A Poem, The Valley of Bones

Another macabre poem with inspirational intentions. The bones are longing to be returned to the living.

One day we will rise up
The cracks in my bones tell my story
We need to drink from the cup
And we will be restored to former glory
We lay here in solidarity, littering the ground
No flesh is left, but a crow remains
I cannot wait to feel my heart pound
Eager for life again, my soul attains
Our bones clatter and crack
The glaring sun sees our pain
As we begin to rise in unison, we clack
Our moans and groans let out with a strain
We are the Valley of Bones alike, after all
A euphoric feeling as our flesh continues to crawl

Crazy how unpredictable inspiration can be, this poem is loosely based on Ezekiel 37, The Valley of Dry Bones.

Hope you enjoy!
Thanks for reading!


Travis J. McRoy 2021 All Rights Reserved.

A Poem, The Gallows

Continuing with this kick of dark poetry that I am on, here is a macabre little nugget that I whipped up…

Swinging in the wind
Ironically with exuberant life
Waiting for the one that sinned
Hearts in dire torment bleeding strife
Around the necks
The hangman calls
Another life it wrecks
Pull the lever, the floor falls
The noose whispers and sings
Death lurks near collecting souls
The rope of the gallows swings
As the ferryman collects the tolls
A thousand ghosts stare at the gallows
As they hear the tolling of the bells of All Hallows

Let me know what you think…

Thanks for reading!

Travis J. McRoy 2021 All Rights Reserved.

A Poem, The Jar of Flies

I figured I would share another poem riddled with torment. It focuses on the brokenhearted people who have had their hearts ripped out and left alone to heal. In the end, some become jaded, never fully regaining the heart they once had, ultimately replacing it with something to fill the void. In this case, it was a jar of flies. The flies buzzing around in the jar give the deception of feeling something where the heart belonged.

Pouring love upon you like rain
From my bed of broken dreams
I traded my hate for pain
You laugh while my soul screams
You set your sights on my mind
While ripping out my heart
While I was blind
My chest, now torn apart
A jar now rests inside
Replacing my heart so I can feel
Accompanied by blackness, it now resides
Under this deception, I begin to heal
You are a mask of disguises riddled with sorrow
I’ll hide my jar of flies until it is morrow

Let me know what you think…

Thanks for reading!

Travis J. McRoy 2021 All Rights Reserved.

A Poem for Lovers, Do You Remember Our First Night Together?

I call it “Do you remember our first night together?”

The moon dances on the rippling waters as we gaze up at the stars.
We look upon each other for words to perfect this moment but cannot speak.
The ripples of the water know the tales that our hearts are trying to tell as they have seen these times before but not with such passion.
At this time, we need not pass words; we need to feel this moment.
Our lips touch, to the delight of both, not wanting this to end we extend our embrace.
The woman with brown eyes so captivating to look at and so intriguing to converse with.
The moon reflects so brightly in her eyes as if it were trying to experience her majesty.
The waters ripple towards the shores, with great attempts to touch her feet as if it were jealous of the moon’s position in her eyes.
The man, so entranced by her presence, doesn’t notice nature’s offering as the only true beauty to him is standing beside him.

I always love coming up with poems on the fly. One night, the above poem came to mind. Little did I know that this poem served as a foreshadowing of sorts for the love that two characters shared in a novel that I wrote.

Hope you enjoyed it, if so send me a like!

Thanks for reading!


Travis J. McRoy 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Experience Nature’s Majesty to Clear Your Mind

Writing can be a grueling process, as we all know. The subject matter, content, and the overall quality of writing all suffer if we suffer mentally. Finding a happy place for meditation becomes a staple for anyone pursuing a writing career.

For the longest time, working out was an excellent release for me and helped clear my mind. However, I came to the summation that I needed another gateway for unlocking my mind.

