Farewell Daylight Savings Time 2018

I didn’t realize today was Daylight Savings Time until I saw it on a friend’s Facebook post. That’s how I knew. I woke up this morning none-the-wiser and I found that terribly sad.


When I was a kid, Day Light Savings time involved planning, coordination and the participation of the entire household.

First, someone had to *remember* that it either the start or the end of Daylight Savings Time and make sure that everyone remembered. Then everyone was assigned to the clocks in a given room: Kitchen, living room, den, bathroom, bedrooms. etc.

My favorite room was the kitchen because I got to stand on a chair to twist the spindly knobs on the stove. It was special handling you see. No buttons to push or hold down until the correct digitalized number appeared. the stove clock required delicate, patient fingers that would stop two pips before the quarter-hour.

The Grackle Feather

I found a grackle feather the other day.

I stepped out of the restaurant because I was feeling ornery and irascible and there it was lying on the ground all black and smooth. I think the vane was pointing at me, but I don’t remember. It was intriguing though–black with a subtle brilliance; smooth barbs, subtle glossy shading.  I picked it up and put it in my car.

I didn’t realize it was a grackle feather until I got home and looked it up. a 5-inch tail feather from a female grackle.  It was a wise omen.  My energies are too scattered and I am very frustrated. I feel like I am awkwardly spinning plates.


Yes  I know I haven’t written in a while.  But now I have something to say.

While I haven’t published anything major yet, writing is my passion and my life. It is what I am. Non-writers will never understand the compulsion to write. I have invested thousands of hours into my craft, with no guarantee of pay off. Tracking word count, the guilt on the days you don’t hit word-count. Spending two hours on one sentence. So much effort and investment but its all behind the scenes.

But here are the facts.  Just cause you don’t see a stack of publications with my byline doesn’t mean I’m not writing. I’m working on my shit cause I want it to be right.

Temple of the Free (Prince Dream #6)

December 29, 2017

I was walking up the street in what looked like our old neighborhood in Monrovia, California with a woman who looked Asian or South American. She had light brown skin, almond-shaped eyes, and straight black hair. She walked beside me quietly, hands clasped behind her back, rather pensively. She was a slender woman, just a few inches taller than me, wearing a white top with small flowers outlined in gray, a green cardigan, and slacks.

As we were walking, this neon pink body board flew out of the sky and hit her on the head. It came out of nowhere! She wasn’t hurt, just stunned. She still didn’t make a sound—just looked around with her hand on her head to see if it was raining surfboards.

Turns out some kids were messing around, catapulting the plastic board down the block on a giant slingshot type device made from crates and other scavenged materials. They came running down the street to retrieve their board, laughing and cheering about how far it flew that time. There are about five of them between the ages of seven and ten.

It was a summer day. The boys were so full of excitement and joy—it was beautiful. I couldn’t fully appreciate their joy in that moment because I was furious! I railed at them for their irresponsibility. I said my friend could have been seriously hurt. I demanded to know where they lived so that I could tell their parents. The boys agreed to take us to their home—with no hesitation actually—so we continued walking up the hill as a group.

We arrived at a traditional Japanese-style house on a hill overlooking a large body of water. It was a simple dark brown house with rice-paper sliding doors and a covered porch around the left side of the house. It had a teak walkway. The back part of the house was on pillars going into the water. It was quite serene.

There were three or four long lines of people standing in the front yard waiting to get in. The grass gradually gave way to paving stones surrounded by blue-green moss and small puddles, then rocks and water. It was almost like a moat. We took our place in line, although I was surprised that we had to wait since the kids lived there.

As we got closer to the house, the stepping-stones became uneven, slippery rocks that swayed in the surrounding water. I was so afraid of falling into the water; it took all my effort to just keep my balance. There was an “unseen” man who helped us navigate each stone. He was never visible; just a reassuring arm across the back guiding us along the path. I can still feel him pressed against my right shoulder. It was like being held by my mom when I was scared.

Anyway, we went in as a group, me and the five boys. I think the other lady was there as well, but I don’t quite remember. Inside it was like a regular old house with plaster walls and brown carpet. It reminded me of our house in Mount Washington, CA. There were people everywhere! We walked through a few rooms full of art and music and books. The house was a bit messy. It wasn’t disgusting or anything. it just looked like you could be really comfortable there.

