Nadia Kotova

United States

Hey guys!
Writer
Baker
Beverly Lewis books
Percy Jackson
Harry Potter
Louisa May Alcott
Disney
HTTYD
Homeschooled
Perpetually happy
Most importantly: a child of the King
I love you!
Jesus loves you!
To God be the glory!

Message from Writer

When I was twelve, I started writing a story about wolves inclosed a fifty page mini-notebook with a blue sparkle cover. Now, I'm fifty typed pages into a fantasy novel that I started at fourteen and have revamped. Hopefully one day you'll see on bookstore shelves.
Never give up on your writing. Don't throw anything away, even if it stinks. The little snippets of nothing you started as a 10 year old can always be reworked into something wonderful. All good writers have journals of bad stuff. The good writers are the ones who kept writing anyway.
I almost threw away that first blue notebook. Now I have an abundance of journals and spirals filled to the brim. Don't give up. God gave you the desire to write for a reason!
I love you guys!

Published Work

Novel Writing Competition 2018

Lillian's Rain

 I almost hit Raven with my car when I pulled into the driveway. Slamming on the brakes and flinging gravel into the wet grass, I blared the horn. "Out of the way, Raven!" I shouted. I let out a slow breath, willing the shaking to stop. No one would forgive me, especially not myself, if I killed Raven- the twin who was supposed to live -even on accident. 
    She stayed planted in front of my car. I honked at her again, but she locked her eyes with mine. Raven's arms wrapped around her stomach, trembling. The look on her face reminded me of my older sister Sadie's the day our parents died. I knew instantly her face streamed with something other than rain. 
    My stomach clenched. Numbness shot down my arms. 
    I threw myself from the car barely remembering to put it in park.
    "Is Lillian okay?" I grabbed her by the shoulders, raising...

Your Ideas for WtW

My Ideas

-I love being a part of a supportive community of writers. The encouragement I have received from my peers solidified the fact that I'm not wasting my time with something in which I have no potential. It has really bolstered my drive to write as well as the belief that I can write. 

-The only thing that I have not liked was the review I received back from the write the word editor (whatever they are actually called, I can't remember). I had already received good reviews from my peers on the competition piece, but the professional missed the point I was trying to communicate unlike the teenagers who use this site. I know that because this is a website for kids, they don't expect the depth an adult can convey, but age does not determine skill in any way, shape, or form. This is probably just me being petty, but I still didn't appreciate the tone of the review. 
...

Where I'm From

Popsicle Stains

Where I'm from

I'm from sticky fingers on Christmas morning
Colored lights refracted on jingle bell ornaments 
Wrapping paper bows stuck in my hair

I'm from dirt under nails and yesterday's rain
Purple irises drooped over the porch 
Dancing in ribbons and polka-dot skirts 

I'm from peeling sunburns on the sand of the lake
Scalding sidewalks that blister bare feet 
My old yellow tank spotted popsicle stains

I'm from purpling leaves that don't turn orange 
Pulling blankets 'round shoulders once the sun goes down
Numb nose and toes after reading on the backyard swing 

I'm from pigtails, princess games and dress-up shoes
Chocolate spots on stuffed, smiling cheeks 
Watermelon rinds and swinging my legs 

I'm from hand-me-downs and playdates
Hand-holding with Mom and catch with my dad 
Flying like dragons with my brother 

That's where I'm from


 

The World Anew

The City

    The heat in the city is almost viscous, but my siblings won't let me roll the windows up. Car exhaust that burns my lungs spirals in each lane of traffic. There are six of them and that makes my head spin. Buildings fingering the sky loom over us. I'd felt small in the country, but at least I could see stars at night, remember there's more than just this world. 
    But here, the ground is concrete, billboards flash on every corner, and even my sky is shrouded with buildings. 
    It's like being swallowed by a cement monster. 
    Someone in front of us swerves and honks at the Cadillac in the neighboring lane. I clutch the seat, knuckles white, as they straighten out. 
    I try to focus on the sidewalks, but the thin, spindly trees surrounded by seasonal flowers and wood chips only mock my memories of the tire swing swaying...

Five Beginnings

Exactly 12:00 P.M.

Opener One:  
Pricilla McCombs always flounced around in her Sunday finest and sparkly jewelry even on days that weren't Sunday. She'd sigh, gaze down at her stubby fingers, and ooze about how she just couldn't resist such pretty things. I knew why. It was because with her tomato nose stuck on that ugly scrunched up face, she herself didn't have an ounce of pretty in her, not one bit. 
  
Opening Two:
It was exactly 12:00 P.M. when the clock on town hall struck 1:00 and nobody questioned it. 
  
Opening Three: 
"Don't ever tell Aunt Lizzie your name," my father urged me the day he died. "I don't care if she's your guardian now. Whatever you do, don't tell her your name."  
  
Opener Four:
Each day started them same: Mrs. Willowsby would yell at me for getting up late with my hair frazzled down to its tips that hit the waist of my wrinkled dress. She'd...

FACT

More than the Stars

    There are more stars in the sky than people. But that never stopped you from counting them. 
    I rolled my eyes at you when you tried, running my hand across the tongues of the waist-high grass in that field we used to wade through. Back before we kicked through toys and wiped up baby spit-up at night instead. Back before we didn't have time to give the stars more than a thought when glanced through a cracked blind. 
    Oh, but you loved the stars, the adventure they held to you. I did too, but not the way you did. You could name more constellations than I could vocabulary words and you would do so every time we walked slowly through that abandoned bit of paradise. It was paradise to us, anyway. 
    You asked me to marry you in the field, do you remember? The grass nearly closed over your head when you...

