Surviving Red Part 2

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well. Sorry that I didn’t post last week. God has really been moving in my life. He has been leading me in a different direction that I feel I need to be. I feel very good about how everything is working out so far.

I’ve been receiving some good feedback about my Surviving Red snippet. So this week I am going to give you all another snippet. I hope you all really enjoy it.

 

Jade stood a few blocks away from the hospital—the emergency entrance in sight. She was scoping the place out to see what their security was like. How often did the police make a patrol? Did they run your name before or after they took care of you? These were just some of the things she needed to know before she did what she had to do. Unfortunately, she didn’t know how the staff operated inside. It was a huge risk to take. She had to take it or die.

She made her way to the emergency entrance. Each step was getting harder and harder for her to take. Her breaths were getting shorter. The stress of entering the hospital was making it harder. It was now or never. She would figure something out once inside. She always did.

The hospital was quite like they always are. Back when everything was normal, there were people in and out of the hospital. Busy for those who worked there. Now hospitals were a dead zone for the living. Hardly anyone went in for medical emergencies anymore.

As things deteriorated, medical care and equipment became rare and expensive. The government still had little control over people and implemented a law regarding treatment compensation: no payment, no treatment. People thought the law was a joke until the government released the DC’s, an aggressive task force that captures and imprisons those in medical debt. Horror stories began to float around—DC officers abusing their power, torturing people, doing unspeakable things. The government didn’t seem to care. At this point the only major crime to commit was to abuse the medical system—a cruel world.

Jade pressed on. She walked up to the registration desk. Two women sat behind the desk flipping through old magazines. Their bored expressions made them seem like twins. It was a struggle to catch her next breath.

“May I help you?” one of the women asked. By her tone she seemed very uninterested.

“I’m-having-a-asthma-attack.”

“Name?”

“Sarah-Blane,” Jade saw that it was the name of the woman who owned the abandoned house. She had a number of aliases and was glad to add this to her roster.

One of the women typed her name on the computer while the other put a wrist band around Jade’s wrist.

“Come around back,” one of them said.

The door that was next to the desk opened and a male nurse greeted Jade.

“What brings you in today?” he asked as he took her blood pressure.

“Asthma-attack,” Jade relaxed a little. She was still in the bad part of town so the security wasn’t that tight.

“Ok, let’s get you that breathing treatment,” he put Jade into an exam room. “Be right back.”

Jade sat on the exam table with her head hanging low and her eyes closed. She focused on breathing. She just needed to make it. She just needed to get through this treatment and sneak out before they figured out who she really was. Hopefully she could score something along the way. There was a small knock at the door.

“Ms. Blane?” a younger man came into the room. “How are you feeling today?”

“Been-better.”

“I hear you’re having an asthma attack.”

Jade nodded.

“Ok well the doctor should be with you shortly. I just need to get some information from you first. Where are you currently staying?”

“In-between-houses. My-aunt-stays-on-the-North-side.”

“Address?”

“It’s-it’s-it’s,” Jade swayed a little as if she was about to pass out.

“Ok, ok, I’ll get that from you later. I just need a drop of your blood,” he pricked Jade’s finger and added her drops of blood on a slide. “The doctor will be with you shortly.”

Jade figured she had about 45 minutes. Hospitals used people’s blood samples to determine who they were and if they owed any medical expenses.

“Ms. Blane,” the doctor said. “I have your breathing treatment.”

Jade smiled.

He set up the machine and handed her the mouthpiece, “I’ll be back to check on you.”

Jade closed her eyes and inhaled. She was relieved to be receiving treatment. Her lungs welcomed them. For a moment she didn’t think about anything. Not the state of the world. Not the consequences she would face if she got caught. She let her mind roam free. She thought about the place she used to visit when things were good. It was a field and it had this beautiful oak tree. She would lay under it when she wanted to escape from everyone. It was her safe haven—her home. Oh how she wished she could go back there.

 

That’s it for this week you all! I hope you enjoyed the read. Until next time!

