1. cherishamari


    Deep within the woods in Vanderbilt lies a retreat center known as Song of the Morning. I first heard of it from Paula, one of my coworkers, & have longed to visit it for several years. This past weekend they hosted a retreat called “Happiness Is” which seemed like a good fit – & it exceeded my hopes & expectations. I was originally going...
  2. cherishamari

    My spiral staircase

    “We are not going in circles, we are going upwards. The path is a spiral; we have already climbed many steps.” Hermann Hesse In some important ways, my life has unexpectedly taken a path that leaves me with a sensation that I’ve traveled full circle. I don’t view this as inherently negative or positive, & I hope that my life will continue to unfold...
  3. cherishamari


    Hi, I’m Jessa, certified organizer, interior designer, & the founder of Serentopia! Deep inhale…& deep exhale. Attempting to create & maintain your ideal home environment can sometimes feel lonely & stressful. With the demands of modern day life, it’s highly unlikely that you have hour upon free hour to devote to the cause – even though deep down you know it’s important to you....
  4. cherishamari


    This website is intended to be a safe place. Please feel free to utilize this space to provide advice, support, personal antidotes, words of affirmation, as well as compassion for fellow users. Positive Vibes Only, is intended to be used to empower not just those searching for words of affirmation but also those that provide these quotes …

    Continue reading "ABOUT"

  5. cmartin5

    August & September Update

    August: Bronchitis in Bolivia Oh August, thank you for welcoming me into this month with a nice dose of Bronchitis. What I thought was just a small cough and sore throat at the start of the month quickly developed into what I later found out […]
  6. cmartin5

    Copacabana and Lake Titicaca

    Bolivia has a lot of different holidays that we usually get work off for. One of these such holidays was on the 17th of July and had the day off. Because of this, my gringa coworkers thought it would be fun to take all of […]
  7. cmartin5

    July Update

    This month has been an amazing and exciting time of learning, adjusting, and exploring. I’ve felt so cared for by my new coworkers and fast friends I’ve made here already. I’m still in shock that this gets to be my life; living and working in […]
  8. cmartin5

    My Go Fund Me!

    My fundraising profile is now up and ready to view! I will have it linked below and there is more information there about what the money will be used for and what I will be doing for my job in Bolivia. Please leave comments or […]
  9. cmartin5

    What is this blog?

    Hello and welcome to the beginning of my adventure of blogging about my life for the next year! As many of you may know (since you are most likely family and friends wanting to follow my journey), in July I will be moving to La […]
  10. silverember


    Something creepy I wrote for Halloween and totally forgot to post!

    Since I'm between writing projects now, I may explore some new stuff for a minute. That is, if Diana's As-Yet-Unnamed Fantasy Novel Volume Deux doesn't forcibly crawl out of my head.