Where I'm From

Popsicle Stains

Where I'm from

I'm from sticky fingers on Christmas morning
Colored lights refracted on jingle bell ornaments 
Wrapping paper bows stuck in my hair

I'm from dirt under nails and yesterday's rain
Pap's irises drooping over the porch concrete
Ribbons and polka-dot skirts under pear flowers

I'm from peeling sunburns on the sand of our lake
Scalding sidewalks that blister bare feet 
My old yellow tank splattered with popsicle stains

I'm from purpling leaves 'cause ours don't turn orange 
Pulling blankets around shoulders once the sun goes down
Numb nose and toes after reading four hours on the back porch swing 

I'm from pigtails, princess games and dress-up shoes
Chocolate spots on stuffed, smiling cheeks 
Watermelon rinds and swinging my legs 

I'm from hand-me-downs once my close friends'
Holding hands with my mom and playing catch with my dad 
Learning how to fly like dragons with my brother 

That's where I'm from


 

The Breakup Song

Okay, I (like as in me, Nadia, not a character) don't usually do this, but I'm going to make a shameless pitch for a good song. 
You guys should all check out "The Breakup Song" by Francesca Battistelli.
The music is amazing and Francesca's vocals are powerful and brilliant as always. 
However, the words are liberating.
She's a Christian artist, but this particular song is not explicitly Christian. It's more like explicitly human. 
Our world is broken, with teens like you and me suffering its consequences. So many people are depraved of love, security, and hope, instead chafing their wrists under the chains of hate, insecurity, and perceived worthlessness. 
And these things -particularly insecurity, the jerk- often stem from fear. 
I struggle with fear. It is my besetting sin. It is only by the never-ending grace of God I do not live with it devouring me from the inside anymore. 
The Breakup Song is a song of freedom. 
You guys,...

Monostich

Buttercup Hair

Buttercup Hair

There's my little girl, with buttercup hair and bluebonnet eyes 


Pretty World

Come dance with me, pretty world, pretty world







 

“In January”

In January

I've always dreamt of snow 
The biting air that shivers when the cold winds blow
Colors of a postcard

I've always wanted snow 
To sled in the flakes as they tumble and billow
Ice forts in the backyard 

I've always prayed for snow
Rushing on brisk mornings to the open window
Hoping for a snowball fight

I've always imagined snow
Catching snowflakes on tongues 'fore drinking hot cocoa 
Wonderland shining bright

But, I never have snow
In outdoors that allows nothing but green to grow 
Wind seventy warm degrees

In January, snow
Stays far away from empty southern meadows 
Replaced by springlike breeze

Signing Off

Be a Kid

    Dear Teens, 
     The problem with growing up is one moment you're smack in the middle of childhood and the next thing you know it's in your rear view mirror. 
    It's not some long, gradual process. In the blink of an eye, you go from ribbons in your hair and pretend games to expectations and mountainous responsibilities. It doesn't feel fast until you get to the end of it. But as you look back, trying to hold on to the rope of innocence as it slips through your fingers, you begin to wish for just one more day as a kid. 
    Don't squander you time as a child. Eat popsicles. Play in the dirt. Use every ounce of your imagination. Sing loudly. Laugh. Read good books. Write fun stories. Throw a ball for a dog. Lay in the grass. Get excited about little things. Read more good books. You feel old at 13,...

Intersection

Stars of the City

    The city can try all it wants, but it cannot take the stars. 
    Neon lights blink, headlights blaze, street lights give a small halo of dim yellow in each neighborhood. 
    They mix together and fade the stars, but it cannot whisk them away. We may not be able to see them all, but they are there. Twinkling. Burning. 
    In fact, the city makes stars pretty. Maybe they are not as bright. Maybe they are not an numerous. But they are there and for this I am grateful. A little glimpse of freedom amongst forgotten buildings, empty sidewalks, and vacant lots. 
    A reminder there is more out there than us. Something bigger. Something greater. 
    Besides, it is a sad person who forgets to look at the stars. But for those who remember, they are ever so lovely, laughing up there in the darkened sky. The city reminds people not...

Signing Off

Be a Kid

    Dear Teens, 
     The problem with growing up is one moment you're smack in the middle of childhood and the next thing you know it's in your rear view mirror. 
    It's not some long, gradual process. In the blink of an eye you go from ribbons in your hair and pretend games to expectations and mountainous responsibilities. It doesn't feel fast until you get to the end of it. But as you look back, trying to hold on to the rope of innocence as it slips through your fingers, you begin to wish for just one more day as a kid. 
    Don't squander you time as a child. Eat popsicles. Play in the dirt. Use every ounce of your imagination. Sing loudly. Laugh. Read good books. Write fun stories. Throw a ball for a dog. Lay in the grass. Get excited about little things. Read more good books. You feel old at 13,...

Ten Words to You

Southern City

Painted sky
Shrinking fields 
Barking dogs
Empty lots
Faded stars 

Setting as Mood

Empty

Maybe I should've stayed on the path. Mist curled around my feet, swirling with slow puffs at each step. It snaked its way through the dying trees. Wind whistled and fingered through the fog whilst sending cold whispers down my neck. Yet the shriveled, drooping leaves dangled stiff and motionless. 

Silence lurked cloaked in the thick mist. My ears cried out for sound, to the point where they devoured the plodding of my steps so foreign in this place. Whenever I paused, they filled with angry, hissing voices chanting: 

Empty... empty... empty...

