and to write about, and the characters are simply fantastic. I feel like they’ve taken a life of their own, I don’t even have to think anymore, just place my fingers on the keyboard and let them whisk me away.

In short… it’s going well.

So to all the other winners, I want to give them a round of applause and wish them the best with their novel. And to the ones who wrote a single word, but perhaps didn’t win… I want to give them a round of applause and wish them the best with their novel.
Whatever you wrote, it’s that much more than you had before. And it takes a lot of brains, guts, and caffeine tolerance to start a novel, let alone write it, and complete it.
If you didn’t win, just remember that the next NaNoWriMo is only a year away. If 2015 is anything like 2014, it’ll just fly by.

And that’s about it for today. Because of the weird posting date, I will be skipping my usual Tuesday post and pick back up again Thursday, and everything will continue like normal from there.
Have a good day, a good week, and I’ll talk to you on Thursday.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 1:09 AM

NaNoWriMo Week #3 – Race to the Finish Line

Another week gone by! Last week we discussed the eventual brick wall of NaNoWriMo, the writer’s block and lack of enthusiasm that was once had.

Although things haven’t picked up to the point it was at the beginning of the month, work has gotten done, writing has been accomplished, and I’m happy to announce that I have achieved the goal I set for myself last week, clocking in at the time of this post at 35, 206 words and 173 pages!
Ten days to do fifteen thousand words… I can assure you, it will be achieved!

After NaNoWriMo, the book will still be in production.  As I’ve said before, the event is to get you writing something, not necessarily the next great American novel. So once the framework is completed, the first bout of revisions and edits will take place. Making sure everything flows well, the character and plot development steady and understood, and grammatical mistakes brought down to a minimum.
After that, I’m going to release it to a test group of sorts. Men and women of different ages so I can get a glimpse into the opinions of a broad range of people.

But as of now, the writing is going well. It has been a bit scattered, I’ll admit, and it certainly hasn’t remained constant. There will be days where I don’t write at all – but usually I can come back the next day and power through a few thousand.
If everything goes according to plan, I’d like to have five thousand written collectively today and tomorrow, than on Saturday do a 10k sprint to the finish line.
Of course, plans change, and your level of determination fluctuates, but I know it can be done.

All of my characters have been (hopefully) well established, I think I’ve got a unique personality set for each of them, and a good broad range at that. Chapter after chapter, I am truly enjoying see the events unfold in front of me – although it is my fingers typing, it doesn’t my brain has caught up to the ideas. It is amazing how you can surprise yourself with your own twists!
Also, to breathe another bit of “realism” into your characters, if you own one of the Sims games, try to create your characters in the editor. It’s one thing to imagine them, but another to see them there in front of you. Although it will be more of a cartoon caricature of your character rather than your true vision, it’s a good little exercise.

Something I would like to mention before I close out, is that yesterday I came across a very nice app that may be of interest. Write-O-Meter is an app that I got for my Android phone, not sure if it is on iPhone or not, but what it does is allow you to set a daily word goal, a complete, overall word goal, and a deadline to complete it by. Then it sets a timer, (automatically set to 25 minutes but it can be adjusted), in which you have to write in. You input your daily word count, and it motivates you to keep moving forward, with quotes from other writers and artists, a little reward system which I found rather arbitrary  and ignored for the most part, and plus it’s rather rewarding to keep track of your daily writing and see the word count grow.

The 30th is approaching quicker and quicker, and pretty soon we’ll blink and it’ll be here. It’s time to get cracking, buckle down and write faster than we have before. I believe today was the day to start validating your novel and win, so let that be your inspiration to get it down.
Good luck to all who are still writing as hard as they can, congratulations to all the current winners, and I hope to see everyone on the other side!

See you Thursday.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 3:04 PM

NaNoWriMo Week #2 – Playing Through the Pain

Here we are again, Thursday and another NaNoWriMo update! We’re a little under halfway through – and it’s going well. Things are progressing at a decent rate, ideas are flowing if only at a trickle, and things are getting done.

As of now, my story The Bright Side to the Dark Arts is at 24, 313 words out of the 50k, and I’m at 97 pages. It’s by no means close to being finished, but I think my protagonist has been established well, I think my universe is being thoroughly explained, and I’ve introduced the main villains of the story. The story is doing well, but I’ve started to hit the one thing all NaNoWriMo participants know all too well:

The brick wall.

Excitement is running thin. The great big burst of energy you had at the beginning has depleted. Your ideas are either out, or you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.
This happened to me this week. While I’m above the average word count at the moment, there are some days were I don’t write at all and that’s a problem.

Like I mentioned last week, this is really about quantity over quality. The quality control comes later, as of right now we just need to type words onto a document as fast as we can.
That doesn’t mean do whatever you can to make it good – it just means don’t try to stop and fix whatever you think has gone wrong. Go with the flow, write continuously and see where it takes you. After the event, if you still don’t like it you can make the necessary changes… just don’t let it slow you down during November.