Stay uplifted and inspired,

Jana` Chantel

 

My Testimony

Hello everyone! I hope everyone’s week is going fine. I for one am glad that it’s a fresh week. The last week for me has not been ideal, but I made it through and that is all that really counts. So this week I wanted to share with you all my story. Some of you may be familiar with it and some of you may not. But it’s been on my spirit to share it with those who aren’t familiar. So I just want to share with everyone what God has brought me through.

Since I was one Jesus had his blood covering me. My mother was killed while I was in the same house. Although she didn’t make it, no harm came to me. I was raised by my father and while he was my world, he had his faults as a man. My father did his best to provide the best for my brothers and I. He even went as far as being a father figure to a lot of my cousins as well. But my father was abusive to women. This was the one aspect of my father that I really disliked. However, it was through my father that I learned what Christ can do. Once my father found Jesus, he became a new man. He was a kinder spirit and he made sure that he brought his family to Christ as well. Sadly, when I was eight my father loss his battle with cancer, a battle he’d been fighting since a teenager.

After the loss of our father, my brother and I lived with my aunt, my father’s sister. We adjusted as best we could. Even though a lot of times I felt like my whole world was turned upside down. Eventually I did adjust, but as a lot of you probably know once you start to get the hang of one obstacle, life throws you another. When I was 13 I got shot. It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Facing the possibility of death is something that I will never forget. But during that moment I didn’t ask God to spare my life. I asked Him to allow me to see the kingdom of heaven. Nonetheless, I made it through. I spent that summer before high school recovering.

When I was 16/17 I battled with depression. I never really dealt with my parents’ death and me getting shot. I had a “it’s life move on with it” attitude and eventually all of these things caught up to me. I remember nights praying to God to let me die. I never thought about physically harming myself, but I wished for a bus or something to hit me every time I crossed the street. Eventually I realized that this kind of thinking wasn’t good, so I told my aunt that I might needed counseling. Talking to someone helped, but I found writing to be more therapeutic to me.

I eventually overcame my depression, graduated high school, went off to college and graduated. I had my first attempt and failure at love. And after praying, waiting, and really getting to know myself, I found my husband.

I share all of this to say that it does get better. I don’t know what you’re going through or what your struggle may be. And I know that it may seem dark now, but I promise with God on your side you can make it through anything. Sometimes we need a reminder on what God can do. I should be dead or completely out of my mind, but God has kept me. And if He has brought me through this, He can bring me through anything. And he can do the same for you.

I hope this will uplift and encourage someone out there. You can make it.

 

Until the next time,

Stay uplifted and inspired.

Jana` Chantel

Cooning (Unfinished)

Hello everyone! I hope you all are doing well. I am currently dealing with my battle with asthma. The winter time has truly become my nemesis. Nevertheless, it is Tuesday and I have a new post for you all. This piece is something new I’m working on. I haven’t finished it yet. I’m still trying to figure out how to up it, but I hope you all enjoy.

Cooning

She wanted to be famous for nothing. She wanted to be known for her selfies and her ten second videos. She dreamed of being a bad girl, a basketball wife, or a rapper’s baby mama. She wanted the fame, but none of the talent. She the rewards, but none of the work.

Her fist fights on TV would be talked about around water coolers and break rooms. Her verbal arguments would be analyzed and criticized by radio show hosts. Her twerk videos would go viral on blog sites. She would be a glorified reality TV star.

It was the “it” thing now. People were going on TV and behaving in the worst possible way and getting famous for it. That’s what she wanted to be. She could see it now, a shot of her pulling on some random girl’s hair. Punching her in her face. A shot of one of her breast popping out. She would be talked about on every blog, tabloid, and gossip site out.

Girls would want to be her. Guys would want to date her. And those “self-conscious” black people would hate her. Which was fine with her because she hated them. She hated how they talked about reality TV shows showing negative portrayal of black women. She saw nothing wrong about it. They were just being real to her. Being real and making money. Who cares if they were portraying a “negative stereotype”? Who cares if they’re cooning (as the “socially aware,” “self-conscious” black people call it)? She wanted the glory.