So I kept trodding over the blacked ground, roots twisting their fangs towards my unwanted encroachment on their peace. Crumbling stones appeared amongst the trees near mist snared with ivy creeping up the side of a castle ruin looming in the pale smog. Its splintered door creaked open to a black unknown. 

Empty... empty... empty... 

If only I'd stayed on the path. 

Ten Words to You

Southern City

Painted sky
Shrinking fields 
Barking dogs
Empty lots
Faded stars 

Setting as Mood

Empty

Maybe I should've stayed on the path. Mist curled around my feet, swirling with slow puffs at each step. It snaked its way through the dying trees. Wind whistled and fingered through the fog whilst sending cold whispers down my neck. Yet the shriveled, drooping leaves dangled stiff and motionless. 

Silence lurked cloaked in the thick mist. My ears cried out for sound, to the point they devoured the plodding of my steps so foreign in this place. Whenever I paused, they filled with angry, hissing voices chanting: 

Empty... empty... empty...

So I kept trodding over the blacked ground, roots twisting their fangs towards my unwanted encroachment on their peace. Crumbling stones appeared amongst the trees near mist snared with ivy creeping up the side of a castle ruin looming in the pale smog. Its splintered door creaked open to a black unknown. 

Empty... empty... empty... 

If only I'd stayed on the path. 

Novel Writing Competition 2017

Lillian's Rain

   I almost hit Raven with my car when I pulled into the driveway. Slamming on the brakes and flinging gravel into the wet grass, I blared the horn. "Out of the way, Raven!" I shouted. I let out a slow breath, willing the shaking to stop. No one would forgive me, especially not myself, if I killed Raven- the twin who was supposed to live -even on accident. 
    She stayed planted in front of my car. I honked at her again, but she locked her eyes with mine. Raven's arms wrapped around her stomach, trembling. The look on her face reminded me of my older sister Sadie's the day our parents died. I knew instantly her face streamed with something other than rain. 
    My stomach clenched. Numbness shot down my arms. 
    I threw myself from the car barely remembering to put it in park.
    "Is Lillian okay?" I grabbed her by the shoulders,...

Novel Writing Competition 2017

Lillian's Rain

   I almost hit Raven with my car when I pulled into the driveway. Slamming on the brakes and flinging gravel into the wet grass, I blared the horn. "Out of the way, Raven!" I shouted. I let out a slow breath, willing the shaking to stop. No one would forgive me, especially not myself, if I killed Raven- the twin who was supposed to live -even on accident. 
    She stayed planted in front of my car. I honked at her again, but she locked her eyes with mine. Raven's arms wrapped around her stomach, trembling. The look on her face reminded me of my older sister Sadie's the day our parents died. I knew instantly her face streamed with something other than rain. 
    My stomach clenched. Numbness shot down my arms. 
    I threw myself from the car barely remembering to put it in park. "Is Lillian okay?" I grabbed her by the shoulders,...

Birdsong

Mockingbird, oh Mockingbird

Sprightly twills through willows spill
Music floating on the wind

From whence comes such fluted love
Bright snaps fly around the bend

Glad whistles speak epistles 
Of silver bells and laughter 

Dancing as the bird flits past
'Til the new song thereafter

Mockingbird, oh Mockingbird
Abandons his melody

Mimicking a child's scream
That makes the peaceful air flee

Such eerie, haunting creaking 
Like that of an open door 

He has heard in evening stirred
By ghostly, phantasmal score 

Mockingbird,oh Mockingbird 
Let not your voice spawn shrieks 

Nightmares and other scares
Of which clouded darkness seeks 

Bring instead not cries of death
But trilling, gleeful sing-song

Harmonies woven with breeze 
That whisks the sweet notes along

Whisper not of nasty thoughts 
Bring music as such birds ought 

Novel Writing Competition 2017

Lillian's Rain

   I almost hit Raven with my car when I pulled into the driveway. Slamming on the brakes and flinging gravel into the wet grass, I blared the horn. "Out of the way, Raven!" I shouted. I let out a slow breath, willing the shaking to stop. No one would forgive me, especially not myself, if I killed Raven- the twin who was supposed to live -even on accident. 
    She stayed planted in front of my car. I honked at her again, but she locked her eyes with mine. Raven's arms wrapped around her stomach, trembling. The look on her face reminded me of my older sister Sadie's the day our parents died. I knew instantly her face streamed with something other than rain. 
    My stomach clenched. Numbness shot down my arms. 
    I threw myself from the car barely remembering to put it in park. "Is Lillian okay?" I grabbed her by the shoulders,...

Novel Writing Competition 2017

Lillian's Rain

   I almost hit Raven with my car when I pulled into the driveway. Slamming on the brakes and flinging gravel into the wet grass, I blared the horn. "Out of the way, Raven!" I shouted. I let out a slow breath, willing the shaking to stop. No one would forgive me, especially not myself, if I killed Raven, the twin who was supposed to live, even on accident. 
    She stayed planted in front of my car. I honked at her again, but she locked her eyes with mine. Raven's arms wrapped around her stomach, she trembled. The look on her face reminded me of my older sister Sadie's the day our parents died. I knew instantly her face streamed with something other than rain. 
    Something clenched in my stomach. Numbness shot down my arms. 
    I threw myself from the car barely remembering to put it in park. "Is Lillian okay?" I grabbed her...