But despite the extra effort it has started to take me to sit down and begin to write, I play through the pain. I need to finish this story, for myself, for NaNoWriMo, for the future of my writing career. Writers have one job: To write, and if I can’t do that then I’m kinda out of luck.
So I throw down words, and I come up with ideas from the top of my head, and I take the story places I didn’t think of going five minutes ago.

I give myself an amount of words, and I refuse myself sleep until I get that far. It may seem drastic, but desperate times call for despite measures, eh?
It may get harder by the day. As the hours fly by, as the days fall away, and as the weeks pass… you may grow more and more apathetic to the event.
I implore you to not let that happen. Write something brilliant. Re-find the magic that the story had a week ago. Find a way to fall back in love with your characters.
Remind yourself why you committed this in the first place. Remind yourself who you’re doing it for. And let that be the only thing that matters.

And if making actual additions to your story just isn’t working out, then get a sheet of paper, a pencil, and do some chapter plotting. Think of a couple ideas, make some plans, and see if you can turn that into some feasible later on. I know that chapter plotting and outlines can help me immensely in a down period of writing.

But one last tip… whatever you do, DON’T try to work on another story. This is the month to create one story, and immerse yourself in that world. If you try to go away from that, it’ll be even harder when you return. Let yourself be engulfed by that chosen universe, and make it as substantial and realistic as you can. It’s your world, you are the creator, so go do something great.

I’ll be back next Thursday for another update. My goal for next week? Hit 35k by the next update. If I can do that, everything will be great, and I think that it’s possible.
For more frequent updates, you can follow me at https://twitter.com/ThePlebianSheep.

Have a great day, a great week, and keep on writing!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 2:32 PM

NaNoWriMo Week #1 – Quantity over Quality

Welcome to my first NaNoWriMo update! I plan on doing these once a week, usually on a Thursday, all way until the end of the month. Which means we’ll have four writing updates, and one final wrap-up on either the 30th of this month, or the 1st of the next.

So far, this first week has gone by brilliantly! This event truly gives me the inspiration to get a novel I’ve wanted done for a long time written and done. Before, I’d write here or there, but without much consistency or luck. I’ve been taught that as writers, our job is to simply write – and as of right now, that’s it.

I tend to be a perfectionists with somethings. Not everything, but especially things that I’ve had my hand in majorly, I’d like it to be as perfect as possible. And usually, if that means writing a couple of really good…sentences, rather than a few decent to mediocre pages, I usually go for it.
At NaNoWriMo, the goal isn’t for you to write the next great American novel, it is simply to get you to write. And everyday as I plow through a couple thousand words, I make sure to keep this in mind. If I want to go back after the event and tweak and edit and revise… that’s perfectly fine. Nothing is stopping me from making revisions to create a better and smoother story later on, NaNoWriMo is here to get you writing, to get that foundation set up. And as a long time procrastinator, and I’ll tell you… I’ll procrastinate with anything. Oh, I need to do laundry so I won’t be naked tomorrow? I’ll get it done in a couple of hours. Oh, I want to play some of that video game that I just bought? Eh, it’ll be there tomorrow.

NaNoWriMo is really helping me to get off my ass and get writing. Because what good is having any vague talent of anything if you don’t use it?

As of right now, my story, entitled ‘The Bright Side to the Dark Arts’, has reached 15,884 words. On the sixth of the month, I think that’s pretty good. There is five sets of six days within the thirty-day month, and if I could replicate the success of these past view days within those… I would certainly be on the right track.
I’m already exceeding the ‘recommended’ word count the NaNoWriMo site gives you, but I don’t remember one person who hasn’t. Every thousand words written feel like a reward, and I’m excited for the rest of the month.
As I go on, it gets easier to forget about a section that might be a little lackluster at the moment and just keep writing. Because this event is about word count, the contents of your novel, at least right now, don’t matter as much. It’s a tough thing to learn just for this event, because anyone you’ve ever met tells you differently. And though they’re usually right, I find a quality short story to be eons better than a crap four hundred page story, just being able to write… to put pencil to paper, or in our case fingers to keyboard, matters a whole hell of a lot more at the moment. Because, if you don’t start to write, no matter how bad… then I can guarantee you, you’ll never get better.

It’s been early mornings and long nights, and I’m sure the further we delve into the month, the pots of coffee will increase as much as the hours of sleep will decrease.
And I’m looking forward to every day of it.

But before we end, I just wanted to a little update on my novel outside of the event. I’ve had ‘The Bright Side to the Dark Arts’ planned out for a long time. It in fact was spawned through a story I had written in the eighth grade about a different character, but the same sort of urban fantasy setting. I’ve had character sheets and plot notes scattered around for a few years, but besides some tinkering that later got thrown in the trash, I’ve never taken the time to sit down and write it. NaNoWriMo has gotten me excited for my story again, and with all luck… after editing, I hope to have it out in May 2015 as my first fiction novel!
I am going to have more information on it as time goes by, synopsis, characters, and probably even a few chapters posted later this year.

So NaNoWriMo is going great, and the first week has definitely worked out. I’m excited for the days to come, and I’ll see you on Sunday for something not writing related.

Happy writing, everyone!

And that’s all I have to say about that.

– Brandon, 12:34 PM