Monday, July 12, 2010

10 stories, 100 days=Success!

Well...I did it! I accomplished my goal of writing 10 stories in 100 days. I am so excited about this and I think I am going to reward myself with a subscription to The Writer magazine.

Here are the stories I wrote for my challenge including links so you can read any you missed:

1. Dancing with Ghosts

2. Teagan in the Labyrinth
3. The Song of the Whippoorwill
4. Holding my Heart in my Hands
5. Seven and a Half Photographs (with Sarah VanOrd Photography)
6. A Snip Away
7. The Lion and the Swan
8. In the Garden of the Gnomes
9. Yellow
10. Sisterhood (with Sarah VanOrd Photography)

Feel free to comment on any of the stories, comments help me grow and become a better writer.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Holding My Heart in My Arms long last, this is my Mother's Day story. It doesn't need much explaining but I did kind of rush it just so I could stay on track with my goal. I really didn't capture the whole magic of teh moment, but I will work on that in my rewrite. What matters most is that its done and I have something to work with now. For those of you who are mothers feel free to comment some of your own experiences. This will help me get inspired!

Holding My Heart in My arms
The pain was excruciating, sweat dripped from my face and I tried to control my breathing knowing that panic would take me over and only make the pain worse. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore it lessened and disappeared. I sat on my bed wide awake, I had been sleeping only minutes ago and my husband was still snoring quietly. What was that? I thought to myself before lying back down on the bed quickly slipping back into sleep.
Just as I was about to surrender to sleep the pain started again and worsened. My eyes opened wide, suddenly awake again and I realized what was happening. It was time. My baby was coming. Today. I looked at the clock, 4 am and looked nervously at my husband snoring peacefully. I sat up and paced the room, unsure of what I should do. My mind raced a million thoughts per second. I couldn’t think straight and I mindlessly grasped for several things at once.
Get dressed.
Grab your bag.
Calm down.
Wake up husband.
Let him sleep.
Better eat now, they won’t let you at the hospital.
Is the car seat in the car?
Is the crib ready?
My baby is coming today.
My baby is coming! Today!
Another contraction ripped through my abdomen and I paused, remembering to breathe. As it quickly disappeared I grabbed my phone. My mom. I needed to call my mom. I dialed her number and counted the rings. She was an early riser, she should be up. One. Two. Three.
“Hello?” my mom said it with a question and I knew what that question implied.
“Mom? I think it’s time, what do I do?” my voice shook with nervousness.
“Ok, are you having contractions?” her voice calmed me.
“Uh, yeah, about seven minutes apart.” I said glancing at the clock.
“Ok, well they say if you can talk through the contractions you can wait. Can you talk through them?”
“Umm…I am not sure. I don’t know. I …” I grimaced in pain, and forced myself to breathe deeply.
“Okay, I can tell you’re ready. Call the hospital. Wake up Tyler. Stay calm, you’ll be okay.”
“Okay, mom thanks. I love you.”
“I love you, too sweetie. Let me know if they keep you there or not.”
The thought hadn’t crossed my mind that they might send me back home. I started to panic. I couldn’t be sent home. I need to be there. I can’t sit around here all day in pain and waiting. I called the hospital and they told me to go ahead and come in. I ran around gathering my pre-packed bags and purse. I double checked the baby’s room. I started to change, but then decided not to, what’s the point? At last I went to wake up Tyler. He would appreciate that I gave him a few extra minutes of sleep while I got ready. I paused as another contraction coursed through my body before waking him up.
“Hey, I think it’s time.” He grumbled and rolled over. “Hey, wake up. It’s time!” I yelled and shook him.
“Are you sure this time?” he slurred and I rolled my eyes. We had a false alarm only two days before.
“Yes, get up. Let’s go.”I snapped angrily.
“Okay, Let me just jump in the shower.” He rubbed his eyes and yawned.
The shower? I am in pain and he wants to take a shower? I opened my mouth to object and then stopped. I decided staying calm was the best thing at the moment and I was pretty sure I had time to kill. He stumbled to the shower and I calmly walked to the living room, double checking everything. I sat on the exercise ball and bounced lightly. Someone had once told me this helped with the pain. A contraction ripped through me and I caught my breath. They were wrong.