On the Last Day of the World

Going Home

On the last day of the world
I'll delight in going Home

Novel Writing Competition 2017

Lillian's Rain

    Raven stops at the top of the wooded hill. She gives her signature death glare to Briar. He makes more noise than the Hunters. 
    I lift the struggling pup off the ground. He'll learn to cope eventually. Raven growls at me when we reach the crest of the hill. I never gave her that kind of sympathy, not with where she came from.
    "He's young," I tell her as we sprint faster. Her blood-red cloak slips over her ebony ears, but I know my dog is still glaring. 
    A thunk sounds a little ways behind. Those archers are supposed to be the best in the kingdom, but they've never come close to hitting me.
    I hear one break away the throng. Probably to cut me off at Lavinia's clearing, but I am way ahead of him.  
    Quickly I duck into my cave with the dogs as I hear...

The Peace of Wild Things

Our Willow and the Stars

    Whenever I miss you, I climb into our willow, with its dancing, feathery leaves. It reaches up into the stars, fingering them as the willow did the last day we spent here. 
    I find solace in the wind while it's on the cusp between fall and winter. It's the kind of wind you always loved, that burns your throat and plays with your hair. You told me you could taste the stars on these kind of nights. 
    I close my eyes and remember the first day you lead me here. 
    "Me and Finwick used to spend hours here, naming the constellations." You smiled sadly at the stars. 
    Naming the ones you could remember, I watched you, without caring what pictures lived in the sky. The happiness glowing in your features was always more beautiful to me than constellations. 
    "Why don't you name one?"

    "​A constellation?" I asked. 
    You touched my hand...

Lillian

    I almost hit Raven with my car when I pulled into the driveway. Slamming on the brakes and flinging gravel into the wet grass, I blared the horn at her. "Get out of the way, Raven!" I shouted. I let out a slow breath and willed the shaking to stop. No one would forgive me, especially not myself, if I killed Raven, the twin who was supposed to live, even on accident. 
    She stayed planted in front of my car. I honked at her again, but she didn't pull her eyes from me. Her arms wrapped around her stomach, Raven trembled. The look on her face reminded me of my older sister Sadie's the day Mom and Dad died and I knew instantly her face streamed with not only the rain. 
    Something clenched in my stomach. Numbness shot down my arms. 
    I threw myself from the car barely remembering to put it in park....

Novel Writing Competition 2017

Lillian's Rain

    Raven stops at the top of the wooded hill. She gives her signature death glare to possibly me Briar. He makes more noise than the Hunters. 
    I lift the struggling pup off the ground. He'll learn to cope eventually. Raven growls at me when we reach the crest of the hill. I never gave her that kind of sympathy, not with where she came from.
    "He's young," I tell her as we sprint faster. Her blood-red cloak slips over her ebony ears, but I know she is still glaring. 
    A thunk sounds a little ways behind. Those archers are supposed to be the best in the kingdom, but they've never come close to hitting me.
    I hear on break away the throng. Probably to cut me off at Lavinia's clearing, but I am way ahead of him.  
    Quickly I duck into my cave with the dogs as I...

The Art of Specificity

Drowning

I was drowning. 

I sank down in the lake, not being able to swim well enough to reach the surface. 

Thrashing blindly, I groped in panic for the unreachable surface, refusing to believe my last breath would consist of water and not air just as that of my sister Suzy who rested at the bottom of this very lake. 

Open Prompt

But We Didn't

   Do you remember, you flirted with me the day we met? We were sandwiched together on the subway, I in my large-framed glasses and plum colored sweater, you in your windbreaker and Converse. I glared at you when you told me I looked cute in my glasses. Judging by your harsh response, you were used to having your flattery well received. When we stepped of the subway, we swore we would avoid each other forever. 

But we didn't

    Do you remember, you ran into me at my favorite pastry shop? I apologized to you for my rude behavior on the subway. You said, now that you'd thought about it, you didn't mind. Then you paid for my pastry. You asked how you could make up for your unkind choice words from that first night. I told you the pastry was enough, but you insisted it wasn't. So, you pulled me next door to Barnes and Noble and...

Why I Write

The Words Inside

    I write because I can feel the words whispering in my bones. The burning tugs in the pit of my stomach draw me to the keyboard or my journals, depending on the nature of the story. I write because my imagination yearns to play freely on the page. My fingers long to explore new worlds. I write because my characters are my friends. Their laughter rings within my ears, their smiles linger in my vision, their thoughts tangle in my mind. I write because I have things to say and my lips are ill equipped to say them. I commit such things to paper and watch them speak for me. 

    Words were placed upon my heart. So I write.  

Everyday Magic

When the Sky was Blue

    Mother once told me the sky was blue when she was little. The trees had leaves of vivid greens, except in the fall when they burned the shade of fire, which I don't understand because the fire of today has no more color than the sky. She'd get a dreamy look on her face when she spoke of flowers and their dresses of pink, purple, yellow, orange, and many others. I try to picture such lovely things, but I can't. I have never seen colors. Flowers neither. Mother said the air back then didn't smell like ash. The water didn't burn throats on the way down. Even my child's imagination cannot picture such a world; a fantastical, unbelievable day, ages ago when the sky was blue. 

Third Person Limited

Three A.M.

