Juliana

United States

Check out my music YouTube page!
Antiochian Orthodox Christian
17
Music major
Former homeschooler
Voice teacher
LOTR
The world, the flesh, and father smith
ESTJ

Message from Writer

I'm in the process of writing a novel which I post on here in sections.
My writing style tends to be witty (I don't know if that's the right word), descriptive, and sarcastic.

I greet criticism like a Jack-in-the-box.

"Astronomy has proven that when you wish upon a star, you're actually a few million years late. That star is dead, just like your dreams." Am I a bad person if I find this hilarious?

Published Work

Monsters

You see us as monsters?
Perhaps when you’ve prodded us with sneers
And covered us in lampshade to translate our words.
Maybe when you’ve performed your convincing cries
Of past oppressions.
When you’ve screamed swanky expensive phrases from Webster’s page.
Displayed your bruises, one by one,
Blackened by your own nurturing.
When you’ve torn and ripped and slashed our last bit of humanity left.
Maybe then, when you’ve beaten us down to nothing but a foul, revolting, icy creature.
Maybe that’s when,
maybe that’s why,
You see us as monsters.

Shortage

    One, two, three sprays. Susan set down the vanilla grapefruit fragrance on the vanity and hopped back to the bed to finish putting on her heels. She checked her phone: 10:33 am.
    “Shit!”
    She rushed back to the vanity, smeared more bubble-gum lipstick, and clipped on violet hoops. Just as she turned on the curling iron and started brushing out her bleached blonde hair, her cellphone rang.
    “What? Hurry up, I’m late.”
    “Your mom just called. Said she hasn’t heard from you. You’re picking up the kids this afternoon, right?”
    “No, that wasn’t the plan.”
    “Susan—”
    “Don’t you “Susan” me, Alfred! I’m very busy. I’ve got a full day planned. My nails are literally peeling; I’ve got to go to the salon before they shut down for who knows how long.”
    She drowned a fresh curl in hairspray.
    Alfred sighed. “Alright, fine. Oh, I got an amazon alert thing. It said there was suspicious activity. Did you buy something again?” ...

But Because You'll Try

Verse 1
Tied/stuck to your sheets again
Fixed feet and nervous/worried/anxious hands
It’s a problem, I know, my dear/It’s a problem, I understand.
 
Verse 2
Empty head, full mouth
Of words you came up without
A single strand of truth.
At least that’s what it is to you.
 
Chorus?
Seize every kind word
Squeeze till you feel.
The thoughts may linger,
But you are more real.
 
Verse 3
Cut every pill in half.
Spill every unfiltered laugh.
Hold nothing but hate back.

Verse 4 (also kinda want this as an ending) 
I kissed your cheek and smiled.
Not because you’re fine,
but because you’ll try. 
 
Maybe the bridge
There is no end
without a doubt.
And you’re not the author, so put the pen down.
 
Maybe a verse
I don’t need empathy
To love unconditionally/freely/completely
But I know a loneliness comes/is caused
With/By the inexperienced ones.
 

Stab your brother today, for tomorrow you'll gain another

Verse 1
Stab your brother today, for tomorrow you’ll gain another.
Bury your heart in seeds, that have yet to grow.
Can’t see farther than what’s right in front,
but the mind’s got a pen of its own.
Never honest, nor kind, nor happy now —but tomorrow
 
Verse 2 
2 in the afternoon, can’t recall what you ate for breakfast.
Unsure how you drove home at the end of the day.
So detached from your nose and your toes,
How will you notice the pain 
Creepin’ through the floor boards and the backyard? 

Chorus
You’ve got—one foot behind, two eyes ahead
And you’ll be chasin’ endless rainbows round until you’re dead.
You’re after all around and nothing in between.
And once you’ve—crossed off your lists, cashed in that check,
There won’t be nothin left of your tattered soul to collect/There won't be nothin of your tattered soul left to collect
You’re after all around and nothing in between
You’re...

Children

    But as I looked down at the creature pulling me through the crowd, I couldn’t help but think of Clara and Lewis and wonder if it is not us who lead them, but they who lead us. Perhaps they start right but somewhere along the way of life they get lost. And they don’t spend their life searching for the right way, but rather trying to get back to it. And I was inclined to believe that this little girl—who found burping toads to be quite hilarious and rippling puddles quite fascinating and falling, delicate leaves quite sad—was much closer to finding it than I.

What we don't see

The trees stood in a gray depression dried out and beaten naked from the wind. But watching from the car, they appeared so still one could not tell the wind was present at all. I thought them rather pathetic, sitting in their own self-pity.