A few minutes later we piled into the car and we were on our way. In the car a million anxieties seized me. In a few hours I would officially be a mother. I had felt like a mother since the moment I found out I was pregnant. I had spent the last nine months getting to know m daughter. Communicating with her through her movements, I would gently tap my belly back. She was my little butterfly. I called her this because she was always so gentle. Her kicks never hurt, but they were soft as if she were just reminding me she was there. She was safe in my belly, but now she would be entering the world and I didn’t know if I was ready.
Would I be a good mom? Will I stick to the parenting plan I had in mind or would I give up, settle for the easy route? Would I be able to handle the lack of sleep, the unexplainable crying spells? I had no more time to prepare for this enormous life change. It was time to face it and I was secretly terrified. But a bigger part of me was overjoyed.
The tiny baby I had gotten to know and love over the last nine months was finally arriving. I would be able to see her for the first time. I would be able to look into her eyes, to touch her skin, to hold her tiny hand in mine. I would finally be able to kiss her and hold her in my arms. I would get to finally introduce her to her father, who has missed out on all of her movements. We pulled up to the hospital entrance and breathed in the early morning summer air. I was ready, and I was hoping it would be a quick delivery.
Thirteen hours later I lay limply on the hospital bed, exhausted. My sister gently brushed my hair and pulled it into braids. I had insisted on doing this natural and I went thirteen hours without so much as an aspirin, but it was getting harder to focus through the contractions. They were getting stronger, and I was getting more tired. When I felt a contraction start I tried to escape to my happy place. Having a contraction, to me, was like climbing a mountain. So this is what I imagined as the contraction peaked.
I saw beautiful mountain on a warm summer’s day, a gentle breeze blowing my hair, cooling me. I climbed and climbed hearing birds singing and friendly forest folk dancing around me, like a Disney movie and then when I reached the peak the sun would shine brightly and the whole world would sing as I climbed back down. Then I would open my eyes and be happy I made it through another climb.
It got harder to do this though. I couldn’t focus enough to summon my happy place. The happy mountain became perilous death trap and the animals ran in fear or snarled in anger, so I simply laid there and tried to breathe. My body felt drained and I just wanted to rest. It was time for some relief so reluctantly I asked for some pain medication.
The drugs brought me some much needed relief but did not take all of the pain away. The nurse told me it would last two hours and I dozed off between contractions. I counted down the minutes, dreading the moment when the medication wore off and I would feel the full force of the contractions once again.
I felt more tired than I had ever felt in my life, and after two hours of pain medication I still did not feel like I could go on.
“I want an epidural.” I stated minutes before the pain medication would have worn off completely. The nurse smiled politely and nodded.
“Good, sometimes it helps things move a lot quicker.” I looked at the clock, fifteen hours in and I was ready for things to move a lot quicker. The nurse left and a few minutes later a doctor came in to give me my epidural and to break my water to speed the labor up.
The doctor frowned at me, “Hmmm, have you felt like you have been leaking a lot lately?”
“Well, yeah,” I said with growing concern, “I was in here two days ago because I thought my water broke then.”
She rifled through some papers and then looked up at me “Yeah, it looks like maybe you were right and you were leaking because there wasn’t a lot of fluid when I broke your water. But don’t worry; it looks like everything is fine.”
She walked out of the room and my heart raced. What if something is wrong? How long had she been in there without enough amniotic fluid, I rubbed my belly as it tightened and was relieved that I didn’t feel any pain.