    I jam the key in the lock and jiggle it. It always sticks when the weather turns cold. Tonight it's raining, big, fat angry drops. My hair is wet, my socks are fucking wet, it's all bad. I want a drink. I consider the potential consequences of having just one. And if that one feels good, maybe two. Two wouldn't be so bad.
    The lock gives way and I decide maybe I don't need to open that stale bottle of white wine in the fridge. Not today. Save it for—I laugh to myself—a rainy day.
    The door opens with a whisper against my tiny apartment's shitty carpet. I traipse inside, sure I'm tracking mud but too cold and wet to worry. I kick the door shut and flick the light switch, but nothing happens.
    “Fuck, the god damn power bill,” I say to no one, stooping to take off my boots.
    It would be nice to have a roommate to yell at about this. This one's all me. Stupid Emily, can't pay her god damned electric bill on time. Stupid Emily, who gets her power shut off, misses the bus, loses her job.
    My heart sinks. If my math is right, I should have a little over $600 in my account. That won't even see me through the month.
    I could call Arthur and see about picking up a few shifts at the club. Maybe I'll do that. Tomorrow.
    Tucking my boots next to the door, I stand and squint around my dim apartment.
    I'm not alone.
    It's lounging next to my half-shuttered window. It tosses something in the air, and as it catches the scant street light that's filtering in, my heart stops. A sickly orange pill bottle. And as it catches the bottle in a clawed hand, I miss the rattle of pills that should follow.
    “No, no, no,” I say, clutching at my scarf, pulling it over my mouth and blowing my suddenly ragged breath into the scratchy knit.
    My phone rings. The thing disappears. Trembling, I shove half-frozen fingers into my tiny girl pockets and pinch my screaming phone, delicately pulling it to freedom. Trembling, I look at the screen.
    Private number.
    “H-” I clear my throat and try again, “Hello?”
    “Emily,” Arthur's smooth baritone crackles through the speaker.
    “Yeah,” I say, eyes groping over every inch of my living room and kitchen.
    “I heard about Orchid.”
    There's still that wine in the fridge.
    “Yeah,” I say again, impotent and suddenly exhausted, “Yeah, it was some shit.”
    There's a pause, and I know—in that moment, I know with absolute certainty—that Arthur hates me. He's calling because he has to. Because it would be cruel to ignore his schizophrenic ex-fiancee in her time of crisis. That Facebook status update was a bad choice. I should delete it right now.
    “Are you alright?”
    And the way he says it, there's disdain. Thinly-veiled, but disdain nonetheless.
    He goes on, “I know how much that job meant to you, Em. I'm really sorry. Want to pop by the Spot and talk about it? I'm here for another couple of hours.”
    I don't want his pity, so I say, “No thanks.”
    And before he can embarrass either of us any further, I press my finger to the merciful red button on the screen and end the call.
    I go to the fridge and retrieve the wine from its black, silent depths. I grope for the wine cork in the back of the silverware drawer. I pop the screw out and prepare to plunge it into the cork when I hear something breathing. Something right behind me, drawing rattling breaths and pushing them into my right ear. The hair rises on the back of my neck and I think about screaming.
    But I swallow it. I remind myself that it's not real. That I just lapsed by—what, a day? Maybe two? I force myself to take a deep breath.
    One cold finger caresses my jaw. Without thinking, I pivot, swinging the corkscrew in a wide arc, and when my feeble weapon connects with nothing but air, I overbalance. Suddenly, I'm on the floor and the corkscrew is sticking out of my arm at a sick angle. Swearing, I twist the offending thing out of my skin and wince as blood gushes from the hole.
    I rush to the bathroom, wishing I had power, using my cell phone's over-bright, sterile flashlight to make sure I don't bark my shin on the coffee table or do some other dumbass thing to hurt myself. In the bathroom, I wash the wound in the sink, then open the medicine cabinet looking for a band-aid. A big one, or maybe some gauze.
    There, in the cabinet, is a half-full bottle of pills. Incredulous, I pick it up and examine the label.
    Seroquel XR
    400mg Once Daily