A few years ago, I was racking my brain on what I can do to keep my motivation up. I was going through some trying times and was beginning to degrade mentally. My wedding was coming up in a month, and my friends and I decided to do something relaxing for my bachelor party. I suggested we go camping at the Finger Lakes in New York. My friends echoed that sentiment and, without hesitation, dug in with setting up the trip. The trip was refreshing as we spent the time camping and fishing. I quickly realized something from that trip, the joy I was missing out on was nature.

I figured I’d share some pictures and videos of why I use nature as part of my mental recharging process and a quote that spawned from one of my nature walks.

To me, the pictures speak for themselves. However, I will add a quick caption:
We encountered over 20 waterfalls ranging from anywhere between eleven feet to ninety-four feet in height for this trip. Though the terrain was rough and challenging, trekking through it all was well worth it when the payoff is to see the majesty of these waterfalls.  

I have traveled back to this area multiple times since my first hike there. It has become a staple in my process of clearing my mind.

I now make it a point to travel there at the beginning of spring, summer, and autumn.

Here is a quote that spawned from my visits to this beautiful location that I ended up using in a story of mine:

The waterfalls, majestic in appearance yet rage like a person’s mind when it begins to unfurl—beauty in one hand yet madness in the other. Drink in the waters of this majesty, and understand its beauty. Do not break in anger, relax and focus, and lay thy burdens down.”

Whenever I begin to struggle with writing, I take a step back and return to my happy place. It is necessary to purge whatever self doubt that has crept in. It washes away all of the negative thoughts and renews me so I can start again. It is not a race that part is essential to understand as one can burn themselves out and resent their efforts in the process. It is a journey and another chapter in one’s life; make the most of it and never be afraid.

Thanks for reading!

A Compassionate Quote, Kiss the Ground and Be Reunited

“You long to be reunited with your loved ones. It’s understandable. If you are in dire need of their touch, kiss the ground, for that is where they have returned.”

When I wrote this dialogue for a female protagonist, Genevieve Riley, I immediately started going through my resources to see where I have heard it before or, at the very least, something similar to it. When I write, I always try to be organic and stay away from coming off as derivative. After a little bit of digging with no success, I stopped.

I started thinking that maybe I have used it in another story. So I looked through all of my work, again nothing. I decided to highlight this dialogue and attach a visual to it later on.

I have to call this one subconscious inspiration because it finally dawned on me where I’ve heard something similar, The bible!

Genesis 3:19

“In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return unto the ground, for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.  

It definitely comes from the same vein, that is for sure.

Anyway, when I was writing this moment in the story for this character, it was a culmination of events. Genevieve had just faced something inevitable and garnered much respect as a result. It was one of those moments where you hang on for the person’s next words, just waiting for him/her to wrap it up with something memorable. I needed her to show compassion for all of the people involved but also refuse to equivocate.

With this response, her thought process was to be inspirational and to show empathy, ultimately letting her people know that their departed loved ones are never really gone.

I feel the quote from her speaks volumes of truths as I agree that our dearly departed loved ones are never really gone.

If you agree send me a like!

Thanks for reading!

A Quote, and a Peek Behind the Curtain of My Creative Process

As I continue my writing, I like to peruse my previous entries looking for potential advertising type of material. I found this little nugget of dialogue from a unique character with an interesting perspective:

“I’d rather be using this wood to start a campfire or build a home, not use it to make a coffin. If I were so inclined, I’d fashion this wood into wings. Yes, that’s what I’d do with it. I’d fashion it into wings and fly away from this God-forsaken town.”

I can remember the night I came up with this quote. I was watching The Twilight Zone (1959), season 5, episode 26 called I Am the Night—Color Me Black. In the episode, the dramatis personae are stuck in an unending night for unknown reasons. You quickly learn that the town is filled with hate, as they push to have an innocent man hanged. As I watched the episode, I kept thinking of what it would be like living in that town and how would I feel? So I channeled that into the quote/dialogue above.

A Peek Behind the Curtain of My Creative Process —Shhh, Tell No One!

