new location

i moved to blogger…you can check it out here. it’s just more convenient, since i already use google reader, gmail, docs, groups, etc. i figure having a google blog will mean i’ll be able to update it a little more often.

So farewell, wordpress. you were a good host. i’d recommend it to any of my non-blogging readers.


oh these sweet whispers, they are too loud for me

i can’t bear the silence. i feel you move quietly, your muffled words are wind against my face but i just can’t quite seem to catch them. Why is everything out reach, dangled over my head, glinting on the horizon, promised on the dawn? Why does it take so long for you to deliver like you always do? Our clocks obviously don’t match up. Conform to MY standards, you stupid –


Of the universe.

Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe you’re the one I should be listening to. Maybe my cries aren’t as important as your screams. If I can’t hear you, whose fault is that?


I know. I know. I know more than I want to. Sometimes sweet ignorance blesses me, then people’s voices i don’t understand, advice, reprimands, and the worst, silence. 


God, you’re cryptic and quiet and stealthy and are you laughing behind my back, or is it a trick of the light?

Are you waiting for me, or have you already left? 

I know I’m taking my own sweet time, lazing over this life I must decide. Which way, how, how soon? 

How soon, my love? 

How soon?

Preview for novel in progress

hey guys, this is a little teaser trailer for the book I’m currently writing. Yes, it’s rough. Yes, it’s weird. Get over it. I’m having a ball writing it, so what else matters?

But I’ve remembered – If you do not understand what dreams are, I am sorry. Perhaps I should explain them a little more. I have just realized that this history might find itself in the hands of outlanders.
Any dream ever dreamt flew straight to the golden Bank, because dreams are attracted to gold. They were caught and stored in paper files inlaid with gold leaf to keep the dream inside. Each person in Calorath had a vault in the bank, and each vault had but one key belonging to the dreamer. People made trips to take out their dreams and look at them. Some sighed, and asked the clerk to put it back. Some slept with it under their pillows for safekeeping. Some hid their dreams, or left them to collect dust.
And some rare few took them home and decided to follow them.

My hand flew to the little golden key, dangling from a chain. I felt the number. 44921. Along side it was Ma’s, number 44923. I wondered if Da’s was 44922. I would have loved to see his dreams, but I did not have his key.
It took me a while to follow the little road until it merged with a greater one. I followed this across the valley and through Calorath’s capitol, Tasca, which was a nice enough city full of assorted apartments, shops, and other such things.
Calorath was a country still following the old way of things, and we liked it that way. We stubbornly stuck with horses and wells when everyone else decided to build mechanical carts and water pumps. That was the Calor way.
One could see this in Tasca, which perfectly embodied our merging of new systems and old customs. Buildings cast shadows over the road and stretched at least six stories high. Neighbors high above me called greetings to fellows across the street; babies rode on the backs of nurses on the way to the market; men stumbled glassy-eyed from pub doorways; scholars clutched scrolls close to their chests as they stepped carefully over puddles; monks walked in packs of four and six on their way to the temple, singing low, beautiful music; and I was not the only traveler wearily finding their way through the city. It was a perfect town.
The road ended at the bank, which glowed white and gold. It was a huge domed building, as if a god had decided to take the sun down from the sky and plant it in the middle of our town. There were marble archways leading up to the solid gold steps. I followed them through the wide-open golden door into a huge hall – the kind of room that, if I had been younger, I would have called, ‘echo!’ and listened for my voice bounce off the gilded walls.
There was a line of about fifteen people at the far end of the room, waiting for their turn with the wizened vault clerk manning the huge golden desk labeled WITHDRAWLS. I took a place in line and looked around.

To my left and right were doors, one labeled VIEWING ROOMS and the other OFFICES in a very bold type. There was also a big golden machine with one little slot in it labeled DESTROYER: For Shredding Nightmares. Some people traveled for weeks just to rid one nightmare from their head. In front of me was the desk and the clerk. I observed how the withdrawal system worked: the person in line would hand him a key and a copper for his trouble; he would open a golden door behind him and emerge minutes later carrying a stack of dreams. This was a long process if you multiply it by fifteen, however, and it was an hour before I was finally seen.

The clerk smiled genially as I slid the coin across the gold desk. “And just what can I do for you, girl?”
“Please sir, could you check my Ma’s vault? Bring all her dreams out. I need to find a special one.”
“Don’t we all. But first I need proof you are her daughter before I can let you see her dreams.”
I showed him my own key and Ma’s, gave him my name, and he looked it up in a humongous book. Running his finger down the line of registrations, he mumbled “yes, yes, yes. I see. You are who you say you are.” He took the key I offered him, Ma’s key. An eternity passed, then –
The clerk came back with nothing but the key, which he handed back to me with a pitying smile. “I’m sorry, little girl, but there’s nothing in there.”
“What? But Ma said it would be here. You don’t understand. See, I must find this dream – “
“Sorry; there’s nothing.” He thought for a second. “Would you like to see your vault? Sometimes there are mix-ups with families’ vaults.”
“I suppose.” I gave him my key.
He came back five minutes later with a large stack of files. “Aren’t we quite the impressive dreamer.” I could tell he was amazed by the amount of dreams I had.
“Is it odd for me to dream so much?”
“Not odd, just…very uncommon.” He peered at me again. “What was your name?”
“Gwynivere. My vault’s 44921.” I watched as he made a little note by my name. “What’s that for?”
“We like to know who our most impressive dreamers are, just in case.” He pushed the files forward, distracting me from asking, ‘just in case of what?’ “Why don’t you go take a seat over there, little missy, and look through them.”