     With a fuzzy head, Cammy stuck an arm from under the covers to beat at her alarm clock. Something her her sleep-fogged head knew something wasn't right when she smacked the thing six times to no avail. Sitting up, her bedroom spinning, Cammy groped for her phone in the dark. Sawyer Montgomery spelled out across the screen. Cammy really wanted to unleash some serious guerrilla warfare on the phone so it would shut up, but she pressed the answer button instead. 
    "What kind of blithering idiot calls his girlfriend at three A.M.?" 
    "Hey, dearest Cammy, the emerald of my world-"
    "I swear, if you called me at three A.M to fill me up with sap, I will to slap you back to last Tuesday." 
    "No, that's not it. I'm sucking up to you."
    "Spill it, Sawyer. Then I'm going back to sleep." Cammy heard voices jabbering quietly in the...

Third Person Limited

Three A.M.

     With a fuzzy head, Cammy stuck an arm from under the covers to beat at her alarm clock. Something her her sleep-fogged head knew something wasn't right when she smacked the thing six times to no avail. Sitting up, her bedroom spinning, Cammy groped for her phone in the dark. Sawyer Montgomery spelled out across the screen. Cammy really wanted to unleash some serious guerrilla warfare on the phone so it would shut up, but she pressed the answer button instead. 
    "What kind of blithering idiot calls his girlfriend at three A.M.?" 
    "Hey, dearest Cammy, the emerald of my world-"
    "I swear, if you called me at three A.M to fill me up with sap, I will to slap you back to last Tuesday." 
    "No, that's not it. I'm sucking up to you."
    "Spill it, Sawyer. Then I'm going back to sleep." Cammy heard voices jabbering quietly in the...

Year by Year

A Little of my Life

Year One: I enter the world during autumn, something C always said reflected my personality. My older sister, A, insisted on dressing me in frilly night gowns and day dresses. She always took better care of me than Mother did. 

Year Two: My hair grows long enough for my sister to adorn it with bows. I toddle around the house, happy and laughing. Cook watches me most of the time because Mother is never seen. 

Year Three: Mother yells at me for constantly asking why. I run to my older sister and she answers willingly. I begin to understand my Mother doesn't love me like she does. 

Year Four: Father comes home from Mandatory Militia training. I hope he will take me on his knee and tell me stories, like fathers in the books my sister always read me. But he locks himself in his office, where I soon learn I am never allowed. 

Year Five: My younger sister, T,...

Lovely Little Lies

    "You're ugly, you know?" The girl tells me, her syrupy voice crooning in my ear. 
    "I am not," I retort. I reach up to finger my long blonde hair and she mimics me. "My hair is a lovely shade of blonde with lots of natural highlights and lowlights. My hairdresser told me once some people pay thousands of dollars to dye their hair this color."
    "Oh, but look at how messy it always is. It tangles the second you are done brushing and others can tell. See the mountains of frizz on top? No color could make your hair look pretty with that." Her tone fills with mock pity.
    "Yeah? Well, my eyes are a unique shade of blue. Like storm clouds with a midnight colored rim and green spots near the pupil." I snap.
    She laughs softly. "Where you see a gentle summer storm others see turbulent, threatening gales....

But We Didn't

    Do you remember, you flirted with me the day we met? We were sandwiched together on the subway, I in my large-framed glasses and plum colored sweater, you in your windbreaker and Converse. I glared at you when you told me I looked cute in my glasses. Judging by your harsh response, you were used to having your flattery well received. When we stepped of the subway, we swore we would avoid each other forever. 

But we didn't

    Do you remember, you ran into me at my favorite pastry shop? I apologized to you for my rude behavior on the subway. You said, now that you'd thought about it, you didn't mind. Then you paid for my pastry. You asked how you could make up for your unkind choice words from that first night. I told you the pastry was enough, but you insisted it wasn't. So, you pulled me next door to Barnes and Noble...

Turned to Stone

Not my Kind of Mystery

    When crafting my mystery novels, I find it necessary to set the mood. Usually I choose thunderstorms, or alleyways at dusk. Sometimes stereotypical, I know. But as I said, for a good mystery, you must evoke the feeling of suspense. Dark is always the best way to accomplish this. However, I discovered this morning as sunbeams seeped through my open windows that blood trickling down the staircase and fingers poking through the banister are incredibly frightening at any time of day- especially when you live alone. 

But We Didn't

    Do you remember, you flirted with me the day we met? We were sandwiched together on the subway, I in my large-framed glasses and plum colored sweater, you in your windbreaker and Converse. I glared at you when you told me I looked cute in my glasses. Judging by your harsh response, you were used to having your flattery well received. When we stepped of the subway, we swore we would avoid each other forever. 

But we didn't

    Do you remember, you ran into me at my favorite pastry shop? I apologized to you for my rude behavior on the subway. You said, now that you'd thought about it, you didn't mind. Then you paid for my pastry. You asked how you could make up for your unkind choice words from that first night. I told you the pastry was enough, but you insisted it wasn't. So, you pulled me next door to Barnes and Noble...

But We Didn't

    Do you remember, you flirted with me the day we met? We were sandwiched together on the subway, I in my large-framed glasses and plumb colored sweater, you in your windbreaker and Converse. I glared at you when you told me I looked cute in my glasses. Judging by your harsh response, you were used to having your flattery well received. When we stepped of the subway, we swore we would avoid each other forever. 

But we didn't

    Do you remember, you ran into me at my favorite pastry shop? I apologized to you for my rude behavior on the subway. You said, now that you'd thought about it, you didn't mind. Then you paid for my pastry. You asked how you could make up for your unkind choice words from that first night. I told you the pastry was enough, but you insisted it wasn't. So, you pulled me next door to Barnes and Noble...

Year by Year

A Little of my Life

Year One: I enter the world during autumn, something C always said reflected my personality. My older sister, A, insisted on dressing me in frilly night gowns and day dresses. She always took better care of me than Mother did. 