The nurse walked over and checked my IV, “Wow, you feel warm. Are you feeling okay?” I shrugged. How should I know what it’s supposed to feel like being in labor?
“Yep, you have a fever,” she said sticking a thermometer in my mouth. A few seconds later it beeped and she frowned, “103.5, that’s not good. We have to get some antibiotics in you before that baby comes.”
She started another IV of antibiotics and I slumped on the bed just wanting this whole thing to be over. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I thought of my baby and how very soon I will be able to hold her and see her. Will she have her daddy’s eyes? My mouth? Will she have lots of hair or hardly any? I was dying to know but at the same time, I only cared that she was healthy.
After another two hours I suddenly felt the need to push. My eyes sprang open and I help my breath. Once again the feeling returned. I was relieved and excited, but mostly terrified. I turned my head and whispered with what I felt was all my strength.
“I think it’s time.”
My husband had been dozing on the couch and my sister lounging in a chair watching the Olympics on television. They turned towards me suddenly.
“What did you say?” my sister asked “We couldn’t hear you.”
“I need to push!” I said louder as an intense pressure wrapped around my midsection. Just then my nurse walked in.
“I need to push, “I said quietly.
“Are you sure, because we really need to get all these antibiotics in you?”
“Yes, I am pretty sure I need to push, now.” I was getting annoyed
“Okay…” she said, I could tell she didn’t believe me, but she prepped to check me. “Oh, yes. You’re definitely ready! Just breathe slowly and don’t push until I get back, okay?”
She left the room and a few minutes later she returned. She set up several supplies I hadn’t a clue what they were for and my sister and husband took their spots near my head.
“Okay,” the nurse said, “When you feel the need to push I want you to take a deep breath like you going swimming and push as hard as you can” I nodded and focused on the television I took a deep breath just as the whistle blew for the Olympic swimmers to jump into the water.
After three pushes the nurse looked at me, “Umm, okay, you are moving along a lot faster than I expected so you are going to have to breathe through the next couple without pushing until the doctor comes in.” I wanted to cry. I wanted to scream. I just sat there defeated breathing as I felt the need to push once again. I breathed through three of these when the nurse walked back into the room.
“Can I push now? “ I whimpered.
“Not yet, I’m sorry.” I wanted to cry.
“What? Where’s the doctor? Hasn’t been forever?”
My sister smiled at me, “I think it’s only been about 45 seconds or so. You’ll be okay, just breathe.”
Suddenly the room came to life as the doctor and several other nurses’ entered the room. When you are in labor, all modesty goes out the window. I felt like I was in a zoo but I didn’t care where I was, I just wanted this baby to be in my arms.
“Okay, you can push now!” the doctor said. I took a deep breath and relaxed and before I could even push I felt the pressure ease and the doctor help up my daughter for me to see.
All time stopped as she looked right at me with those big, blue eyes and I broke down and started crying. She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. The umbilical cord was cut and as the doctor laid her on my chest and wrapped her in a blanket the rest of the world dissolved into a nothing an for a few breathe moments there existed nothing but us. I help her and smiled so wide my face hurt and tears fell down my face to land on her little head. She felt so warm and marveled at her beauty and perfection. She looked up at me, confused and bewildered, but somehow I knew that she knew I was her mother. I felt a familiar tug at my heart. This was the same feeling I felt every time I felt her move when I was pregnant and I knew that it was our bond pulling even tighter. I held her close for a few more minutes and took in everything.
“She’s perfect.” I whispered.
I ran my fingers all over her, counting her fingers and toes, touching her sweet little bow of a mouth and tiny nose, gently pinching her chipmunk cheeks. I noticed that she had two little cowlicks on the crown of her head and the swirled together to make the shape of a heart. I smiled at this and thought of a poem I heard months ago when I was only a few months pregnant.
“Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body.” Elizabeth Stone

