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Showing posts from September, 2015

13 Things That Excite Writers

New Books-- Clean, unscratched covers. White, unwrinkled paper. Stiff, unopened bindings. These three things that make a writer smile. The neat thing about new books is that they get all writers excited, not just the authors. Every writer gets excited about new books, even if it's not "theirs."
Old Book-- Dusty, ripped pages. Faded, stained words. Withering, broken covers. Old books attract attention because their story transcends the plot of the tale within. Writer's hold old books and think, "I wish my books will one day be loved so much that someone would take the time to preserve them and pass them onto another owner."
Children's Books-- Sometimes the simplest plots reveal the greatest about our world. Every writer understands the difficulty of writing a book for children, because they deal with the same emotional, relational problems we do, just in different terms. Essentially children's books challenge the same world adult books due, only in a …

So, I Wrote a List of Things That Make Me Smile

I knew they were about to take my family away from me. I would soon be forced to say goodbye to my three foster brothers and foster sister. I couldn't fight for them--I didn't have the power to stop this injustice.      As of then, I didn't know specifics, but the day was coming when I'd have to deal with my family being ripped apart. Everything was about to go terribly wrong, and I did see it coming.
     I walked into school that afternoon. There were five minutes left of study hall before I had to go to class, so I sat in the cold hall, pulled out a pen and paper, and wrote down a list of things that made me a smile.
     The list wasn't long--maybe three things. I don't remember what I wrote, and I can't find the list.
     Smiling didn't get me through that day. Writing that list didn't make me smile at all. But, it did force me to remember things I'd forgotten. In the midst of a week that my whole life was tossed in the air, grace s…

When Writing Is Going Well

My seat on the panel was on the end. Two chairs over, sat Nancy Rue, one of my favorite authors as a child. The man next to me had cried that morning after reading my poetry--a situation I was not expecting. I was grossly unqualified to sit next to these professionals, and as teens asked their questions, I mulled over responses, never feeling like I had a good enough answer. I offered my prospective a couple times, but I knew that every other person on that panel could provide better insight.
     "How do I stay focused on God if everything starts to go well."      This teen's question made me look up from my knees. As he finished explaining his fear of losing sight of God during success, I began to fidget in my seat.      I don't know why I felt like I had the knowledge to answer his question. My success was by far the simplest of the panel. My name meant the least in the industry. My portfolio was the smallest. But, I still rose my hand and gave an answer. …

My Brain Won't Let Me Study

Calm down, brain.
This is not your time to speak.
I need this time to work.
You're in my way.
I know you're excited and stressed.
I'll get to you, I promise.
Please, learn some patience.
Your thoughts can wait.
My deadlines can't.
My head hurts.
I want to sleep.
But, I can't
You know that.
I know you have a story to say,
But I need you to wait.
I'm sorry.
***I'm working through the struggle of being a student first and writer second. This lesson is harder than I expected, but I am learning. ~ Alyson

When Your Family Drives Eight Hours to See You

The glass doors swung open. Anna saw me and sprinted across the sidewalk. Reagan and Sawyer ran after her. Kyle and Maddie walked behind with Matthew, Mom, and Dad.
I tossed my phone onto the grass and held open my arms for Anna's incoming hug. "Aly." She screamed and ran into my embrace. Reagan and Sawyer caught up, gave me a hug, and described everything they had done since they dropped me off at college. Reagan immediately asked if I had brought my fish, Jamie Summers, with me. I told him, "No," that I didn't carry her around campus with me but he could see her later.
After this meeting, we went to the woman's soccer game. I went to work and later belayed so Matthew, Kyle, and Maddie could rock climb in the gym.
Sunday, we went to a community church service in town, and went for a hike through a beautiful gorge. Labor Day was established by a man from Cedarville so the town's celebration is a weekend-long event. So on Monday, we went to the a…

Boldy Go...

"To boldly go where no man has gone before," a mission statement of a fictitious spaceship created decades ago--set hundreds of years in the future. I'm the only child in the family to love Star Trek alongside my dad. My youngest brother, Reagan, might say he loves Deep Space Nine, but he really just likes the M&M's I give him when he watches with me. Star Trek has become a special link between my Dad and I. We still watch them on our own and talk about them, discuss the latest news. Right now, I have "Boldly go" scrawled on a whiteboard in my dorm room. It's been there since the day I moved in, and I haven't thought of anything to replace the quote. I'm good at boldly going. Over the past few years, I've jumped into things that kids my age just don't do. They don't write books, speak at conferences, communicate with adults, act professional in a particular field. Teenagers don't work, buy a train ticket, and take a solo trip…