Year Two: My hair grows long enough for my sister to adorn it with bows. I toddle around the house, happy and laughing. Cook watches me most of the time because Mother is never seen. 

Year Three: Mother yells at me for constantly asking why. I run to my older sister and she answers willingly. I begin to understand my Mother doesn't love me like she does. 

Year Four: Father comes home from Mandatory Militia training. I hope he will take me on his knee and tell me stories, like fathers in the books my sister always read me. But he locks himself in his office, where I soon learn I am never allowed. 

Year Five: My younger sister, T,...

Sunday Through Saturday

    Sunday curls up on a park bench, reading a book with a peaceful look on her face. She pulls her luxuriously long caramel colored hair over her shoulder. Every once in a while, she glances around at the people walking past with her large, soft brown eyes. She always smiles at them, even to those who glare at her. Some don't notice her at all. Occasionally, a girl or boy will smile back. A few might engage her in conversation. Yet she remains truly noticeable only to those who a wholly willing to observe her. 

    Monday resides in an ally. She stands with one foot propped up against the wall. No one likes her, and it's no wonder. She sneers whenever people come by. Unlike Sunday, everyone notices her- how could they not, with all her angry looks from under thick, dark eye makeup and haughty tosses of her scraggly black hair. Some wish she didn't...

Sunday Through Saturday

    Sunday curls up on a park bench, reading a book with a peaceful look on her face. She pulls her luxuriously long caramel colored hair over her shoulder. Every once in a while, she glances around at the people walking past with her large, soft brown eyes. She always smiles at them, even to those who glare at her. Some don't notice her at all. Occasionally, a girl or boy will smile back. A few might engage her in conversation. Yet she remains truly noticeable only to those who a wholly willing to observe her. 

    Monday resides in an ally. She stands with one foot propped up against the wall. No one likes her, and it's no wonder. She sneers whenever people come by. Unlike Sunday, everyone notices her and how could they not, with all her angry looks from under thick, dark eye makeup and haughty tosses of her scraggly black hair. Some wish she...

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

Drowning in Fire

    "Pascal!" I shouted over the crackling of the fire. Embers sprayed as some unidentifiable article of furniture collapsed. I tried to pull air into my lungs, but it was almost like attempting to breathe in water. 
    Flames licked up the walls on either side of my living room. How had I managed to sleep through their invasion? Unaware of fire's fingers wrapping themselves around the doorframes and curling around the banister. 
    I tried to call to Pascal again, but the bitter ash of smoke stuck in my mouth. My parents had locked me in the living room when they'd left so we couldn't be alone together when they were gone. They loved him, though. He'd offered to come over today to unclog my bathtub. 
    And now, because of my long hair, he would burn alive. 
    I slithered along the floor like Mom had instructed me to do when I was...

Returning

Fourth of July

    The dirt road sprays underneath the car. It's narrow to the point where we barely fit, so if anyone creeped on from the other direction we'd be stuck until one of us backed all the way down to the end. Trees closed over the top of the road and their trunks encroached on its edges. If it weren't for the shot gun shells that always littered the clearing at the end of the dirt, I'd think we were the only people who ever came down to this part of the Red River. 
    When we reach the little clearing, my parents, my brother and I pile out of our Mazda that isn't designed for this kind of terrain. My grandparents and aunt follow behind us in the former's blue Jeep which fairs much better in all the dirt and rocks. 
    My brother and I wait to be sunscreened and bug sprayed, then instantly climb down...

Talking to “You”

Little Girl Run

    You watch from the window as the little girl runs through the street. She's only playing, you know, but as her thick black braid whips around her face, you wonder if that childlike imagination contains too much reality and not enough pure imagination. When she runs, her face contains a mixture of peace and freedom. But when you see her climb into her car with her backpack each morning, her face is drawn. She always appears solemn unless she is running around in the street.
    It's cold today, but that doesn't seem to faze her. She simply pulls her hot pink hat closer around her ears and buttons her coat with the fraying hem.
    A car drives down the street as she rounds the corner of the cul-de-sac, causing her to leap to the curb right in front of your house. You pause for a moment. The quiet part of you just wants to watch her run again...

Paint me a Picture

    Paint me a picture, woven with blue
    Free as the summer sky, wide open and true
    Ripples of water that remind me of you
    
    Paint me a picture, colored with green
    Sprightly as spring and the grass field's dancing sheen
    Reminiscent of all the things that you've seen

    Paint me a picture, cloaked in scarlet 
    Blooming of roses; the flashing red carpet 
    The ruby gleaming of you, little starlet 

    Paint me a picture, flecked with yellow
    Soft touches of sunlight through open windows
    The color of you, so playful and mellow
    
    Paint me a picture, graced with purple
    Stately with rings of things that are royal
    The shade of your eyes brimming with loyal

    Paint me a picture, speckled with pink
    Tiaras and...

Slow Seeing

That's Why I Write in the Willow

The lone willow sweeps its bows in the center of the open field, guarding over the blooming wildflowers. Lovely little blossoms bob brightly in the wind. Long grass ripples in waves amongst the flowers. They carry them along in their tide. Purples, pinks, reds, blues, yellows, and oranges play with each other. Everything in the field is open and free.

That's why I write in the willow. 

But the wildflowers, as beautiful as they are, cannot compete with your beloved sunset.
  