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Song of the Whippoorwill-Part 1

I am trying something a little different with this story. I started writing this story for a children's picture book a while ago and never finished it. So here is The first few pages, I will finish it and post the rest tomorrow. Before you start, this is very sing-songy (which is's for kids) and yes, I use big words, but I think you should use big words with kids. Let me know what you think! Oh...and in case you didn't know a whippoorwill is a bird I think found in Southern states. I grew up in Missouri and to this day I love and miss the sound of the whippoorwill in the summer, it was a big part of my childhood. If you want to hear it, you can click here!

The Song of the Whippoorwill

On a warm Summer’s eve, when the sun has gone to sleep
When the children go to bed and whisper not a peep
After long games of baseball and hide-and-go seek,
After juicy watermelon and a melting ice cream treat,

The creatures of the forest prepare for a twilight celebration.
The deer and the fox start the nightly jubilation.
The staccato of their hooves and soft whooshing of their tails,
Signal to the wolves to begin their slow and lonesome wails.

The bats join in with their papery-soft flapping
And the beaver’s wide flat tails start the rhythmic tapping
The crickets chirp together, the cicadas harmonize, too
And the wise owl sitting in a tree quietly sings “Who?”

The animals sing excitedly in sweet anticipation
For the shy singing star of the nightly celebration
A bird who sings her own name in a lovely melodic twill
She hides in shadows and sings sweetly one word, “Whippoorwill.”

The little bird flies in shadows and never shows her face
She sings her song nightly at a slow and steady pace.
Though she is timid, she is always heard, but never seen
Admired by all animals; tall, short, wide and lean.

As they all listened quietly and headed off to bed
A young, curious turtle scratched his little head
He asked as he fell asleep “Who is this mysterious bird?
Can she truly exist if she is never seen, but only heard?

Early in the morning, after all the animals woke
The turtle stood in front of them and confidently spoke,
“Every night we all admire the famous Whippoorwill’s song,
But if we never see her, maybe she never existed all along!”

The animals stared as the turtle continued to talk,
“We see the other singers, the owl, and even the hawk,
But if we never know if she has feathers or if she’s furry
How do we know that she isn’t an imaginary story?”

The crowd of animals listened and shook their heads in disbelief
They wondered why this young turtle would bring them so much grief
A fox replied, “Every night we celebrate, we dance and we sing,
We admire the whippoorwill for the song she chooses to bring.”

A deer proudly stated, “We do not need proof that she is near,
Through her song she sings every night we know that she is here.
Who else could sing her name in that beautiful melodic way?”
The animals nodded in agreement and continued with the day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teagan in the Labyrinth Part3

And here is the end of the chapter!