She cared less about recent police brutality and more about the current drama on her favorite reality TV shows. She cared less about the protests and more about the on camera brawls.
 

That’s all I have right now you guys! I hope you like it. Let me know what you think. Until the next time.

As always, stay uplifted and inspired,

Jana` Chantel

 

New Year, Same Goals

Happy New Year Everyone! I hope your first week of 2016 is going well. And I hope that your holidays were very enjoyable. I know that I’ve enjoyed my days of rest. I know that this is the time that everyone creates new goals and resolutions for the year. I wish you all success and wellness on your journey. My goals have remains the same. I plan to finish up my current writing projects and work on getting them publish. I believe that that will always be the goal for me. I have some other goals in mind as well, but they cannot proceed until my writing goals are met. So until then I will keep those goals to myself. But I would love to hear some of your goals. What are yours? Leave your comments below.

Until the next time.

Stay uplifted and inspired,

Jana` Chantel

Surviving Red Snippet

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is doing fine this week. So now that I gave you all a brief introduction to my latest project, Surviving Red, I wanted to share a snippet of it. I hope you all enjoy!

 

Surviving Red

Jade leaned against the bathroom door holding onto her chest. Fear struck her body. It was happening to her again. It had been sixty days since her last attack and she had been very cautious ever since. Because of her medical debt, she had to avoid hospitals at all cost or she’d be discovered. She shut her eyes and focused on breathing. The sensation of an elephant sitting on her chest wouldn’t let up.

“Shit,” she said to herself. She realized she had to stop this asthma attack naturally. She went through the abandoned house, her current residence, looking for something to help. She needed onions, something spicy or honey, but she knew she wouldn’t find it in the house. The house lacked electricity for at least ten years, the time everything went bad. Jade didn’t know what exactly happened and why everything started to go wrong, but it did. So for ten years, the world had been living in chaos.

Jade had to go out and hunt for something that would help her asthma. She grabbed her scarf, wrapped it around her mouth and nose, and headed out to look. Jade called her current living situation the apocalypse. Some people thought it was pre-apocalyptic. Others thought it was post. Jade was convinced they were living in the thick of it.

There were unexplainable things happening in the world: uncommon natural disasters, black-outs, robberies, killings. Everything turned chaotic—hectic. Eventually, the most vital and important things such as food and medicine were hard to obtain. Medical costs skyrocketed. Those who could afford it were the ones who could get it.

Jade decided to check the houses a few blocks away from her home. She scavenged through the houses nearby for any goods, and knew they didn’t contain any treasures. No matter how many times she walked outside, walking the streets seemed eerie to her. What use to be well manicured lawns, now looked like roads from third world countries. The once beautifully blue skies was an omnipresent orange. The Midwestern weather turned into a constantly hot atmosphere. Sometimes it was so hot that ash would occasionally fall from the sky. All the houses and buildings were now abandoned. Most of them had parts of the roof, or the side of the building missing. And what wasn’t standing was now a pile of rubble. Jade was in hell.

She went into a two-story brick house that she saw on the corner. The house looked promising. She scanned the area to make sure nothing looked suspicious or out of the ordinary. She figured that everything was in order, but still cautiously went inside.

The front door creaked as she opened it. She was welcomed by a coat of dust. She pulled the scarf tighter around her nose and mouth.

“Great,” she muttered. This was just what she needed—something to agitate her asthma even more. She paused for a moment—debating if she should retreat or not. She was already this far; she figured she should see it through. She closed the door behind her. The bare light from outside gave her enough light to see. She started in the kitchen. She looked through the refrigerator, through the cabinets, and the pantries. She found nothing.

She headed for the bathroom upstairs. She looked through the medicine cabinets. She was looking for anything—anything that would help her with her attack. She would hit the jackpot if she found an inhaler. She hadn’t had one of those for over a year.