Painted across the sky are varying shades of soft yellow and brilliant orange, making the colors of the flowers pale in comparison. Pinks and purples tangle together other amidst the last wisps of vibrant blue slowly fading into the stars. Red swirls throughout everything else like Van Gogh employed himself a bringer of pretty vandalism in the sky. All the colors spill from the setting sun, cascading down over the horizon. 

The weeping willow silhouettes against the vivid...

Open Prompt

But We Didn't

My name is Francis. I am fourteen years old. I have brown hair and grey eyes. A passerby wouldn't glance twice at me. To such, I would be a perfectly normal human being. But I am anything but ordinary, and I am certainly not human.
    My father was though. Until he married my mother. 
    Her people have a special kind of trickery, you see. They're all beautifully irresistible to humans. She ensnared my father with her charms by making him believe she was human, deviously luring him into her trap. She convinced him to love her, to marry her. Then, she transformed him with her good-for-nothing magic. 
    It isn't real magic. Not the kind humans believe in, anyways. All Mother had to do was lace a string of abalone pearls around his neck and bring him to the ocean. Something about the pearls and salt water managed to turn him into one of her...

Open Prompt

But We Didn't

My name is Francis. I am fourteen years old. I have brown hair and grey eyes. A passerby wouldn't glance twice at me. To such, I would be a perfectly normal human being. But I am anything but ordinary, and I am certainly not human.

Writing Small

Fire Burning

I stared, entranced, at the flames licking around the barn. Embers jumped like crickets at each crackle. Smoke curled from the burning rafters. Sirens sounded as fire kissed the stars, snapping me back into reality. Shaking, I clutched the matchsticks in my hand, but I didn't remember lighting the barn. 

Truths and Untruths

Ten Things I Wish People Believed about Themselves

  • You are beautiful. Seriously. No matter what people tell you- no matter what the mirror tells you- you are beautiful. God handpicked every single one of your features specifically for you. That nose you hate, the freckles, the messy hair, each was chosen for you. God could've given them to someone else. But instead He gave them to you. You look exactly like the way you were made to look. It is a fact: you are beautiful, whether you or others think it or not. 
  • The names people call you don't have to be who you are. I have been called a toothpick and a woman-hating troll (even though I am a woman). Yeah, my arms are the circumference of a spaghetti noodle! I'm a stinking toothpick and proud of it. When someone takes a truth about you and skews it, don't let it pull you down. Be proud of who you were made! But you know what I'm not?...

Songwriting Competition 2017

Just Sing to Me



(Verse 1, slow and quiet)

Sometimes we get sick on the sorrow in blues
Find pain in breakup tracks unrelated to you
You have nothing but ballads stuck in your head
That echo all the broken words ever said
(Speeds up a little bit)
Oh, baby, when you realize life is stuck on repeat
Shelve the long notes for something upbeat
Come find me and tell everything on your mind
There's no better solace here you can find

(Pre-chorus, gains a little more speed and volume)

Don't get so caught up in others' broken records
Forget that depression and live something better
I'll be waiting for you to unlock your fetters
Escape from dejection to hope with believers

(Chorus, moderately fast and loud)

Tangle me up with the passion in your words
Teach me a sweet song that I've never heard
Harmonize all the things that you've learned
Stuck on the melody-y-y
Let me listen to the lyrics in your...

What I Found Inside the Shadows


    "Allura, stop dancing and help us find the crowbar.” Manya snapped.
    Arms spread out, Allura paused midtap to acknowledge her with glassy eyes. “What?”
              I gathered the bobby pin stash and zipped them into an inner pocket of my backpack. “Crowbar, Allura. Just in case we can’t pick the locks or the drawer is sealed.”
              She nodded vacantly. With her multicolored bangles jangling, she began her search underneath the bunk she shared with Vanessa. 
              “Can you all believe we are actually going through with this?”  Shadow asked as she stuffed spray paint into the bag. 
              We smirked at her. Of course we could believe it. After months of fantasizing about the riches stored in Principle Pereami’s desk, the six of us could finally launch our plan to take them for ourselves.  
              “If he didn’t want us have the stuff he wouldn’t instruct us not to open it every time we entered his office.” Cille added snidely. 
              “Whaddya think’s in...

What I Found Inside the Shadows


    "Allura, stop dancing and help us find the crowbar.” Manya snapped.
    Arms spread out, Allura paused midtap to acknowledge her with glassy eyes. “What?”
              I gathered the bobby pin stash and zipped them into an inner pocket of my backpack. “Crowbar, Allura. Just in case we can’t pick the locks or the drawer is sealed.”
              She nodded vacantly. With her multicolored bangles jangling, she began her search underneath the bunk she shared with Vanessa. 
              “Can you all believe we are actually going through with this?”  Shadow asked as she stuffed spray paint into the bag. 
              We smirked at her. Of course we could believe it. After months of fantasizing about the riches stored in Principle Pereami’s desk, the six of us could finally launch our plan to take them for ourselves.  
              “If he didn’t want us have the stuff he wouldn’t instruct us not to open it every time we entered his office.” Cille added snidely. 
              “Whaddya think’s in...

Songwriting Competition 2017

Just Sing to Me



(Verse 1, slow and quiet)

Sometimes we get sick on the sorrow in blues
Find pain in breakup tracks unrelated to you
You have nothing but ballads stuck in your head
That echo all the broken words ever said
(Speeds up a little bit)
Oh, baby, when you realize life is stuck on repeat
Shelve the long notes for something upbeat
Come find me and tell everything on your mind
A more perfect song no one could write

(Pre-chorus, gains a little more speed and volume)

Don't get so caught up in others' broken records
Forget that depression and make something better
I'll be waiting for you to unlock your fetters
Escape from dejection to hope with believers

(Chorus, moderately fast and loud)

Tangle me up with the passion in your words
Teach me a sweet song that I've never heard
Harmonize all the things that you've learned
Stuck on the melody-y-y
Let me listen to the lyrics in your...