She shook her head slowly, “No, it’s not possible. It’s just this place, it’s magical isn’t it?” She looked up to him hopefully.
“Well, you are right about this place being magic. In Animus Gratia magic just exists everywhere, like oxygen. But some people can control it more than others.”
“Like Maggie?” She asked. He raised his eyebrows.
“Yes, Maggie can control magic a little. She kinda specializes in comforts; food, clothes, a warm place to sleep…”
“And you? What do you specialize in?” she asked quizzically.
He smiled and ran a hand through his sandy hair, “Well…some say I can work my magic with the women.” He smiled and winked at her. Teagan stared back at him with wide eyes, feeling as if she had been tricked. His smile slowly faded.
“Teagan, that was a joke.” He said.
“A joke? Liam, I don’t need jokes right now. I need the truth.” She stared at him, waiting for a reply. He sighed deeply then picked up a handful of sand and closed it in his hand.
“The truth? I can barely control any magic at all. I can alter things slightly, but that’s the extent of it.” She looked at him raising one eyebrow. He held his closed hand up in front of her and opened it slowly. He had been holding sand but now tiny blue pebbles slid off his hand and piled onto the soft sand. “It isn’t very useful for the most part, I could never turn sand into a butterfly like you just did.”
Teagan looked out across the water thoughtfully. “How did you know I could do it?” she said quietly.
“Well, for one, you have a group of fairies following you.” She looked behind her and saw the tiny creatures that she had assumed were butterflies and gasped in surprise. “They are drawn to people with magical abilities.”
Teagan stood up and studied the fairies closer. “Will they hurt me?” she whispered.
Liam laughed as he stood up next to her, “Of course not, they worship you. In fact, they kind of protect you. You do not want to come across a pissed off fairy. Here, watch this…” He gently grabbed her arm and held it up, palm up.
The fairies fluttered and slowly, hesitantly flew towards her out stretched hand. A red-winged fairy stepped onto her palm and bowed. Teagan brought her hand slowly towards her face to examine the tiny creature. It had beautiful rose colored skin that glowed slightly, it wore a dress of what appeared to be woven rose buds and grass. It’s short hair floated around her head as if she were under water.
“She is beautiful.” Teagan said softly, smiling.
Liam smiled, “ Yeah, they are.”
Teagan stretched her arm out again and a green and blue winged fairy landed on her hand, both bowing deeply. Teagan smiled widely. The swarm of fairies began to fly closer and land on her arms, shoulders and hair. Before she knew it she was covered and they fluttered there bright wings, cooling her. A tiny fairy floated in the air in front of her nose. It reached out a tiny hand and touched the tip of Teagan’s nose. Then it leaned closer and kissed her. Teagan could feel the cool, wet kiss on her nose.
“The kisses of fairies have the same effects as the pond, but it lasts a little longer. They are blessing you.”
“Wow,” Teagan breathed at a loss for words.
The fairies slowly started flying away one by one until they were all gone and flying in the air above her.
“That was amazing. It was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.” Teagan said beaming.
Liam smiled at her and to Teagan it looked like the first genuine smile she had seem from him since arriving here, free of all smugness and self-assuredness he usually possessed.
“I just have one question; you keep saying that you can’t tell me anything or that it’s not your job to tell me. Why can’t you tell me?”
“Well, it’s in the name. We are the Guardians of Truth. That is exactly what we do. We are kind of an elite secret society. We are sworn to secrecy and cannot ever break that vow. I know it’s hard to understand to an outsider, but I hope you understand that if I could I would tell you everything. Please understand that.” He looked at her pleadingly.
She studied his face and wondered what great and terrible secrets lay behind those warm brown eyes.
“Why have you been avoiding me?”She asked in a voice barely above a whisper.
He hesitated and ran a hand through his hair. “That’s two questions; you said you only had one.” He smiled in that charming half-smile of his.
Teagan rolled her eyes, “Liam…”
“Teagan, I like you. I really do. When I talked to you in the bookstore that day, well, it was the first time I felt like I could be myself. The first time I felt I could connect with someone.” She smiled shyly at him, “But, it is forbidden. It is not advisable for me to have any kind of a relationship with you, even friendship.” Her smile faded and she looked at her feet. He stared at her waiting for a response. After several minutes she looked up at him and smiled.

She walked over to the pond and dipped a toe in the water. “So, what else can I do with this magic?”
He smiled widely at her, “You can move the world of you want to.” She playfully kicked water at him and he ducked out of the way.
“Show me.” She said holding out her hand.
He walked over to her and held her hand in his. “Remember, the first day you were here? I had you and Taryn hide in the cave? What happened right before I came back?”
Teagan bit her lip in thought, “It started raining.”
He smiled at her, “Before that?”
“The lightning? It struck the branch and caught it on fire.” Teagan said.
“And when it fell into the cave, you were scared right?”
“Of course I was. I thought we were trapped inside. I thought we would die. I remember wishing that…” realization swept over her and she looked up at Liam, “…wishing that it would rain. Did I make it rain?” she asked excitedly.
“You figured that out all on your own, I didn’t technically reveal anything to you, remember that.” He said smiling.
“I made it rain? I really made it rain? It’s impossible…” she said shakily.
“No, Teagan, not for you it isn’t.” He took both her hands in his and faced her, “And you can do it again, anytime you want.”
Teagan closed her eyes and took a deep breath. After a few seconds it began to rain softly on them. She lifted her head up to the sky and smiled gleefully. The rain was warm and gently falling on her face, it felt like a thousand tiny kisses from a thousand tiny fairies. She let go of Liam’s hands and laughed as she began dancing in the rain. Spinning happily in the falling rain that she had created.
“You did it Teagan! You made it rain, and you can do so much more. You can have anything you need.” Teagan stopped spinning suddenly and looked at Liam sadly.
“What I need more than anything right now is a friend to get me through this.”
He smiled sadly at her, “I think…” he brushed the hair out of his eyes, “ I think that I can handle that. Everyone needs a friend.”
“It’s not forbidden?” she asked.
“Ah, screw them. There is nothing wrong with friendship, right?” he smiled at her and she smiled back.
“We should be getting back, it’s almost dinner time. You know by now how Maggie is about punctuality.” Liam said walking over to her and holding out his hand for her.
Teagan picked up her bag and reached for his hand. They began finding their way through the labyrinth as the rain slowed and stopped and the sun warmed them, drying their hair.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Teagan in the Labyrinth Part 2