She looked into the next room, which was a nursery. She knew her chances were slim, but she checked the room anyways. She glanced around the crib. Inside was nothing but a green and yellow cover set. A mobile of smiling jungle animals sat on top. Jade continued to look around the nursery. She noticed that, apart from the dust, everything looked brand new. That meant that the baby wasn’t born when everything went bad.

Jade sympathized for the mother. Bringing a baby into this kind of chaos was unimaginable. She wondered if the baby was a boy or a girl. The room was painted light green, along with everything else there. Jade figured that the parents didn’t know the sex of the baby either, judging from the gender neutral colors.

Jade made her way to the master bedroom. It was small, but the furniture was arranged where she could move around comfortably. She checked the top of the dresser and all of its drawers. She found articles of clothing that she desperately needed, but nothing that would resolve the issue at hand. Jade shoved the clothes and a pair of boots into her bag and prepared to leave, but something caught her eye.

On the nightstand, draped across a picture frame of a smiling married couple, was a rosary. It had black beads and a gold cross hung from it. Jade picked it up and ran her fingers over each bead. She wasn’t Catholic, but she did believe in a higher being. Right now, she could use a renewed strength in her faith.

Voices interrupted Jade’s silent reflection. Judging by the sound, they were just outside the front porch. Jade guessed there was a group of them. She put the rosary around her neck and quickly, yet quietly, hid herself in the closet. The closet was deep and very dark. Jade maneuvered past clothes and shoes as she made her way to the back. She hid behind some jackets and dresses as she heard the intruders come in. She made sure her breathing was quiet and slow. She had her hand on the handle of her knife which was strapped around her thigh.

Since the chaos had broken out, violence had tripled—if not more. Killings, robberies, and rapes were happening more and more. Jade had her share of run-ins with these threats, so she knew her way around a knife.

“Let’s see what we can find in here,” she heard a male voice say, “Spread out!”

Jade heard a variety of footsteps move about the house. She was still.

“There ain’t shit in the kitchen!” she heard another voice yell.

“Nothing in the bathroom!”

“Check the upstairs!”

Jade heard footsteps running up the stairs. She figured that there were two of them.

“Aww, they were gonna have a baby,” a female voice said.

“Who in the hell cares? Just find some valuables.”

There was silence for a moment.

“Nothing here, let’s check the other room.”

“Hurry the hell up people!” the leader yelled.

“Ok, ok!” the woman said. “Geesh, what’s his hurry?”

“No idea,” her partner said.

Jade could hear the slamming of drawers and doors throughout the house. She positioned herself closer to the corner wall in the closet. Her breathing became very still. Just like she predicted the closet door opened. She made sure that she wasn’t in position where light could hit her.

“Damn,” the woman said, “These people had no taste in clothing.”

Jade’s hand grasped tighter around her knife’s handle as the woman made her way further inside.

“That’s not what we’re here for,” her partner said.

“Let’s go!” the leader yelled, “We got other houses to hit!”

The woman smacked her lips and slammed the door. Jade heard their footsteps go downstairs and out of the house. She waited for a moment. She started to breathe normally—hard and ragged. Finally, she came out of the closet. Someone hit her from behind as soon as she stepped out. Jade fell to the floor.

“I saw you in there bitch!”

Jade looked up at the woman and kicked her as she launched at her. The woman stumbled back. She was about to yell out to the others when Jade kicked her again in between her legs. The woman double over. Jade jumped up and was able to block a punch from the woman in time. She threw a right and the woman stumbled back. The woman tackled her and they went tumbling back into the dresser. Jade kneed her in the face. The woman grabbed a bat and started swinging it at Jade. Jade pulled out her knife.

The woman smiled, “So she’s came to play.”

“Just trying to finish what you started.”

The woman came charging with the bat. Jade moved her body to the side—her arm protecting her head. Jade caught the blow on the shoulder. She grabbed the bat and pulled the woman closer to her. She gave the woman a quick cut on her stomach. The woman jumped back, a little surprised that Jade actually cut her. Taking advantage of her being caught off guard, Jade pulled the woman’s hair and bashed her head against the dresser. The woman dropped to the floor—unconscious.