We were guided through two rooms and a hallway by one of the “unseen” men to an interior room where Prince was sitting on a small black leather couch reading the newspaper. It was spread out all around him. He leaned against a couple of pillows. His left leg was bent on the sofa and his right leg was on the floor. He didn’t have on glasses. His hair was cut in a tapered pixie bob with long sideburns or side bangs? (I don’t know what those things are called).  He was wearing a kurta, a long white linen shirt from India, with collar embellishment and matching pants. His pants had long slits up the side so that his legs were free. He was barefoot.

It was a small room, ideal for thinking and creation. There were books stacked on a desk, art on the walls. Papers were everywhere. The windows were high and provided great light but no distracting views. I didn’t see a piano or other instruments, which was surprising. There were about seven people in the room with Prince but he wasn’t talking to them. They were socializing, eating, and admiring the wall art, before exiting through an exit door in a small hallway just passed the sofa.

The boys ran over to say hello to Prince. He closed his paper, chatted with them for a minute, then he asked me if I’d like to sit down. Oddly enough though, he didn’t move his foot so it was touching the small of my back as I sat. I tried to move closer to the left arm of the small sofa, which was now swarming with little boys, but it was no use. I couldn’t get away from that foot.

I hate feet.  I don’t like looking at them and I certainly don’t want them touching me. But what could I do? It was Prince. I couldn’t ask him to ‘move his nasty foot’ or be all extra and push his foot out of my way.  So I sat there stewing in my discomfort. I will say, though, that Prince’s leg was surprisingly smooth, for such a hairy man.  And for some reason, I remember him wearing a gold ankle bracelet.

We never did talk about the incident with the body board. Instead, we talked about music, games, and anything that popped into their young minds. One of the boys started singing.  When I asked the name of the song, they looked at me like I had farted.  Turns out it was a Prince song. I was mortified (not that I know all his songs—I don’t. But hey, dream rules are different.)  They all laughed, then the boys went off the play in another room and I got up to look at the art on the wall.  I was about to make my way through the exit door like the others when Prince called me over.

He said my name, ‘Eryka.’ I heard it as clear as day. My heart stopped. Prince has said things in my dreams, but he has never said my name before. If I had died in that moment, that would have been just fine with me. I went back to the sofa and sat down next to him.  He was sitting half-lotus and I was sitting side-saddle, so we were facing each other.

Prince handed me a book and asked me if I’d read. I hadn’t. It was a small white paperback with black, gray, gold and a bit of green on the cover. The title was rendered in bold black letters. I’ve racked my brain but I just don’t remember the name of that book.

Prince took some change out of his pocket: seven pennies, an old dime, and a nickel and put it into my hand. He took back the nickel and asked me what did I have for him. I rummage through my purse (where my purse came from I will never know) and I found a quarter and I gave that to him. Prince gave me the book, which I put it in my bag. I sat there for a minute looking at him. I think I was expecting words of wisdom, directions or something, but he just smiled at me and went back to reading his paper. I took that as my cue to leave.

I didn’t leave through the exit door like the others. I went back through the house and out the front door. The unseen man helped me across the rocks and water again. The lines of people were all gone as was my friend. The children stayed with Prince.



©2018 Joy of Eryka

Day 1 Challenge Results…

So…I went at the Challenge with gusto and fury or at least I thought so.  I canceled my plans and worked for nearly three hours on a piece I had been trying finish for a week. Well, I finished that piece and I am so proud of the work!


My word count was only 485! I was soooo disappointed.

Strategy: Just Write!

So, today my strategy is to focus on adding content to my languishing novella. In this morning’s email, Joe Bunting said we should just write and forget perfection–no perfect words, sentences, paragraphs.  I’m just getting words on the page.

Let’s see how this works tonight.


Challenge Accepted!

I signed up for The Write Practice 7-day Writing Challenge, in which the goal is to write  1,000 words a day for 7 days. I feel confident I can complete this challenge because it is shorter. Longer challenges like Nanowrimo overwhelm me to the point of paralysis, but I can manage writing 1,000 words in 7 days. I mean, the average woman says about 20,000 words per day–and I talk way more than average– so this is totally doable.

My goal is to write one blog post per day and finish one of my many works in progress–with a specific emphasis on finishing my essay, Salvage. My hope is that this Challenge will help me focus my writing energy to finish a single WIP rather than having my fingers in several pies at once. So this should be exciting.