Oops! I kind of just told a small part of my secret on how I stay creative with my work. So I might as well dig in a little bit and say that Rod Serling’s work serves as an inspiration for my writing. When I decide it is a day for me to continue writing, I “get my game face on” and play classical music because for whatever reason listening to modern music distracts me way too much. I guess it distracts me because I always end up singing along, breaking my concentration. Self-inflicted much.

When it gets closer to my writing time, I will pick a random episode of The Twilight Zone (1959). It puts me into a different realm of creativeness. Rod Serling’s functionality with this storytelling and his opening and closing narrations are absolutely out of this world. Growing up and hearing the vocabulary that he would use inspired me as a young kid. I would look up new words to learn almost daily. I loved to be able to throw out a big word and have everyone scratching their heads. Although he has passed on from this world, he is never truly gone if we find ways to remember him. For me, it is relatively easy to remember him being that I own everything he has ever done. Haha.

Thanks for reading!


The Poem and The Painting

I figured I’d share another poem that I feel relates to reality and true love.

In my novel Curse of The Walking Man, the protagonist found the short poem below from his ancestor on the back of a painting. The painting encapsulated a frozen moment between two soulmates (his ancestors).

While we’re happy or weary, we look to each other for love,
We are two, but have grown together as one heart,
While preaching the compassion of the white dove,
Our promise to one another was never to be apart,
Endless in love and together forever,
We must trust each other and persevere,
Together, we walk hand in hand in this endeavor,
For it is you I love until the end of times, my dear

The poem was written by a pivotal character named Abigail Riley. Her words ring so true for her and her husband, Arthur Riley. She wrote this poem early on in her life, not knowing what the future held.

Paintings, all timeless in the moments they vividly capture, accurately depicted the love expressed in the poem.

By happenstance, the protagonist came into possession of this family heirloom. Unknowingly, he rightfully placed it on the wall where Abigail had intended to put the painting 150 years ago.

Thanks for reading!


Travis J. McRoy 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Living Blessed, even in 2020

I recently found this blog—an excellent story of overcoming personal adversities and never wavering in faith. God is good! Very inspirational!

Laura K. Ito

It’s been one year. One whole blessed year. Like marriage or a child’s age, it feels like a lifetime and yesterday all at once.

On December 11th, 2019, I was being prepped for surgery. My surgeon prepared my mind and body for the worst. A 17 cm mass engulfed my left ovary, hemorrhaging my abdomen, and causing me to bleed at an alarming rate. Cancer. An egg sack tumor the size of a grapefruit. Forever altering my probability of having more children. And scarring my body.

You can read more about my experience in last December’s blog post here.

My Pennsylvania friends. I miss you all!

I’ve had ghost pains the last couple of days. A body’s memory is a funny thing. But it’s only fear playing tricks on us.

I had so many fears last year. Fear of dying with unfinished business. Fear of leaving my family. Fear of…

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What’s Your Motivation?

For the cursed town in my novel, a small brazen group formed to help fend off the antagonist. Every night, they would put themselves in danger to protect the civilians.

For them, it was a hard transition, going from living a carefree life to an ingredient in a devil’s soup.

At any moment, The Walking Man could strike…
What will he do with their bones?
Will he use them to pick his teeth clean of their flesh?

This was the town’s reality, and, in some manner, this was their atonement.

The unspoken leader of the town offered up encouragement to not fear what lurks outside:
“We must not fear the unknown that lurks outside at night. We must respect it but not let it consume us. We must not let it define us. We must not let it decide our own mortality.”

The few townsfolk who refused to wallow in their own sad condemnation formed a group called “The Runners.”

Every night they’d recite the credo below before opening up their door to the unknown entity that lurked outside at night:

There was no choice for the townsfolk. They needed to take control of a situation that was uncontrollable.

It was becoming clear to them that madness was besetting the door of their sanity as their minds toiled to remain.

Strife and fear consume all, but taking action was necessary. They understood that fate could be cruel sometimes.

Fate, cruel fate, pushing one forward towards the inevitable like a crow pecking at our heels in the narrow hallways of our minds. We cannot turn back, only move forward.