This is the next couple if you are just tuning part 1 first!

Teagan picked at a piece of grass, suddenly feeling embarrassed. “I have been trying to figure out how to get you alone ever since you came here. When you weren’t with Taryn at breakfast I figured today was my chance. Though it took me all morning to figure out you were here. I should have known you would be here.” Liam said, “Why did you come here anyway?”
“I just came here to be alone. I don’t really belong here.” She said quietly, staring at the grass.
Liam looked at her and lowered his voice, “Of course you belong here. You are part of us, you know? This is your true home.”
She looked up at him, “ You have been looking for me? Why?”
He studied her a moment, “I wanted to talk to you.”
“If you wanted to talk to me you could have at any time. You have been avoiding me and you know it.” She said an edge of anger creeping into her voice. “You have no idea what is has been like for me here. I have no one to talk to. I have been thrown into a foreign land with nothing. I am used to being ignored by Taryn, we never have been close. But part of me was hoping that I would have you to talk to. Do you realize that besides Taryn, you are the one person I know the most? And honestly, I know nothing about you at all. You are an enigma. No matter how hard I try I just can’t figure you out.” She stood abruptly and walked over to the soft white sand burying her toes in the warmth.
Liam hesitated and then followed her. She stared out at the lake, “It’s frustrating. I am here in this strange place, surrounded by strange people. I don’t even know who I am anymore. My parents weren’t who I thought they were. My whole life has been a lie and I feel like I am trapped in a bad dream. I don’t belong here. I don’t understand why I am here.” She spit out as tears fell down her face.
“Have you been reading the book?” Liam said quietly.
“The book? What does the book have to do with anything? The only thing I have figured out from that book is about Noemi and Devi. What does that have to do with me?” She said angrily.
Liam looked at her knowingly, “The book has the answers you look for, if you read it. That’s why the book chose you; it has a story for you and you alone.”
“God, that’s another thing, everyone here seems to know the answers but doesn’t want to tell me. If everyone knows the answers why not make my life easier and just tell me?”
“It’s not my place to tell you.” Liam said looking out at the pond.
Teagan sunk to her knees frustrated and covered her face in her hands and sobbed. Liam stared at her a moment and then sunk down to her level.
“Look, Teagan…I can’t,” he started and then hesitated biting his lip thoughtfully “I can’t really tell you, but maybe I can help you.”
She looked up at him, “How?”
Liam pulled her hand from her face and held it palm up. He scooped up a handful of sand and poured it into her hand. Teagan watched intently, confused. He then folded her fingers closed over the sand and held her hand in both of his.
“Now, think Teagan, think of anything. Focus on that one thing.” She closed her eyes tightly.
“Are you thinking of something?” She nodded her head.
“Ok, now open your eyes.” He let go of her hand and she opened her fingers slowly. Two bright blue butterflies opened their wings in the palm of her hand and flew off into the air, the sand had disappeared.
Teagan gasped and looked at Liam “That was you, you did that. How?”
He shook his head, “No, Teagan, that was all you.”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Teagan in the Labyrinth Part 1

I have heard that there a lot of people out there reading my blog! I know you're out there....but I can't see you...or hear you. So send me an email and let me know what you think of my writings. I need feedback so I can grow. So go ahead...tell me you love it...tell me you hate it. If you can't leave a comment here email me at

So here is my favorite chapter of the book I am attempting to write. If you have read parts in the past this will be a sneak peek of the next installment. This is the first two pages, I will post a couple pages a day.