I thanked him and sat on a chair on the side of the hall. The first file was the most common dream I had. I smiled as I recalled it. A very foolish one, but interesting nonetheless. There were a few others like it, and then a nightmare. I shuddered and threw it into the destroyer, and I heard a ghastly sound of ripping paper being reduced to confetti along with the faintest sound of that thing. I went along like this for quite some time, but could not find any dream I was not acquainted with. However, I did have a lovely time recalling all those dreams I had had. Some felt like premonitions or visions, whereas some were purely fantastical. I reached the end of the stack and gave it back to him, along with my key. “Please put them back. I don’t understand, though. She told me it would be here!”
He looked at me differently this time, almost sadly. “If they aren’t there, I don’t know what happened. Dreams never disappear, you know. They always live on somewhere.” He paused and shook his head. “I’m awfully sorry, but there isn’t anything I can do.”
“Thank you anyways.”
“Good-bye. Next!” he shouted to the little lady behind me. He took her key and locked my dreams back up in the vault somewhere in the darkness behind him.

Copyright Joanna Rutter 2008 (c)

sea of voices

Oh Lord

Oh God

It’s here again

Shaking, can’t hear my heart

Screaming over the sound of the

Throbbing in my ears




Want to go back there don’t

Want to sink again don’t

Want to hear you say

No child, don’t

Want you to stop me but

I do.


Answer, would it

Kill you to take this fear and

Kill my weakness

Bind up my hands and dress my

Wounds and take me out of this battle I can’t

Fight much longer


Stop up my ears and stop these

Voices can’t hear your

voice in all these

Sounds I claw my way through


And in turn find



I am in hell. You are God and yet

You are here with me I can

Feel you but I can’t see you


I need a sign a

Something to show me you haven’t

Left me

Here in this sea of voices


You understand, friend, the only

Way I can drown them out is this

Death of mine I’ve found

Can you smile and nod and



I’m waterlogged in this sea of

Voices won’t take much longer to

Finally drown them out





and yet.

Yet we both know that’s a

Lie Lord take this

Desire take this

Death take these voices

So I can hear yours again


I’m halfway


drowning in a sea of


untitled…i did this a couple months ago

Wind swept up and down the plains. I hid in the tall grasses, letting them swish and sway around me. I think I might have been freezing; everything was too cold, piercing, digging tiny holes into my skin.

I liked it that way.


The sky was the dull gray of an oncoming storm. Black clouds bordered the horizon. The sounds of wheat and weeds tangling themselves in each other were rustling in my ears. My hair whipped at my face, and my arms were spread out. I breathed the moist air. I could just barely smell the dirt, just barely feel the rough cloth against my body, just barely feel the cold wind eating at my fingertips. Just barely. But even the tiniest bit of sensation was not enough. I wanted more. I wanted to be screaming with cold.


But the numbness came again, licking up the last of any sensation and leaving me in a state of nothingness. I could see and hear, but I could not feel, neither in sensation nor soul. Any emotions I had had were locked up, licked up, hidden, eaten. There was no way for the emotions to come out. I could not feel again.


If the grasses clung to my clothes and slapped my face, I did not know. My fingers pushed away stalks that might not have even been there. I couldn’t tell. I began wandering again.


There was a tall white house hiding between two trees. It looked like a mansion. Pillars rose from a beautiful porch to support the gleaming white roof above. Silver handles shone from their place on the gigantic front door. I did not know how, but a second later I was standing nose to nose with a cherubic door knocker.

“Very well then.” I grabbed a wing and let the silver thump against the wooden door.


A blonde girl answered, a bright smile on her face. “Greetings, traveler. You are welcome here.”

She took my coat and led me into a perfect room with perfect decorations. Elaborate drapes made colorful shadows on the polished furniture. The girl led me to a gigantic couch.

“Are you hungry?”

“I don’t remember.”

She smiled sympathetically. I wanted her to frown. “Cake, then.”

She brought out an assortment of twenty of thirty different pastries, all perfectly decorated, with my name glazed in various forms of lacy script on each perfectly iced treat.

“Have one.”

I thanked her, randomly chose a chocolate one, and tried it. I could taste nothing but ate it all to be polite.

“How did you come so far from the main city?” she asked.

“I got lost.”

Still smiling beatifically, she regarded me over the mound of sweets. “I see.”

I sat squirming under her shiny grin until I could think of something to say. “Who are you?”

“I am Leona, the keeper of the Last House.”

“So you keep travelers?”

“Yes, I let them stay for a while and rest, then give them directions back.” Her smile hurt my eyes. “Just as I shall help you.”

“Thank you.”