Jade looked around, took some of the clothes the woman was criticizing earlier, and tied her up to the bed post with them. She tied a scarf around her mouth so she wouldn’t scream when she woke up.

“Lyanna!”

Jade rushed to the bedroom window and saw that one of the guys were heading back that way. Jade looked back at the woman, who was called Lyanna, and saw that she was still knocked out. She rushed out the room and downstairs. She went out the back door. She hopped over the fence and began to run.

“Lyanna!” she heard again in the distance.

She kept running until she had to stop. She held her chest, “Shit.” She had to go to the hospital. At this point it was inevitable.

 

That’s it for this week you guys! I really hope you enjoyed the read! No new post next week so enjoy the snippet as much as you can. I hope the rest of your week goes well. Until the next time.

As always, stay uplifted and inspired.

Jana` Chantel

Introduction to Surviving Red

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving and I hope you’re having a wonderful week so far. Sorry for not posting last week. I was under the weather and couldn’t manage to write anything. So here is what I have for you guys this week. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I have been working on a story called Surviving Red. It started off as a short stories series, but as I was writing it I’ve realized that it has become so much more. So I wanted to give you all a synopsis of what it’s all about as I am finishing up the story.

The story is set during the end of the world, or rather the state of the world is progressively getting worse every day. There have been crazy natural disasters, violence have tripled, and everything is chaotic. The essentials like food, water, and health care treatment are becoming scarce—especially health care. So the government implemented a law stating that it’s against the law to receive medical treatment without some form of payment. To enforce this law the government created a special task force called the DCs.

The story follows Jade. Jade is a severe asthmatic who is $600,000 in medical debt. She knows she’s on the DC’s radar so she goes around scavenging and hiding out. She’s mostly a loner until she’s caught up in a DC sweep (where the DCs start to raid the abandon houses on the outskirts of town). There she meets David, a fellow debtor with diabetes. He expresses his hate for the DCs and government and thinks that they all should stand up and fight against them. Jade never really thought about fighting back. She just thought about surviving. That is until she sees a young girl who reminds her of her estranged sister. Without thinking Jade saves her by killing a DC officer. Now there’s a manhunt for Jade’s head.  Jade teams up with the rebel group The Black Deficit, and other debtors who decided to no longer survive, but fight.

I hope to be done with the first draft by the end of January/early February. I am looking for a graphic artist to do some artwork for me. If anyone knows someone who can do matte painting or some really good sketches please email me at janachantel@yahoo.com

Well that’s it guys! I hope you find my latest project interesting. Until the next time!

 

As always, stay uplifted and inspired.

Jana` Chantel

Living Asthmatic (Snippet)

Hello everyone, it’s that time of the week again. I hope everyone’s week is going well so far. I am trying to keep true to posting something new every week. I’ve been working on a personal essay that explores my latest troubles with asthma. I started it earlier this year, but haven’t had time to get back to it. It’s far from completion, but I just wanted to share a little snippet of it. I hope you all enjoy what I have so far.

 

Living Asthmatic

I am in a constant battle with an elephant. It is a matter of life and death. I hate when the moment comes because as of this current moment, not even half the year, I’m 0-6. This saddens me because last year, and I mean the whole year, I was 0-5. 0-6. 0-6 and I haven’t even made it to 6 months yet.

I remember my last attack. There I was, just sitting at my desk, when yet again I felt the tightness in my chest—the elephant slowly shifting its weight on me. I took out my rescue inhaler and took two quick puffs.

“Not this time,” I whispered to my imaginary elephant.

I felt the pressure let up a little. The elephant stared at me and I stared back. The score board stood off to the side—anxiously waiting to put up a point. I continue to sit at my desk and work. About 20 minutes later the pressure in my chest began to tighten again. I grab for my inhaler again and hoped that these two puffs will permanently keep the elephant away. I again proceed with work—determined not to lose this round.