Chapter 8 from House of Dust

Teagan in the Labyrinth

Teagan lay on the soft grass and stared up at the glorious blue sky. Once again the weather was perfect, as it had been every day since the thunderstorm the day they arrived. Maggie wasn’t joking when she said that it never rained here. She sighed and rolled over onto her belly looking out across the crystal blue pond of water.
It had been over a week since Maggie had sent out messengers to find out more information on the whereabouts of Teagan’s parents and now she just waited impatiently. Wanting to escape the strange world she was currently trapped in, she woke up early and packed her bag full of food borrowed from Maggie’s well-stocked kitchen. She brought along her journal and the mysterious leather-bound book and searched for a place where she could be alone and not have to face another person, especially her sister who she feared she had disappointed, and Liam, who was content with ignoring her.
After hours of exploring Pond Haven in the early morning light, Teagan happened upon a beautiful labyrinth set behind the training fields. The walls of the labyrinth were tall, thick leafy bushes that were spotted in lavender flowers and smelled like a heavenly mixture of lilac and honeysuckle. She spent the morning wandering these strange pathways and getting happily lost in the flowers. She had never felt lonelier in all her life, but at this moment she was happy to be ignored.
She had explored the mysteries of the labyrinth for what seemed like hours when she finally came to the exact center of the labyrinth and found the most beautiful pond she had ever seen. Its water was a clear, sparkling blue and it was surrounded by soft white sand. Butterflies flew lazily in the air and Teagan could swear she could just make out a soft sound like wind chimes. The breeze blew gently and the sun warmed her skin. Instantly, she smiled widely at this piece of perfection and threw down her bag and the book. She kicked off her leather, strappy sandals and ran to the pond, jumping into the water. It was the perfect temperature, cool but bearable. She swam slowly in the water reveling in the perfection. After awhile she floated on her back and relaxed. It was the first time she had felt completely at ease since her parents had been taken and she wanted to stay here forever. She reluctantly stepped out of the water to dry off in the warm sun.
Now she lay on the soft grass just outside the pond, relishing in the warmth of the sun. She felt different somehow, peaceful and at ease, she felt that she had come to terms with everything that happened and was ready to face her fears. She felt more powerful, and somehow, beautiful. She wondered if it was something in the water or if it was the magic of this place, but at the moment she didn’t care where it had come from. She closed her eyes and realized her skin felt somehow more alive. It was tingling pleasantly and the grass felt somehow more soft than it had felt before, the sun more comforting and the smell stronger, but more pleasant. She could clearly here wind chimes now, but now it sounded more like the mellow chimes that are made of bamboo. She felt as if all her senses were heightened somehow and she ran her fingers over the grass enjoying the richness of it all. Liam crept into her mind and she felt her pulse quicken and her cheeks warm. She imagined his sandy hair and his deep brown eyes, the curve of his mouth, the ropy muscles of his arms. She smiled wanting to lose herself in his arms, but she stretched lazily and slowly opened her eyes.
She ran her fingers through her hair and realized that it had dried already and felt somehow wavier than ever before. She sat up and looked at the dress she had put on this morning, a simple knee-length, cotton spaghetti strap dress. She stood up and spun a slow circle, feeling her dress and suddenly the fabric became softer, smoother. Her dress had suddenly transformed into a pearly satin dress, the same dress, only better. She stopped suddenly, staring at her hands.
Her breath came in shallow gasps. Had she just done that? She had been thinking that the dress seemed too simple for this beautiful place and when she had run her hands across the fabric it had miraculously transformed. I couldn’t have done that, it’s not possible. She thought as she dropped her hands and shook her head. Suddenly she heard a noise to her left and though she should have been frightened, she felt amazingly calm. She stared at the break in the bushes that opened towards the pond with curiosity and not with fear as she would have done before.
Liam strode through and stopped short, staring at Teagan with surprise.
“Teagan? What…” he stopped midsentence and stared at her. His eyes moved slowly up and down her body, over her hair and finally settled on her face. Teagan knew she should have felt embarrassment, knew she should have felt the familiar flush in her cheeks but instead she felt strong, beautiful and charming. She smiled at him watching her, not feeling self-conscious in the least. Somehow she felt empowered and more confident. She confidently walked up to him and stopped an arms length away, she had the urge to throw her arms around his neck and kiss him and she knew, somehow, by the look in his eyes he wouldn’t protest. Yet, she was feeling strangely powerful and a little spiteful.
“Teagan, you look…You look amazing.” He stammered and smiled shyly, this was unexpected to Teagan who had started to notice that Liam was a little smug and cocky.
They had been here a week and for the most part Liam seemed to be avoiding Teagan at all costs. She was hurt and confused, Liam was the first guy she had ever had feelings for and before they had arrived in Animus Gratia she was starting to think he liked her, too. But since arriving here he had begun to be cold towards her, turning his head when she looked at him and sometimes even leaving a room when she entered.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bucket List