I must have fallen asleep on the chair, becuase I was wakened by a taller woman with the features as Leona.


“That is another of my names. Come,” she said, and I did. She brought me to a refreshingly plain room and served me tea. I watched her sip the drink cautiously, and pretended to do the same, but was in reality gulping it down, hoping to burn my tongue or throat. She began talking to me, and I asked no questions of her. I cannot understand why it was so easy to talk to the nameless woman, but it just was.

“Why were you standing outside yesterday? What were you trying to do?”

How could I make her understand? “I cannot feel anything most of the time. I am a half-person. To be able to live, I must do very crazy things.”

“Like standing outside in the middle of a thunderstorm.”

“Yes.” I told her of the mountains I had climbed just to feel taller than my incompetence, the rivers I had traveled down, swimming from the staleness that was so eager to catch me and stifle me again, and the seas I had crossed to run away from dreams and chase my self-created reality. I told her of the feasts I had avoided just to feel that gnawing in my stomach, reminding me I was still human and could feel hunger and pain. I did these things just to feel, to be able to know I was still alive.

She did not offer advice or comfort, only nodded her head, because she understood my numbness.

“I will solve your problem,” she said.


“I know how. It is enough for you to know that.”

She left me in the room – I cannot remember how she left – but I was alone. I fell asleep again, and when I woke I was by the front door. I stood up on the porch and surveyed the prairie before me. There was a roiling storm in the sky, twisting and turning and churning. I could see a little black speck in the grasses but couldn’t make out what it was. There were brilliant lightening flashes, directed at the little speck. Then a crack of sound, and a huge explosion.

Then all the sudden there was peace. The storm was gone. Clouds vanished; rain ceased; the sun came out and everything was blue and yellow again.

I ran to the spot the lightening had struck, and was not surprised to find my nameless woman lying there dead. Suddenly I realized I was a little cold. Just a little. So I took her cloak and wrapped it around myself and walked back to the house.

I made a fire and watched it flickering, waiting for something in front of me.

After a few hours it began to die, so I fed it the only kindling I had – the cloak.

I watched it curl up into nothing, watched it shrivel into a little speck and then vanish, watched the sparks fly up and disappear. I whispered, “Thank you.”

And I could just barely feel the warmth of the fire on my face.

Just barely.


finally, some more confused spiritual ramblings

Word of advice: it’s very complicated to be someone’s friend if you hate their guts. I could list off five or so people who I really wouldn’t mind being shipped off to some faraway country. Problem is, they’d also find themselves on my list of closest friends. How I’ve managed to get myself into this? I guess that’s the problem with surface friendships – once they start getting deep and you see someone for who they really are, it either strengthens a relationship or adds stress to it. If friends give you bad advice, insult you repeatedly, burden you with their problems to make themselves feel better, or shout/curse at you, I think you can’t really call them friends. Or can you? Those 5 or so people are people that are very hard to love. And yet…I can still look them in the face and say, I love you. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt to say those three words and think of all the times you wished you could pull away. I’m not saying it doesn’t hurt to never hear them say it back. But I keep at it. Problem is, it’s tearing me apart. It’s taking a lot out of me. The times I have the most fun are when I’m around people I love, but the times I feel most complete and comfortable are when I’m completely alone, when nobody’s taking chunks out of my heart just because it’s convenient or whatever.

My good buddy Caitlin said something today, and I’ve completely forgotten what it is now, but I’ve come to realize I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHO I AM. I know the teen years are all about discovering who you are, but c’mon! I must be at least five different people. Every person I’m in contact with knows a different one. The people that know my serious side (which is actually my only real side, fyi) are weirded out when I go crazy, the people that know my bitter slash romantic slash boyish side are surprised to hear me wax eloquent about Jane Eyre and kayaking. you get the idea. It’s like the wheel of fortune, where the contestants spin the wheel and get a different answer every time. And lately I’ve been feeling more serious and like…when I’m writing or staring out the window talking to God or whatever, I feel more like myself than when I’m just being silly. I don’t know, honestly. I wish I could introduce everyone to the Joanna I’d rather be. I just don’t even know if it’s the real one. Reader, you have no idea how confused I am.

God is preparing my heart. I thought the past couple of weeks were insane. God’s been saying that I have nooooo idea how crazy next year will be. He’s been telling me a lot of incredible things, making me promises I know He’ll keep, which is nice, seeing as it drowns out the sounds of the demons.

This post in itself is enough to show you just know sad and confused and excited and worried and stretched I feel. And I really can’t think of anything else to talk about. Peace.

the endearing complications of love.

I hate weakness and vulnerability. Being a girl, I’m already told I’m weaker than men. I’m more emotional, more loving, more open, more…vulnerable. I’m seriously already asking for it. And although loving somebody can be fun and weird and beautiful, it leaves me feeling like an idiot. like…i’m setting myself up for a letdown. Every time I realize I care for somebody, romantically or not, I see how I’ve taken my heart and laid it out on a table for people to play with. So sometimes I bury it further, like i did for the past….three years. And now that I’m learning to love, it feels incredibly strange. And that’s all I can say! Pretty pitiful.