“How’s it going back here?” my supervisor asked as she checked on me for the 3rd time in the last 15 minutes.

“I’m ok,” I could see the look of concern on her face. I couldn’t blame her. I had just had an asthma attack there only two weeks ago.

 

This is all that I can share right now. I hope the rest of your week goes well. Until next time everyone!

As always, stay inspired and uplifted.

Jana` Chantel

 

Into My Mind Interview

Hey everyone,

The weekend is quickly approaching and I hope that everyone’s week has been going well so far. November 13th is soon approaching and the new edition of Into My Mind will be out. So in the spirit of the new release, I sat down and discussed the book and the new changes. I hope you all enjoy.

As always, stay inspired and uplifted.

Jana` Chantel

Continuing the Journey

Hello everyone,

I hope your week is going well so far. I know I haven’t posted anything in a while and I wanted to tell you why. In short, life. So many things have been going on in my life that I just couldn’t really write. For one thing, I just recently gotten married. We planned our wedding in six months so that left me with no time to even attempt to put pen to paper. Another is work. As you all know, pursuing a career in writing is not that financially beneficial and apparently finding a full time job is just as hard, so I’ve been juggling two jobs. Lastly, I’ve burnt myself out at the beginning of all of this. I was very good at writing a post and coming up with a short short to post every week (Tuesday), but atlas I found myself running dry. So I needed time recuperate. But now that I had my time off, able to balance my jobs, and finally married I’m ready to get back in the swing of things.

So here’s what I’ve been working on: first, I have redesigned and added new pieces to my book Into My Mind. The new edition will be available November 13th. Second, I am currently writing a novel that I should hopefully be done with by the end of January next year (at least that’s the deadline I’m giving myself). The story is called Surviving Red and I will go into more detail about that in a later post. Overall, I’m really excited about this project and I believe that it’s really going to go places. Lastly, I’m getting started on another nonfiction book about life after college and publishing my first book. I have a couple of essays in the first draft, but I won’t be done with that for a while.

So as of now I’m juggling married life with two jobs and an opportunity to write. Once I find the right balance I should be ok. Just don’t give up on me guys. I’ll have some good pieces on its way soon enough. Be sure to check out some of my wedding photos below.

As always stay inspired and uplifted.

–Jana` Chantel

476D9B48-1702-41E2-B39B-28769B70B211

228CBD82-BAA4-4187-8DDC-E4363A39AEBC

35E0B2B3-23E4-4CCC-B973-3DE8A6EB0304

8015945A-AD86-47A6-BE77-D80D8892333C

5A9F1F7C-331F-4041-BFA2-545F584F5748

Fighting the Journey

So I’ve written and published my first book—what now?

It’s been three years since I’ve published Into My Mind and as I look back on that time I was in eternal bliss. Sadly I can’t say that I feel the same way today. Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t lost my passion for writing. And I’m not giving up on my dream to become a successful published author. But reality has left me kind of jaded. Then again, working minimum wage jobs with a college degree and being in school and medical debt can do that to you.

Sometimes I wish that I can get that feeling back—young, naïve, and hopeful. As the rejection letters from literary magazines and the lack of success of my writing career thus far, I’ve been naturally second guessing myself. Am I allowed to call myself a writer—or an author for that matter—if I’m not completely successful at it? Are you even a writer if you’ve never been published? I guess that’s like asking the ancient question, what came first the chicken or the egg? So what came first the writer or the published story? Ok maybe that last was a little obvious, but you get what I mean.

I just feel with my lack of literary magazine publications and the lack of ground that my book has made so far, I can’t really call myself a true writer. At least at times I don’t feel like it.

So what keeps me going? It’s the feeling I have deep down within myself that tells me that I am meant to do this. No matter what set backs or disappointments I may face, I keep getting back to writing. I know that one day all the hard work and dedication will pay off. Until then I just have to keep the fight on the journey.

—Jana` Chantel