Novel Writing Competition 2019

What You Make It

    By four-thirty, I was exhausted of people and feared I couldn’t handle another enthusiastic introduction with anyone. How do they smile so much, I thought. It’s like they only know one emotion. Everything was so perfect that it felt superficial. Either that, or these people lived in their own little world without pain or toils, and I wasn’t sure which was more exasperating. On the right edge of town, I noticed a hidden path leading into what the locals called the Nidderdale Woods. I must have been staring because Mrs. Holme told me to take a walk through the woods and explore, as long as I was back at the house and ready for dinner by six-thirty.

    The moment I started walking, the air became lighter, passing right through me. The noise of the town was drowned out by a lullaby the wind sang to the trees. There were no sudden movements or sounds, save for a few butterflies...

A sneak peek

Sometimes the growls and screeches were too much.
They would grow and swell until there was a sudden ring of silence. But Sam still held her breath because they often came back, rising and falling, and rising and falling, the last one always sounding worse than the first.
Sam couldn’t sleep on nights like these, and if there’s one thing she couldn’t stand, it was lying in bed doing nothing.

I have a question for all of you writers!

I have a question for all of you. It's kinda random, but I'd love to hear your answers as I'm getting to know myself more as a writer.

Are you the kind of writer who becomes inspired/motivated by something and the words just start spilling out of you? And then when you finish writing it all down, you're good to go and don't really work on it any further? (Or maybe you just hate the process of fixing/editing?)

OR

Are you the kind of writer who, in a sense, has to force yourself to start writing? And then when you finish the first draft, you work really hard to craft? Do you spend 5 minutes just searching for that one perfect word? Do you rewrite a sentence 3 times before you are satisfied with the sentence structure/phrasing?

About how much time do you spend writing a piece (the first time) versus crafting it?

Chapter 7: part III

    The next day, I had the entire morning to myself. I attempted to read, but my mind was a little more occupied with a different book to focus too much on the new one Elizabeth gave me. I could barely wait for Mrs. Holme to go to town before lifting my bed sheets: it was still under the bed, dustier than when I found it. Carefully brushing off the several layers revealed a burgundy cover. The pages were a little stained and crinkled, but the binding had held together quite well. I was cautious with each page, but soon I was too absorbed in the content to remember handling it. It was a scrapbook of sorts, the author unknown. At first, I assumed my mother had put it together, but the handwriting changed throughout and much too quickly for it to be a sign of aging. Although chronological, the items were definitely not added in order. Each of them was...

Chapter 7: part II

    At the river crossing, I turned left and met a group—much larger than I had expected, but then again, they were always much larger than I expected—at the beach. There were the Hayden’s, and Braddock’s, and Hartell’s, and Dale’s. All of the Burnham’s and Crawford’s came. Even the nonsocial Everly’s came and the Blythe’s. And of course, James was there as well as some others from town. The beach was never my top choice of activities, but that probably had something to do with being an only child. Now, it was covered with people like ants on a hill. And those ants swam in the water, laid in the sun, and buried each other in the sand. I started to consider going home to take a bath when James plopped down right next to me.
    “Hello Miss Ward, had enough?”
    “Just about. I ate too much watermelon and it’s putting me to sleep,” I said leaning back.
    He let out...

Chilling Anger

    I can’t explain it, how I felt. Or perhaps it was I didn’t feel at all. I wasn’t crying, no, I wasn’t even tempted. The most accurate expression I could give was a blank stare at them both. Mother always said I was a sympathetic crier, but that I never cried for myself. That’s just not how I processed the pain, the hurt, she’d say. And she always loved me for it. That’s right, what a strong strong woman I am. But I suppose she never saw me sitting on the toilet in the middle of the night. She was too busy fighting with father.

Broken Wheels #raincontest

    She could feel the morning mist start to tickle her toes. She laid down a bouquet of lilies and a paint-chipped comb.
    “I knew you’d forget it.” Her hand instinctively reached for the glossy, callous granite that bore his title, and almost just as instinctively, she began to weep. She wept not because he was gone but because she was left behind.
                                                             ------------------------------------------------
    “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Aaaameeeeeen,” they sang, each slightly off from the other, which was understandable considering the size of the room and the misleading acoustics. As  Father Patrick put on his biretta, the usual few parishioners took their seats. The usual...

What Happens in The Brewing Diner

Saturday morning, Miss Alice Witchka walked into the Brewing Diner on the corner of 43rd Street.
“Good mornin’ William,” she yelled across the room as she hung up her hat.
“Mornin’ Alice.”
“Say, you seen the paper this morning?”
William stood behind the counter serving plain old black coffee to a customer who was doing a word puzzle in the said paper.
“No, haven’t had the time. This mornin’s been real busy. But I gotta stack right here. Anythin’ worth a chat?”
“Well I’ll say! Some new chap’s in town, a reporter. He’s covering that whole toxic wastes and the river scandal, you know, with the Patterson’s.”
William already had her mug out.
“Say, when you’re done servin’ this fella,” she nodded to the man with his black coffee, “grab me some eggs and toast and maybe bacon if you have it.”
The customer tapped his pencil and William headed to the kitchen to give the cook her order.
“I...