When faced with demons or a devil, step on their tails. You may bend but will not break. The evils of the world have no dominion over a person of character, tried and true in their intentions. Let the one who rises against said evil feel the glory of their true freedom.
If you agree send me a like!

Thanks for reading!


A Poem and The Seed of Thoughts

It’s hard to believe that this little doggerel style poem turned into a Twenty Chapter Novel for me:

The Walking Man:

He walks up and down the streets at night,
Protected from the daylight.
He feeds on the soul’s fright,
So, don’t get in his sight.
He wants what you have that being your soul,
His favorite thing to do is to swallow you whole.
It looks like an elderly man, but that’s just for jest,
If you get close enough, he’ll tear through your chest.
The welcoming sound of his soft whistle,
Will poke through your mind like a jagged thistle.
Heed this warning, run if you still can,
Beware of The Walking Man.

I will never forget the night the poem came to me. I was just getting ready for bed, and the first verse came to me. I quickly wrote it down. I got into bed, and I kept dancing with the first verse in my head and finished it as:

He walks up and down the streets at night,

Protected from the daylight.

I thought to myself, “interesting, I may have something to play with here in terms of a fun little poem.”

For the next twenty minutes, the rest of the poem just poured out of me.

I quickly jotted down the potential plots to the story.

256 pages later, the novel was born.

Inspiration hits so unpredictably!

Just be sure to have something handy to jot down your random thoughts. They are like little seeds. Plant them, and keep nurturing them, and they will grow!

Thanks for reading!


Travis J. McRoy 2021 All Rights Reserved.

Break Free From The Shackles of Time

Time is a crazy thing. One cannot stop it as it marches us toward inevitable adversities. We trudge forward with the passing time.

We often hear phrases such as, “well, the time is ticking away” and, “it’s just a matter of time.”

Why do we let time dictate such a large part of our lives?

I am one of those thinkers that believe we were not meant to live out our lives stuck in cubicles. I feel that we should enjoy our gift of life by taking in all of its bountiful majesties. I love exploring nature and the natural wonders of the world.

A few months back, I went on a creek hike. I was out in the middle of nowhere. I hiked and bushwhacked through areas where you can tell humans have not been in a long time. Over my heavy breathing after trekking a severe incline, I thought I heard the sounds of a waterfall or at the very least a rushing stream.

My energy was renewed, and my interest was piqued as I made my way towards the sounds of rushing water. What I found was awe-inspiring.

After finding this waterfall out in the middle of nowhere, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I felt as though my time was well spent due to the feeling within. I stood and took in its glory. Think of instant gratifications of the modern world. Well, this is a whole different experience. I allowed myself to have patience as I trudged through nature, listening and taking in the beautiful sights.

I felt inspired. This beautiful natural wonder, not bound by any human constraints, rushed on. I quickly wrote down a quote to encapsulate the moment. I later used the quote in my upcoming novel.

Our concept of time is jammed into hours, minutes, secs, etc., all constraints that we’ve created for ourselves. The sands of time, we watch trickle in an hourglass and take it for granted.

The fact is, time does not control us. Take power back and understand that we are in control. We dictate what we do with our lives.

Do not let an hourglass hold dominion over your aspiration towards achieving a goal.

If you agree with me, send me a like!

Thanks for reading!


A Painting of a Person Represents a Tableau of Reality

A painting of a person represents a tableau of the reality of a life, or lives, that currently exist or existed previously. The textured canvas holds the aspirations of the figures within that frozen moment. Timeless, the painting connects generations to life, a vision, or a world that once was.

When I came up with that thought, I had just recently reconnected with a friend of mine. It was ten years since we talked last, and we picked up our friendship where we left off. We got discussing what we’ve been doing over the last ten years. He took up painting for a few years and opened his own shop for making custom pallet headboards. I mentioned that I took up writing, schooling, and DIY home projects. So over the next few days, we shared our work with each other. I was stunned when he sent me his paintings, specifically the subject matter. Every single painting coincided with events that took place in a novel that I wrote. I asked him if I could use his paintings for advertising my material, and he did not hesitate to say yes.