Who Got the Keys? (Prince Dream #5)

Image Created by Iconasys Shutter StreamDecember 6, 2017

Last night I dreamed of Prince again. It was an overcast day. I was milling about in a crowd at a craft fair, looking at items on a folding table. I heard a noise and turned just as Prince appeared in the crowd. This was young Prince with the bouncy, feathered hair. He was wearing a too-tight gold spandex shirt and a pair of green shorts. He walked up to a middle-aged white woman and held out a set of old iron keys on a heavy cast-iron key ring. He was looking at me with a big cheesy grin and he handed them over. The woman was surprised and rather uncomfortable by the gesture and didn’t know what to do with the keys. She blushed and shared an embarrassing look with her friend.

But I was livid. How he gon show up in my dream to give something to somebody else!? I started to object, but I woke up before I could open my mouth.

The Dye Job (Prince Dream #3)

February 6, 2017

Last night I dreamed of Prince again. It wasn’t an elaborate dream like the spaceship, just Prince hanging out with me. We were lying on the couch listening to music. It was soft jazz music, I think. I was lying almost on top of Prince and he had his arm was wrapped around my shoulder.  My heart was aching. I was lonely and I felt worthless. My head was resting on his chest just under his chin. He was so warm. I told him I missed and he held me tighter.

I was crying but tried to catch my tears before they fell on his white suit. It was an immaculately cut suit, made from a wool that was simultaneously warm and cool.  His hair was relaxed and cut in a shoulder-length bob with face-framing bangs. He was wearing a handmade white beret in a snowflake pattern. It was made with silk/wool lace-weight thread using a “00” crochet hook. The work was so fine that it draped like woven cloth; only a true master could achieve this effect.  I want to say beret glowed, but that would be hyperbole. It was radiant that’s for sure.

“I feel like a failure,” I said.

Prince squeezed my shoulder again and said: “You’ll feel better if you do something to your hair.”

Next, the dream flashed to a kitchen with dark wood cabinets and mustard yellow floors.


burgandy hair

I don’t know whose house we were in–it wasn’t mine. Prince was standing next to the open refrigerator holding a highball glass of dark red liquid. He was about to drink it and I tell him to stop because it’s toxic.


He says “then why are you putting it in your hair.”

And somehow (you know how dreams work) I could see myself standing at the sink with a blue towel draped around my neck and a burgundy afro on my head.  It looked ridiculous! Prince laughed and I woke up.




©2018 Joy of Eryka

Prince Bearing Gifts… (Prince Dream #2)

January 2, 2017

Before I went to sleep last night, I prayed, well I asked Prince, Octavia, God, Yemoja anyone to help me with my writing—to help me see a story through to completion.

Well! Last night I had another Prince dream. He was wearing all white suit with a white cashmere trench coat and I was in red robe and pajamas. Prince was bearing gifts: a big handful of them. We were in a 1980’s ranch-style house with lots of dark wood and tiles and a sunken living room. It wasn’t a house I’d ever lived in, but in the dream, it was my home.

He was sitting on the sofa and I was on the floor surrounded by gifts. They were wrapped in beautiful paper with elaborate bows and what not. I didn’t open them all, but I do remember one was a box of chocolate.  We chatted for a few minutes eating candy, then Prince got up to leave.

As he was adjusting the collar of his coat, he said: “You know this means I’m done with you, right?” I protested of course.

“When people ask me for gifts, I give it to them; then I’m done with them because they just want something from me.” He said walking toward the door.

I tried to give the gifts back but he wouldn’t take them. I ran outside after him, begging him to come back and visit again, be he just popped his collar and got back into his RV.

It was also white and kinda rusty, which is surprising for an immaculate brotha like Prince.  I banged on the door, wailing for him to come back inside for just a few more minutes. Finally, he let me into the RV.

It was an absolute mess! He said I could clean up for him—which I did, gladly.

We started down the road. Prince was driving and singing, I don’t remember the song, I just remember being amused at seeing him handling the large steering wheel. The collar of his white coat still popped to perfection. I was washing dishes.

Then I heard a toilet flush. This middle-aged white man came out of the bathroom. He was balding with that ring hair around his head. He had watery blue eyes and a weather-worn face. His name was Earl I think. He was wearing a red and black checked shirt and jeans. He looked like a farmer. Earl looked at me and said. “He let you on too?”  He had a befuddled smile on his face. I was going to ask him where were we going, but I woke up.




©2018 Joy of Eryka


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