One-Liner

Identity

You must not identify with your emotions but rather your actions, for your actions you can control but your feelings, you cannot. 

One-Liner

Identity

There will be no improvement if you aren't open to failure. 

Broken Wheels #raincontest

    She could feel the morning mist start to tickle her toes. She laid down a bouquet of lilies and a paint-chipped comb.
    “I knew you’d forget it.” Her hand instinctively reached for the glossy, callous granite that bore his title, and almost just as instinctively, she began to weep. She wept not because he was gone but because she was left behind.

                                                            ------------------------------------------------

    “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Aaaameeeeeen,” they sang, each slightly off from the other, which was understandable considering the size of the room and the misleading acoustics. The usual sparse seven of them waited for Father Patrick to put on his biretta as a cue to take their seats. No matter how many positions she tried, Emma’s spine bulked out and rubbed against the wood. She had a suspicion Father Patrick had cleverly...

Life lessons #sixlittlestories

Faith is knowing you are loved.

The greatest strength is actually invisible.

I'd rather be free from choosing.

Don't confuse your confidence with pride.

You believe? So does the devil.

An artist, a painter, a sculptor of words

Today, I took a hike. I walked the entire way in silence and isolated from the rest. The last thing I wanted to do was divide my attention from the overwhelming world I was attempting to take in. For me, to be in nature is an experience, one full of awe

                              I am an artist, a painter, a sculptor of words.

As I stood on that mountain, I realized that not everyone had the same experience as me. Do not all look at miles and miles of green mountains and instead see a wrinkled blanket that a grandmother knit for her granddaughter? Do they not notice the shadows that the turtle shaped clouds create over the almost-fluffy oak trees? The breeze softly inspired me to close my eyes. It seeped and soaked through my skin, filling my chest with a freshness so indescribable...

Chapter 7: part I

    I made one of my last stops in Eavestone Forrest. Of course, each Everly family lived in a clearing amidst the massive redwood trees. As I walked through though, I noticed that the layout didn’t look designed by man. Their houses didn’t face the same direction or line up; instead, it was almost as if each family had stumbled across a small glade and right then and there built a house with the elements around them—I came to learn that this practically didhappen because they wanted to avoid cutting down too many trees. The warm hue of each house would have hidden them from my notice had it not been for their great size. The Everly family did not consider themselves to be Nidderdale residents. In fact, Eavestone Forrest had its own unique and inviting culture. Besides the main road, there were narrow but smooth trails that connected each house. I assumed one of the grandchildren had created these...

Chapter 6: part V

    The next day proved to be even more informative than the first. The Dales lived on the edge of Nidderdale to the left of the Holme neighborhood. The journey to their house was one of the hardest but also most beautiful. I followed a nature-made path through fairly thick woods for about a mile. Abruptly, the woods ceased at a drop-off, and the landscape transformed into hill land, not like the rolling hills of the Holme neighborhood or outside of the town of Nidderdale. No, these hills were much more intimidating, dramatic, jagged, and rocky. The path became steep, untamed, turning this way and that, like I had been transported out of Yorkshire. The Dales lived directly at the bottom of a valley. I couldn’t imagine Hailey and Libby carrying their desks and beds down that dreadful trail, much less Aunt Anne of all people choosing to live somewhere like that. But later, she openly told me that Uncle Frank...

Song Writing Competition 2019

Only for a While

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apexVLD9SJc

Verse 1
There’s a house on a hill
And a memory I can’t place,
But it made me think, it made me think of you.
 
Verse 2
Close my eyes,
Take a breath,
You’re the strength that gives me rest.
You’re the glimpse of light I see behind the glass.
 
Pre-chorus
I’m tired of these ups and downs.
My hope is wearing thin,
Various emotions I can’t identify
 
Chorus
World claimed you were broken,
But I always saw your smile
And the love you taught me as a child.
How can I feel so much if you can’t hold my hand?
You left me with a smile*
But only for a while.
 
Verse 3
I have failed too many times to put it from my mind,
Reminding me I’ve lost track of the light.
A single truth destroys the mend, cornered, no more pretend.
There’s a life in me that won’t go back again.

Pre-choruse ...

If Birds Could Hop...

If birds could hop and frogs could sing,
Then maybe, maybe this wouldn’t end.
 
If rabbits slept on rough tree limbs,
And sloths preferred to stretch in the sun
Perhaps that life we dreamed of having,
Would unfold in ways we never imagined.
 
But birds don’t hop and frogs don’t sing,
And grass is green and fire is hot,
And gravity will keep us,
As long as sloths prefer branches and rabbits choose holes.
 
But we will always have that life,
If only in our dreams.

CONTEST RESULTS! #nurseryrhymecontest

I want to thank everyone who participated in my first contest! Frankly, I was scared I would only get 2 entries, but I had so much fun reading through your pieces. I will definitely be doing another contest in the future. 