    I shake the bottle like a maraca, relief flooding my limbs. Placing my phone face-down on the dingy counter, I let it spill light onto the molding ceiling. Looking up at myself in the mirror, I look like I'm ready to tell ghost stories at a slumber party, the way the shadows pool on my face.
    It's behind me.
    Steeling myself, I want to say something brave to it.
    Its hairy black face is broken only by two huge, bulging, spherical red eyes. The fur parts to reveal two rows of shark-like-teeth. It isn't quite smiling.
    My phone rings again and I jump.
    When I look back up in the mirror, it's gone. I'm sweating and cold. And I'm bleeding god damned everywhere, fuck. Groping for my phone, I silence it and turn on the faucet, rinsing the hot, tacky blood.
    “Emmmmmmilyyyyyyy,” a voice hisses from the speaker. No crackle this time.
    “Fuck, fuck, fuck, no,” I say, hurrying myself, bandaging my arm. Hands trembling, I reach for the pill bottle. It's empty again. Picking it up, I shake it incredulously.
    “Stupid, pitiful Emily,” the voice says. “You let your prescription lapse.”
    “No,” I say numbly, clutching the bottle to my chest like a rosary. It rattles again. Laughter busts out of the speakers, bright and loud like fireworks.
    “What the fuck,” I whisper, staring at the full bottle.
    “Do you think anyone will miss her?” Came another voice.
    More laughter, and a click. A dial tone fills the tiny space.
    I pop the top off of the bottle and swallow two pills before they can disappear again. They're bitter on my tongue, hard in my throat. Swiping the phone, I unlock the screen and check the call log. The last one was outgoing, to my mother.
    I want to sleep. I want to warm up, and get in bed, and shut out this episode. I march into the kitchen and nearly impale my foot on the corkscrew. Rinsing it in the sink, I twist it into the old cork and sigh as it frees itself with a pop. I take a long pull from the wine and make my way back to the bathroom, grateful for my phone's flashlight.
    Luck is with me as I turn the knob for hot. I let the bath fill up, strip down, and ease myself into the scalding water. I drink more wine.
    It's back in the doorway, staring, but I'm warm and starting to get a little buzz, so I give it the finger. It slowly reveals its teeth again. I keep the wine bottle in one hand, and take another long pull.
    “I've never seen you before,” I muse, surprised to feel my tongue slip over the “s”. A wine glass would have been a good choice. I've lost track of how much I've had. No matter. I'll have a bear of a hangover tomorrow, but at least tonight I'll have oblivion.
    Its teeth part, and in a whispery voice it says, “Oblivion.”
    In spite of the cloying heat, my skin breaks out in gooseflesh. I babble, desperate to normalize this. “What's funny is if some monster ever did come traipsing in here, I'd never know the difference. . . Usually, it's the ah—just the voice. It sounds like a more sinister version of that actress I hate.” I shake my head, “But you—you're something.”
    It takes a step, then another, and suddenly it's on the bath mat. If I reach out, I could touch it. That is, if it were there at all. Instead, I lean back and hold the near empty bottle out to it, eyebrows raised. It takes the bottle, or maybe I drop it. I'm pretty drunk.
    My phone rings again, like an old fashioned rotary.
    It turns my phone over and hits the button. Suddenly my mom's voice is everywhere, “Emily. Emily? Emily!”
    Then the actress—the one that I hate, she's in the background with her usual talk, like my mom has the phone on speaker. She does that a lot when she calls—she'll be cooking or something. I hear her clattering around. That makes sense.
    “Emily, I'm worried,” mom carries on. “Arthur called me. You haven't been yourself, you-”
    Mom drones on. I drift in and out. Her words shift from worry about me, to talk about California, the election. She's thinking about getting a dog.
    It stares at the phone as my mother talks. Shifting, it holds its hand straight out, dropping the phone into my cooling bath water. Its teeth part, mouth is hanging wide open, and its voice is that stagnant dial tone.
    Its bulging eyes are on me. It leans down, and down, and down. I realize it's been a while since I've taken a breath. Its hands are on my neck, water is in my lungs. It's grinning now, really grinning.