Songwriting Competition 2017

Just Sing to Me



(Verse 1, slow and quiet)

Sometimes we get sick on the sorrow in blues
Find pain in breakup tracks unrelated to you
You have nothing but ballads stuck in your head
That echo all the broken words ever said
(Speeds up a little bit)
Oh, baby, when you realize it's all stuck on repeat
Shelve the long notes for something upbeat
Come find me and tell everything on your mind
A more perfect song no one could write

(Pre-chorus, gains a little more speed and volume)

Don't get so caught up in others broken records
Forget that depression and make something better
I'll be waiting for you to unlock your fetters
Let go of the desperate to hope with believers

(Chorus, moderately fast and loud)

Tangle me up with the passion in your words
Teach me a sweet song that I've never heard
Harmonize all the things that you've learned
Stuck on the melody-y-y
Let me listen to the lyrics...

Songwriting Competition 2017

Just Sing to Me



(Verse 1, slow and quiet)

Sometimes we get sick on the sorrow in blues
Find pain in breakup tracks unrelated to you
You have nothing but ballads stuck in your head
That echo all the broken words ever said
(Speeds up a very little bit)
Oh, baby, when you realize it's all stuck on repeat
Shelve the long notes for something upbeat
Come find me and tell everything on your mind
A more perfect song no one could write

(Pre-chorus, gains a little more speed and volume)

Don't get so caught up in others broken records
Forget that depression and make something better
I'll be waiting for you to unlock your fetters
Let go of the desperate to hope with believers

(Chorus, moderately fast and loud)

Tangle me up with the passion in your words
Teach me a sweet song that I've never heard
Harmonize all the things that you've learned
Stuck on the melody-y-y
Let me listen to the...

Songwriting Competition 2017

Just Sing to Me

(Verse 1, slow and quiet)

Sometimes we get sick on the sorrow in blues
Find pain in breakup tracks unrelated to you
You have nothing but ballads stuck in your head
That echo all the broken words ever said
(Speeds up a very little bit)
Oh, baby, when you realize it's all stuck on repeat
Shelve the long notes for something upbeat
Come mind me and tell everything on your mind
A more perfect song no one could write

(Pre-chorus, gains a little more speed and volume)

Don't get so caught up in others broken records
Forget that depression and make something better
I'll be waiting for you to unlock your fetters
Let go of the desperate to hope with believers

(Chorus, moderately fast and loud)

Tangle me up with the passion in your words
Teach me a sweet song that I've never heard
Harmonize all the things that you've learned
Stuck on the melody-y-y
Let me listen to the...

Turned to Stone

Not my Kind of Mystery

    When crafting mystery novels, I find it necessary to set the mood. Usually I choose thunderstorms, or alleyways at dusk. Sometimes stereotypical, I know, but as I said, for a good mystery, you must evoke the feeling of suspense. Dark is always the best way to accomplish this. However, I discovered this morning as sunbeams seeped through my open windows that blood trickling down the staircase and fingers poking through the banister are incredibly frightening at any time of day- especially when you live alone. 

Paint me a Picture

    Paint me a picture, woven with blue
    Free as the summer sky, wide open and true
    Ripples of water that remind me of you
    
    Paint me a picture, colored with green
    Sprightly as spring and the grass field's dancing sheen
    Reminiscent of all the things that you've seen

    Paint me a picture, cloaked in scarlet 
    Blooming of roses; the flashing red carpet 
    The ruby gleaming of you, little starlet 

    Paint me a picture, rained with yellow
    Soft touches of sunlight through open windows
    The color of you, so playful and mellow
    
    Paint me a picture, graced with purple
    Stately with rings of things that are royal
    The shade of your eyes brimming with loyal

    Paint me a picture, speckled with pink
    Tiaras and...

Zoom Out

Mountains Made of Lovely Thoughts

    What a lovely place it is inside my mind. 
    Chaotic, to be sure. But a bit of chaos is a bit of interest in my book. 
    Lots of thoughts play around. Some stay off by themselves and some tangle hopelessly with one another. That's how ideas work. They're messy.
    
When I was young, the thoughts were not so lovely. They lied to me.
    You are nothing
    No one loves you
    You are worthless
​    
Everyone has forgotten you
    You are alone
    Completely and utterly alone

    My only friends then were those thoughts. As you can imagine, they didn't make for very good company.
    The thoughts are still there, of course, but I don't believe them any longer. You see, I found a Friend. A Friend who gives me better thoughts that make mountains of good things within my...

Seventeen

    "I am seventeen today." I say to my reflection in the mirror. 
    There are diaries on my bookshelf filled with dreams of seventeen. I'd begin my senior year, top of the class of course, with Finn Carter as my boyfriend. I was obsessed with Finn Carter in the eight grade, I'll admit, but I had no idea he would end up working at Dairy Queen and growing wheat grass in his window sill.
    The drama program of my fantasy soared under my abundance of talent. I imagined the envy of every girl on the school directed at me in all my genius. They'd say Wow! I wish I could act like Cadence Bostwick. 
    In my seventh grade entries, I worked at Justice. One dream I am very glad did not become reality. Middle schoolers are incapable of style, which, if you have every walked through a middle school, is evident. 
   ...