So I added a snippet of a chapter-opening to his painting and sent it back to him via text message.

He immediately asked, “when did you come up with this quote?”

I rifled through my notes and my work and found that I wrote it on November 17th, 2019, and jokingly submitted my evidence to prove it.

He was just as surprised as I was and said that “we must have some sort of connection or something.”

Here is the painting:

The painting hits on every point that the quote was trying to make. Capturing people’s lives, in this case, a father and daughter holding hands, connecting generations frozen in time, we get a taste of a world in which they live.

I genuinely love perusing over older paintings and getting lost in the details. You get an idea of its importance when you look over cave paintings from thousands of years ago and get a taste of the type of culture that the earlier civilizations were cultivating.

To me, it is a very natural behavior. I am not a painter by any means but do understand its importance. It’s an outlet for emotion, cathartic, and really can be considered a form of mediation. Artists being able to create frozen moments in time are such extraordinary people. With the stroke of their hand, they capture the emotions of a moment.

If you agree that painting is an extraordinary talent to possess and serves an important purpose to society, let me know, send me a like!

Thanks for reading!


That’s Just The DIY’er in Me: The Kitchen

Motivation is enigmatic within us.

When will it hit us?

Will it hit us?

How close to the edge before we get that burst of adrenaline and decide now is the time?

For me, it was in my first home. The year was 2016, I wanted to do something special for my wife, and we had just purchased an older home that needed work done. I felt like it’d be a great way to kick off our adventure in marriage.

With excitement in my voice, I proudly said, “you pick the project, and I’ll make it happen!”

I was young and eager to prove to her that I was the right choice for a husband.

She thought about it for, oh, I don’t know, two seconds and blurted out, “the kitchen!”

So I said confidently, “done!”

So from there, I made a few calls with contractors and different businesses to get quotes on renovating the kitchen.

One by one, they filed in, offering different perspectives on what they’d do to the kitchen. They were all very lovely people (of course they were they want your business).

But then something happened! It was horrible! Harsh reality comes crashing down on us when the estimates came in.

One by one, we cycled through them in disbelief.

I read them off to my wife $38k, $42k, $35k,$47k, and I heard her get emotional briefly because we had nowhere near that amount of money.

As I continued reading over the estimates, I quickly realized that our little pipedream of having this magazine-worthy kitchen was going up in smoke. I stood over the estimates, looking over the details, and out of nowhere said, “I’ll do it myself!”

She looked up at me, surprised but intrigued that I didn’t give up on the project.

I doubled down, “Yeah, I’ll clear out all of this, and it’ll be an empty template of a room, and we’ll get the best cabinets you can find, I’ll do the floor, and I’ll do the tiling, and the drywall. We don’t need those guys!”

The look on my wife’s face when I said that I knew there was no turning back on it now.

So off I went starting with the demo:
This was really the point of no return, knocking out 70 year old plastered walls.

Let’s leave the bulkhead! Well I better bust it open just to make sure we are thorough. Oh found a spiderweb, a spiderweb of wires that is! No ground on those 1950’s wires, ran all new electrical, problem solved.

Well, since we knocked the bulkhead out and found some fun surprises, I better gut the wall where the sink is going to be again thorough and safe.

GOOD CALL! The wall was rotted to the point where you can see the outside!

Well now that I found those fun little surprises I better scrutinize everything going forward. The perfectionist and my overly ambitious side took over.

Let me check the other walls. No insulation! Oh and the floor is off by 1/2″, surprise!

I remained steadfast in my faith. I knew God wouldn’t have put me in a situation like this just to fail. It was all part of God’s plan. I was meant to gut these walls and find the rot and other things that would hinder my efforts of keeping my family safe.

I ended up reinsulating the entire area just to be safe. So a total gut job for both rooms. This corner I am standing in, I remember the below picture very well. I stood there thinking I am in over my head with this project. It was such anxiety. I kept my eye on the end result saying it will pay off!