    The last thing I see is teeth.
  11. silverember

    I Wrote a Book Once

    On November 30th, 2015, I finished the first draft of my book.It was a hot fucking mess.On January 2nd, 2016, I finished my first run of edits on aforementioned book. That run of edits included a near-total re-write of the first half of the manuscript,...
  12. silverember

    We are WAY Overthinking This

    It's gotten to the point where my work neighbor asks me how my book is coming along on Monday mornings. Because she knows that I've spent hours of my weekend staring at a screen and resisting the urge to scream and tear my hair out editing the damn thi...
  13. silverember

    Hey Ho, Let’s Go!

    Looking back at the first draft like...

    I want to say I'm moving at a snail's pace with this book editing, but I have to give myself some credit. I've completely rewritten the beginning, up through Chapter 13. Being that I started sometime in January, that's a little less than two chapters a month (written in my spare time, which is whittled down from work and other general adulting, sleeping/resting and socializing. SO THERE'S THAT.)

    Skateboard and Belch very quietly moved away, giving me even less to write about when I DO feel like I can ignore the novel writing/editing duty that weighs on my conscience every. Single. Day. That said, I'm glad this silly blo gis here, giving me a space to come dump whatever writing I do that isn't book related.

    Great segue, right? I wrote this short piece back in February from a prompt. Looking back at it some time later, I'm intrigued by this character and thinking I might want to take NaNoWriMo this year to write more about her. Even though I really should be starting in on Book 2 the second Book 1 is finished, but SHHHhhhhhh....


    I turn the knob up until I can't hear the car engine's exhausted whine. Until I can't hear the rattling frame. Until I can't hear myself think anymore.
    One hand on the wheel, I fish in my purse for a cigarette. Not a cigarette. A cloves cigarette, because I can't even smoke right. Fumbling with the car's electric lighter, I finally get the thing lit, take a drag, roll the window down, and turn the music up louder. It doesn't even sound like music anymore, just a clash of noise ricocheting out of my shitty old speakers. But the baseline is there, and it thumps along like a heart attack.
    Leaning my head back against the seat, I scan the coastline, black in the velvet dark. The ocean is a glimmering blanket under the full moon. I take a long drag and flick ash out the window like a pro. I smoke and drive. Drive and look. Look and smoke. I finish the cigarette and toss the butt out the window like a real asshole. The music keeps up, and everything that ever bothered me is gone. Gone, or racing to keep up.
    Taking a hard turn, I squint as some dickhead rounds the corner with his high beams on blast. Lexus. Figures.
    I flip him off, disappointed that he can't see me.
    The song changes, and it's something I hate. I grope for my phone, pull it into my hand, unlock it, click through the app. I go back to the song I want and hit “Repeat”. I look up just in time to see the end of the road, the rusted guardrail.
    The rocky water races up to greet me. I want to panic. The music keeps going, oblivious to our impending doom. I wonder if it might somehow keep playing after I'm dead; if the car is left half out of the water, stuck up on some craggy rock. My obituary will read, She was found dead with “Blitzkrieg Bop” playing on loop on her outdated iPhone and a half-smoked pack of cloves cigarettes in her purse. It's probably for the best that this happened.
    I laugh.
  14. silverember

    There Will Always Be Summer.

    My cells will always remember summer as it was, before summer vacations vanished. The freedom, unadulterated time to write, and play, and reminisce, and look forward. Because of the interruption of daily life, they stand out as so much more special tha...
  15. kmgeckle

    Closing The Door On Junior Year

    Well, the semester has come and gone, and with that has brought some different changes to my digital footprint. For the most part, my social media has stayed the same. I mostly contribute to Facebook and Instagram. I’ve really focused on putting...
  16. silverember

    Bad Poem Blues

    When I was younger, I would get the urge to write poems when I had particularly strong feelings about things.I'm proud to say that I can now successfully suppress that urge.Believe me, nobody wants to read the poetry I crank out when I'm actually feeli...
  17. kmgeckle

    A-R-M Reflection

    Working on the A-R-M module has been pretty cool! I’ve had fun expanding my knowledge on remixes and mashups, and making my own! Although I had worked with the two a decent amount during my DS106 class last semester, there was...
  18. kmgeckle

    Mashing Things

    As I mentioned in a post before, I took DS106 last semester. We focused on remixes and mashups a lot. I had worked on one particular project, mashing two songs together. I chose “Follow Me” by Uncle Kracker, which has...
  19. kmgeckle

    Doing Some Research

    Here’s some of the research I’ve found on both remixes and mashups! Remixes: a piece of media which has been altered from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item. only characteristic of a remix is that...
  20. kmgeckle

    Choosing A-R-M

    I was definitely pretty interested when I saw this module was available. Last semester, I took DS106, and in this class we did a lot of hands on experiments with remixes and mashups. Every time I worked with one I always...
  21. kmgeckle

    Responding to Neuromancer

    While reading Neuromancer, I found myself interested in the direction that Gibson took the concept of “self”. In general, I’ve always thought the idea of a sense of self is what you do with the life that is given to you,...

UMW Spring 2024 (Bond & Groom)

Welcome to Paul Bond and Jim Groom’s Spring 2024 ds106

Student Blogs

(9 posts)

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