1ST PLACE: "And the dish ran away with the spoon" by @horsiegirl. This piece was not only creative but clever and purposeful with the creativeness. While it was imaginative and you made it your own, you still stuck to the original story. And you were subtle! Subtle writing is a difficult skill. Your sentence structure and vocab made the whole piece natural. Great job and congrats! Your prize is a follow, 3 likes of your choice, and 3 reviews of your choice.

2ND PLACE: "London is Falling" by @-writinginhopesofsomeday-. You write beautifully! Your expression/style is sophisticated, natural, and developed/complete. I had never heard of that nursery rhyme before, and I loved the direction you took it in. I felt like...

Weaknesses, Strengths, and Obsession: thoughts?

Knowing your spiritual weaknesses is valuable. 
Knowing your spiritual strengths is unnecessary.
Obsessing over either is the Devil's poison.

I was doing a lot of thinking tonight. (You'd be surprised by how thought-provoking washing dishes can be.) Actually, I've been doing a lot of self reflection for the past few months. Suddenly, these words formed in my mind, summing up my whole evening of contemplation. Here is a condensed explanation:

Knowing your spiritual weaknesses is valuable. We must be aware of our tendencies and temptations so that we put ourselves in a healthy and more safe environment to avoid stumbling. Also, because of our personal weaknesses, there will be certain things that we must work harder on than others. 

Knowing your spiritual strengths is unnecessary. We've all got certain things that are easier for us than others, but we don't need to know them. And if we do, there is a strong possibility of us becoming proud because of them.
...

Chapter 6: part IV

    That evening, I had dinner with Aunt Cheryl and the whole Hayden family. I took the opportunity to pull Rachel aside and deliver my mother’s Punch and Judy puppet set*. She immediately began to chortle as she saw the red, white, and gold stage. Holding up Punch, she marveled that she had not been terrified as a little girl by the protruding nose and cheeks that were smeared in bright red. She credited my mother’s “animated voice” for amusing her. I could never imagine my mother having an animated voice, much less putting on a puppet show. After dinner, everyone seeped into a comfy spot in the shady drawing room to soak their cookies in coffee while listening to Julian, Isaac, and a very pregnant Sonia sing a folk song about fallen stars. Michell promised to come back once the children were in bed with John—only after Adele had played us one of her songs of course. Aunt Cheryl had...

Chapter 6: part III

    *Nidderdale reminded me of one of my favorite books, not in whatthe message was but rather in how I received it. A ingenious author packs a book with boundless secrets, each with its own key, and the creator of Nidderdale, call it time, nature, or God, had done the same. My perception of the town was shaped by everything outside of it. Each event I experienced in between visits, whether it was a walk in the fields with James or swimming with the twins or a picnic with Alexa, added another layer of depth, another wave of color, another level of vision. I noticed details that had escaped me before, like how the town bell swung unevenly due to Mr. Johnson’s failure in shaping it or how most townspeople opened their windows around noon because it was openly known that Mr. Bunyan had just finished baking his daily batch of raspberry scones or blueberry muffins. And whenever...

WEIRD BUT FUN CONTEST! #nurseryrhymecontest LAST DAY TO ENTER!

Ok peoples, I'm FINALLY doing it. I've been wanting to host a contest for a long time, so here we go:
PROMPT: I want you to rewrite a nursery rhyme. Yep, a nursery rhyme e.g. Rock A Bye Baby, Humpty Dumpty, It's Raining It's Pouring, Itsy Bitsy Spider etc. Sounds weird, but I've done it and it's so much fun. You need to choose one of the themes below to guide the tone of your story---
   Comedy
   Tragedy
   Romance

LENGTH: max 500-600 words

DUE DATE: I’m extending the date to July 3rd. I will try to get the winners out a few days after the contest ends, but I have no idea how many people will join. 

GENRE: this should be like flash fiction, but if you want to do poetry, you can. I will warn you though, I know very little about poetry so it probably wouldn't be to your benefit. You could do a great...

"Here is the price to pay"

    In John 16:23 from The Orthodox Study Bible, Jesus says to His disciples, “And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.” So, God will give me anything I ask for? Well, that can’t be true. We all know that if I say, Lord, please give me a thousand dollars, a thousand dollars are not going to magically appear in my hand. Then what does this verse mean? The key to understanding this verse is in the phrase “in My name,” meaning, we must ask in God’s name. Or in other words, God will give us what we ask for, as long as what we ask for is the right thing to ask for. The reason I bring up this verse is because it essentially has the same meaning as Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens...