So Brooke and Sarah have both posted great Bucket lists so I was inspired to do the same. But Before I do that , I wanted to talk about challenging yourself. I am really trying to get to know myself again. After you have a baby, a lot of your identity gets temporarily misplaced. You suddenly just become a "MOM". I love being a mom, but sometimes I can't remember who I was before being a mom. When I started this "Get Healthy" challenge I honestly didn't think I would do it...but I have and when I hit 100 days, I was so impressed with myself. I never finish anything. Ever. And here I am ....100 plus days later, still going strong and looking for more challenges! On April 1st I challenged myself to write 10 stories in 100 days because I love to write and I want to write, but I hold myself back because I am scared of what other people will think. But I don't care anymore, I just want to do things because.....well, because...I want's as simple as that. Why not? Why not live my life without regrets? So I think when I finish my 10/100 challenge(and I will finish it) I will start a new challenge...maybe learning guitar, taking a Kung Fu class...I don't know. I just know I want to challenge myself this year, to see what I can do. That is the kind of role model I want to be for my daughter, someone who is not scared to take a chance. Another challenge I MIGHT be doing is this thing called Urban Dare. I say might because I technically have class this day. Urban Dare is kind of like the tv show "Amazing Race" in Minneapolis. It's a race...5 miles have to stop at different check points and do fun dares like climb a rock wall or eat something weird (no bugs). AND you wear fun costumes! It raises money for breast cancer research. My sister and I are thinking of teaming up. I am excited and hope I can get out of class.

I was looking at my Bucket list from a few years ago and realized I have completed some (like going to a Paul McCartney concert.) and some I still need to do. So here is my new bucket list, I am making it up as I go...

1. Dance in the rain with Harliegh (to show her its okay to do things like that)
2. Dye my hair a funky color at least once
3. Learn to play at least one song on the guitar
4. Take a Kung-Fu, Tae Kwon do, or Karate type class
5. Take a dance class ( I always wanted to be a ballerina)
6. Run a marathon
7. Go to NYC for Christmas with just Tyler and my kids
8. Go on a beach vacation ( I have never been on a real vacation)
9. Read all 100 books on the classics list (at last count I think I had 40 or so)
10. Watch all the classic movies ( I love Casablanca and Singing in the Rain!)
11. See old friends and meet online friends
12. Paint a picture I am proud of
13. Write a book
14. Publish something...a book, a story, a small paragraph...
15. Randomly and anonymously send money to someone who needs help
16. Write letters to all my friends and family telling them how much I love them
17. Plant a garden
18. Learn to knit
19. Stand in the front row at a concert
20. Get a Bachelor's Degree
21. Get a Master's Degree
22. Go canoeing
23. Go camping with my kids
25. Be a good role model for my kids
26.Be somebody's muse
27. Go to the Ellen Degeneres Show
28. Go to a Conan show...if he ever gets back on tv :(
29. Visit all 50 states
30. Have a huge dinner party with all my family and friends

I can probably think of a million more...but that's all I've got for now!
Goodnight y'all!