No use standing around pontificating!
No use complaining about it just do it! New subfloor done and both rooms now level.

Slowly but surely, the project started coming together. People say “grab the bull by the horns” but the advice stops there. What do you do after you grab it by the horns?

I continued my project, a lot of work, but worth it!

Everything up to code and off I go with putting it all back together.

My confidence began to grow, and we were sick of doing dishes in the bathroom so I picked up my pace working on things around the clock.

Spackle and sand, spackle and sand!

Spackle and sand, spackle and sand!

It finally got to the point of the project where I went into the bedroom to say to my wife, “it is time for paint!”

Never did I expect to be so happy to hear those words. I was finally on the home stretch.

The painting was finished. I finished it just in time, the cabinets were set to arrive.

It took a few hours to get the cabinets in place but it did go pretty smoothly. The next day our new countertop arrived. It was granite, this part of the project I deferred to the professionals. They set it all in place and left no trace of their visit. They were amazing at their craft.

After that was done, it was time for me to put the finishing touches. I broke out my trusty tiling materials and my saw and got to work. After that was done, I hung all of the rustic kitchen lights.

And walloh….DONE!

Did I mention it is done! Ahhhhh.

Definitely a different type of feeling standing in this corner. No anxiety at all. As a bonus, and because I saved so much doing it myself, I renovated the room(far right) just off the kitchen as well.

I started this project with minimal experience and exposure to this type of work. Here and there, I’d help the family out with small little projects, but nothing to this magnitude. I attacked it with a feverish desire to prove to my wife and myself that with a bit of elbow grease, grit, determination, and passion, we can accomplish anything!

We stood back, looking over the work I had done. The inspector came out, looked over everything, and signed off on the job.

I was happy with the work I had done, but he said something that kind of fluff my ego even more, “I’ve been doing this for years, and for you to do this job, this well just amazing. A lot of contractors don’t even do things this thorough, unbelievable job. You should be proud!”

The waves of emotion that hit me throughout the project were something else. One day I’d feel like I was at the top of the world, but the next day, I’d surveyed the work yet to be done, and then sink into depression and feel overwhelmed. There is no doubt in my mind that I was put into this situation for a reason. God had a plan for me and wanted me to go through all of this.

Thanks for reading!


One’s Mirror Reflection

I was going through some advertising material that I had spun up a few months back for my novel and stumbled across an interesting topic that focused on our mirror reflections.

In my novel, there is a character named Jeffrey, who had recently discovered a mirror for the first time. Jeffrey seeing himself for the first time with visual acuity introduced himself to an unknown entity. He was so enamored with what he saw in the mirror that it caused him to question if there was another world “in there.”

A person he was traveling with answered his question:

“No, no, it’s just our reflection, no witchery, I assure you. There are no thoughts or life behind the eyes staring back at you. We are the reality.”

To which Jeffrey replied:

“I suppose you’re right. One’s mirror reflection can’t carry the weight, hopes, and aspirations of that individual. It is just a shallow copy of the physical being. It is soulless and lifeless. With every blink of the eyes, it ages with us, irrevocably, accepting the inevitable, just as we do.”

The words that he spoke are true when you think about it. The weight of decisions, aspirations, etc., are all placed on us, the physical being. Meanwhile, our mirror image looks back at us with great obedience, ignorant to the stresses of the world.

Another character named Sebastian also had an interesting quote about mirror reflections.

“The mirror reflection of man is its true self, good or evil. The only image as good or evil as itself is the true reflection.”

I felt this was an interesting nugget because it also rings true. When you stare at yourself in the mirror, it doesn’t matter if you are good or evil; it is your mirror image, your true reflection.

Nowadays, people look in the mirror almost every day, but why? Is it for reassurance that they still exist? Is it for validation that they recognize the person staring back at them? 

I personally look in the mirror to see if any of my hair has decided to grow back, still waiting. ::::sigh::::