Chapter 6: part II

    James accompanied me on my way back on account of he didn’t trust me to get in and out of a row boat, much less to do the same with my wagon. We took a detour at Philip and Sophie’s house where the river turned into a stream so I could deliver my father’s football. Philip laughed to think of a time when he had any interest in sports, but promised to keep it in case one of their children showed more promise. Sophie insisted that we stay for lunch—at this, James gave me a knowing look and quickly volunteered to help. As James left me in the Holme neighborhood and continued to the town of Nidderdale, I made my last stop for the day at Michell’s. The Braddock house was a beautiful mix of Georgian and Greek revival. It’s two unique features were a large porch in front—not a Georgian characteristic—and a doorbell—none of the Holme’s had doorbells as...

Chapter 6: part I

    The next morning, I planned to spend it fulfilling my promise to great aunt Mary. It was still a little chilly when I started walking, and this time I found myself dissolving into the mist before it had dispersed. The air smelled fresh and new, as it normally does in the morning. The robins freely sang, enjoying the lack of other male birds and spirited little children whom they would compete with later that day. Gabe had lent me a wagon so I could distribute objects without having to take multiple trips. As I approached a fork, I met James coming from Eavestone Forest. He wore his typical shabby attire with a flattened cap that was definitely past it’s due date.
    “Doth my eyes deceive me, or is Miss Jane Ward up before nine-o’clock!”
    “Excuse me, this is my vacation.”
    “Mm-hmm, and where are you off to?”
    “Aunt Mary’s, I told her I’d garden with her for a few hours....

My Life is Perfect and That's Part of the Pain #MentalHealthMonth

    I grew up homeschooled in a conservative home, and I liked it that way. I didn't experience the pains a lot of teenagers my age have to got through. I wasn't bullied or gossiped about; I never had trouble making friends; my friends were usually genuine, kind people; I never experienced racism, sexism, or abuse of any kind. I could go on, but I think you get the point. My life was uncomplicated. During my senior year of high school (2017-2018), it continued to be uncomplicated, but I didn't. 

    I experienced an internal change. I became dry losing my expressive personality. I felt sluggish all the time, even though I did no physical activities. And the more rest I got, the worse it became. My supposedly comfortable sweat pants and t-shirts almost weighed me down. It even affected my speech; it was as if I was too tired to talk to people. Each conversation felt like a burden. I kept...

Chapter 5: part II

    “So, you’ve never knitted before?”
    “Nope, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.” I held up a knotty mass of yarn that slightly resembled a triangle. “Or not.” Emma laughed. “I think I’ve murdered this scarf.”
    “I don’t make much of a teacher, sorry.”
    "How did you get to be so good?”
    “Practice. When you’re stuck in a chair, you have to be creative.” Her fingers quickly moved up and down, back and forth between the two silver needles. This was my third visit with Emma, and we consistently lost track of time.
    “Can it be hard?” I had been itching to ask her since we met. “I mean, obviously it’s hard. From what I can tell, you’ve learned to live with it. But aren’t there times when it’s, I don’t know, unbearable? Don’t you get…”
    “Angry?” The sound of clicking ceased as she gently rested her hands on her lap. “Of course, I think it would be...

Bread and Light

Through Christ, and Only Through Christ

1. To be completely honest, there is only one thing that nourishes my life: God. He is the only one I cannot live without. My family has always been so important to me, but there are those without family, without friends, without the house and the car, without a job they love, without a way to express themselves, without freaking food. God never gives us something we can't handle. He never said that we needed to have a roof over our head to enter the kingdom of heaven, or get a doctorate, or travel to Europe. And although living without family or a social life poses many difficulties and dangers for us, God has given us a single reassuring gift to get us through it all: free will. At the end of the day, we are in control of ourselves, and no one can force us to sin. We do not need all of the lavish additions this life offers...

We're The Sky

Daisies might be yellow,
but I think they're more gold.
When the wind is blowing, 
your smile keeps me from the cold.

Leaves fallin',
trees all knotted,
displayed.

But we'll close our eyes 
to keep them from being
embarrassed. 

When the birds come out,
will you join their song and sing to me?

Like a [blank?] now,
we can sit on [blank] and feel the breeze.

Do you ever feel
like the world is spinning
in the wrong direction?

You smiled at me,
said, "we haven't even left the ground yet."
How can that be?
Feels like we're floating on a cloud.
Cause up here,
clouds tickle our toes.
And up here,
snowflakes fall from our eyes.
We're the sky,
darlin',
we're the sky. 

AWESOME ANNOUNCMENT!!!!!!!!!!! at least I think so.....

I FINALLY DID IT YA'LL! So like 2 months ago I posted asking if I could use someone's poem to write a song. @Quille graciously offered one of their poems (no, I didn't forget about you :). I just uploaded it to YouTube and it's called "Words Will Still Remain". Here's the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEMtdYETH70ARrQdj3xfWQg?view_as=subscriber
I would love if you could listen to it! I put it together in one evening, so it's shaky and the piano is nothing special. Not to mention, it's not my style as I am a classical singer, so please be gracious. 
Big shout out to the awesome @Quille! You should definitely go check out some of their writing, including the original poem. I rearranged it for the song, but here are the lyrics:

A thought-clouded mist moves in upon the night,
Shadows of hope become hidden out of sight.
On the wings of reverie, I fly,
Daydreaming across a starlit sky.

Paper rents and steel...

Chapter 5: part I

    I believe Mrs. Holme gave me my appetite back. Every evening, she spoiled Mr. Holme and I with shepherd's pie or toad in the hole or some other fancy meal. I usually ate lunch with Alexa, the twins, James, or another relative. But breakfast was my favorite. Every morning, I would sneak downstairs to collect the tray of breakfast Mrs. Holme had prepared for me and then creep back up to my room unseen. Settling on my own solitary balcony, I would count the minutes till the mist had fully dispersed like a flock of birds returning home. Back in Iceland, getting out of bed was probably the most dreaded part of my day, but here, I went to bed anticipating the moment the woodlarks and wrens would wake me. The fresh experience was indescribable, but it pulled out of me a feeling of sentiment, cleanliness, and longing. I liked to let the morning tunes cover me like a wave. ...

Society's Image of Strength

Every society has specific values, and these values change over time. Certain personalities will flourish based on the values of that society. Today, our society supports efficient, productive extroverts. We encourage our young adults to work hard in everything they do, be strong in their beliefs, and resist the pressure of those around us. We highlight independence, confidence, perseverance, and individualism. These are all wonderful characteristics, but like any good quality, if one pushes something to the extreme, it can quickly become a dangerous fault. Efficiency and productiveness distract one from the beauty of the world. Confidence becomes arrogance. Perseverance creates stubbornness. Independence produces distrust. Individualism feeds selfishness. In everything we do, there is a need for balance. Society has created an image of what it thinks is a strong person. Compassion, meekness, and patience require a remarkably larger amount of strength becausethe world does not consider them strengths. We should be productive in charity. We should be confident...

I hope my mind does not explode...Goodnight

Yes I know I should go to bed,
but I am stuck here in my head.
The words are oozing out my ears;
my brain might burst of thoughts, I fear.
Ideas crack, like winter fire,
and dancing pictures I've acquired
throughout my day of country roads.
Unsure from where this mood has flowed,
and now my thoughts I have bestowed,
I hope my mind does not explode. 

Took Your Nainsooks

Tick tock, dear,
can you hear
the rain come down?

It will beat
and repeat
in a slow round.

Don't you look
like a schnook
for you can see

that it took
your nainsooks
and with them me.

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Aim This Anger Into Grace

Did you hear the rain?
Did you see it coming down?
Like a knife, it broke the tie,
took your crown and took your pride.
 
Did you taste the loss?
Did you feel it in your bones?
Let it sink into your skin,
here it comes again.
 
You say I’m controlled because I’ve broke away.
Kicking dust into my eyes, you say “wake up.”
Come too close, but I won’t fight.
Aim this anger into grace.
 
Can you smell my rose?
Fully grown, it sets me free.
Beauty will not wait for me;
I must leave and let you go.
 
Don’t think that I hate;
freedom lies in endless love.
That love I gave to you, you broke,
but now I will restore to God.

The Grass is Always Greener?

The grass is always greener on a hill.
What a ridiculous proposal, dear.
I've seen the shifting sky in snow and rain,
in sunrise, sunset, and the dead of night;
it changes like a horse's appetite.
I've seen the waves of seas unending roll,
a blue and murky shade of dolphin tears.
But how can I imagine without toil,
the greener greens that have not greener grown?

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

Aim This Anger Into Grace

Did you hear the rain?
Did you see it comin’ down?
Like a knife, it broke the tie,
took your crown and took your pride.
 
Did you taste the loss?
Did you feel it in your bones?
Let it sink into your skin,
here it comes again.
 
You say I’m controlled because I’ve broke away.
Kicking dust into my eyes, you say “wake up.”
Come too close, but I won’t fight.
Aim this anger into grace.
 
Can you smell my rose?
Fully grown, it sets me free.
Beauty will not wait for me;
I must leave and let you go.
 
Don’t think that I hate;
freedom lies in endless love.
That love I gave to you, you broke,
but now I will restore to God.

Chapter 4: part IV

   I moved from group to group and person to person for the rest of the evening. I accidentally got caught in a group listening to Pete talk about something or other for a solid ten minutes. When I finally had a chance, I turned around and right into a perhaps even worse situation: Matthew Burnham. He wasted no time in starting a conversation about his theory on the qualities of noise. It wasn’t long before Lucy Crawford joined in.
“That’s ridiculous,” she said, “If a tree falls in the woods, that qualifies as noise.”
“Aha, but that’s where you’re wrong,” Matthew replied. I casually took a step back, looking for a window, but he only stepped forward. “It only qualifies as a noise if someone hears it.”
“Matthew, your theories are stupid and no one cares.” Lucy had the mouth of a seven-year-old brat. Yes, Matthew made me want to roll my eyes, but Lucy made me want to...

Chapter 4: III

   Michell sat me right next to Elizabeth and across from Luke Blythe, my second cousin’s husband. The Holme’s, Ford’s, and Everly’s valued their cooking abilities a great deal and although I was sure their boasting was not unmerited, I felt stuffed before we even prayed. The meal was meant to be a buffet, but in reality, it was more like a feast. They had rows of tables, each reaching from one end of the room to the other reserved solely for food. All of the sudden, it occurred to me that their weddings probably consisted of family with a few friends. I tried to imagine their family picture, but all I could see was a blob of unmatched color with a green background meeting a blue sky.
As I started to reach for a potato salad, I heard someone whisper behind me, “Don’t get that one.” I turned around and saw James.
“Hi there! Uh, what was that?”
“Don’t...

Chapter 4: part II

    On Sunday, there was a family get-together at the Everly’s house. Although they pretended otherwise, I knew it was meant as a way for me to meet everyone. The Everly house was in the Eavestone Forest, about a thirty-minute walk from the Holme’s. When I first stood on the outskirts of the town of Nidderdale, I could see a line of trees on the other side of the rolling hills. The path, that veered left for a mile to the Holme neighborhood, continued to the trees and then paralleled them for about two miles. As Mr. and Mrs. Holme and I walked to the Everly’s, I could hear the sound of rushing water coming from the woods. I noticed that a few feet past the tree’s edge, the earth started to drop. Every once in a while, we passed a path leading into the trees made of wood with wood railings, and it descended the hill with stairs. Mrs. Holme...

The World in a Palm

Flying through the country, 55 miles per hour. It's times like these I wish I was bald so I could roll my windows all the way down without being blinded by a mass of hair. But for today, a single window will do. One hand gently holds the bottom wheel, the other hangs out the window like a ribbon stick. Even though I'm surrounded by all of creation in its raw ingredients, it is my fingers that capture all of my aw. Folded in, they resist the wind, until finally they decide to open a half inch. But that's all it takes. The wind rushes in like a scared kitten, running away from something, but also like the entire world trying to fit in my palm to no avail as it sifts through the V's between my fingers. And my hand is forced to show itself, show itself to the world, in all its raw, vulnerable essence. And for a...

I'VE HAD A REVELATION!!!!!!!!!

Okay peeps, I have something important to say so LISTEN UP! I am a HUGE fan of Winnie the Pooh; I literally spent years collecting all of the stuffed animals. Anywho, have you every noticed that all of the characters symbolize some mental/psychological--I don't know what to call it--struggle? Here:
Pooh: autism (maybe an eating disorder too)
Piglet: anxiety
Tiger: ADHD
Rabbit: OCD
Eyore: depression
Owl: dyslexia 
Isn't it crazy?!?!?!?! So when I tell people this, they react like it's sad, but I disagree. I think A. A. Milne did something incredible. He mixed real, important concepts into a children's book. He doesn't give the characters some magical potion so that their problems disappear because that's not reality. Instead, he writes stories about how these characters take their struggles one day at a time and help each other through each difficulty. It's beautiful, and innocent, and pure, and raw. 

In another sense, you could say that maybe Christopher Robin knows...

#winterwriting

    The forest was green and luscious. The trees were a little taller, the bushes a little wider, the sky a little bluer. The male birds sang an extra special song, competing for the affections of other female birds. Squirrels came out to search for nuts as well as play with other creatures of the forest. Speckled rays of sunshine fingered various blooming lilies and violets, mushrooms and moss, rocks and stumps—all but a single flower, a rose. She stood alone in a bare clearing. Her vibrant red petals opened wide, relishing the summer air. But no creature came near the little rose. No bunny sniffed her rich fragrance. No beetle rested under her shade. For on her stem, she possessed sharp thorns of a dark green. “These thorns shall protect me. No one shall ever come close enough to hurt me,” she thought. But she also noticed that none of the forest’s inhabitants would interact with her at all. When...

Chapter 4: part I

    My parents’ death came as a sudden shock. Not because I thought my mother had plenty of time left. On the contrary, she was suffering from breast cancer, and I had been bracing myself for the worst. But no one had accounted for a car accident that neither my mother or father would walk away from. The funeral was a lonely one. My father was an only child and both of his parents had passed away long before. As for my mother’s family, I knew very little. She rarely spoke of them and whenever she did, it was with the utmost contempt—as a consequence, I made the decision at a very young age to dislike them. What I did know is that she was adopted into a family with two daughters. Her mother had two siblings with families of their own, but I didn’t learn that these families lived near Mrs. Holme until I arrived in Nidderdale. My two aunts...

Chapter 4: part II

    On Sunday, there was a family get-together at the Everly’s house. Although they pretended otherwise, I knew it was meant as a way for me to meet everyone. The Everly house was in the Eavestone Forest, about a thirty-minute walk from the Holme’s. When I first stood on the outskirts of the town of Nidderdale, I could see a line of trees on the other side of the rolling hills. The path, that veered left for a mile to the Holme neighborhood, continued to the trees and then paralleled them for about two miles. As Mr. and Mrs. Holme and I walked to the Everly’s, I could hear the sound of rushing water coming from the woods. I noticed that a few feet past the tree’s edge, the earth started to drop. Every once in a while, we passed a path leading into the trees made of wood with wood railings, and it descended the hill with stairs. Mrs. Holme...

Chapter 4: part I

    My parents’ death came as a sudden shock. Not because I thought my mother had plenty of time left. On the contrary, she was suffering from breast cancer, and I had been bracing myself for the worst. But no one had accounted for a car accident that neither my mother or father would walk away from. The funeral was a lonely one. My father was an only child and both of his parents had passed away long before. As for my mother’s family, I knew very little. She rarely spoke of them and whenever she did, it was with the utmost contempt—as a consequence, I made the decision at a very young age to dislike them. What I did know is that she was adopted into a family with two daughters. Her mother had two siblings with families of their own, but I didn’t learn that these families lived near Mrs. Holme until I arrived in Nidderdale. My two aunts...

Chapter 4: part I

    My parents’ death came as a sudden shock. Not because I thought my mother had plenty of time left. On the contrary, she was suffering from breast cancer, and I had been bracing myself for the worst. But no one had accounted for a car accident that neither my mother or father would walk away from. The funeral was a lonely one. My father was an only child and both of his parents had passed away long before. As for my mother’s family, I knew very little. She rarely spoke of them and whenever she did, it was with the utmost contempt—as a consequence, I made the decision at a very young age to dislike them. What I did know is that she was adopted into a family with two daughters. Her mother had two siblings with families of their own, but I didn’t learn that these families lived near Mrs. Holme until I arrived in Nidderdale. My two aunts...

Chapter 3: part II

    By four-thirty, I was exhausted of people and feared I couldn’t handle another enthusiastic introduction with anyone. How do they smile so much, I thought. It’s like they only know one emotion. Everything was so perfect that it felt superficial. Either that, or these people lived in their own little world never feeling pain, and I wasn’t sure which was more exasperating. On the right edge of town, I saw a path leading into the woods and wished I could follow it wherever it led if only to be free from those people. I must have been staring because Mrs. Holme seemed to read my mind. She told me to take a walk through the woods and explore, as long as I was back at the house and ready for dinner by six-thirty.

    The moment I started down the path, I felt like I had stepped into a different world. The noise of the town gradually faded, and I...

Chapter 3: Part I

    The next morning, Mrs. Holme demanded that I stay in bed till nine. Honestly, I was exhausted and wanted time away from that crazy family, but I never told her that. To my disappointment, she told me we would be spending the entire day in the town of Nidderdale.
“We will have no problem being occupied,” she said buttoning up her shawl, “I’ve lived here for fifty-two years, but I’m not convinced I’ve seen the whole place.”
 “That reminds me, where do you keep your automobiles? I haven’t seen a single one.”
 “That’s because we only have two; they’re behind the house.”
 “Well I assumed you did, but what about the other families? Like the Dales and my other cousins?” Mrs. Holme looked up.
 “My dear, when I say we only have two cars, I mean the entire extended Holme family.”
What?” This family kept shocking me. “There must be twenty of you!”
  “Actually, there are 26,...

Chapter 2

    “Come in, come in! Alfred, Jane is here! Here let me take those for you… Now, let me get a good look at you. Just as beautiful as your mother.” Her smile faltered for a moment. “How was your trip? You must be exhausted.”
 “It was good. I’m not too tired,” I lied. The sound of shuffling footsteps trickled down the hall.
 “There you are Alfred. Come welcome your granddaughter while I move her bags into the kitchen.” Mr. Holme, just as slow as before, shuffled towards me. He smiled poignantly looking me straight in the eye without a word, but something told me it was not me that he saw. 
 “Hello Mr. Holme, it’s nice to finally meet you.”
“None of that,” called Mrs. Holme from the kitchen. “Call us grandma and papa.” I sat down in the dining room, which was on the immediate left through a large opening about the width of two doors, while Mrs. Holme...

Chapter 1

     Why did it have to be at 6:30? Why not 7? I really could have used the extra half hour of sleep. But there I was, turning up my collar to avoid the wind’s icy bite. The scene of cold, reserved people walking quickly with their heads down and with no interest in interaction was nothing new. The weather has a way of influencing a person on a deeper level besides mere physicality. It’s no surprise, therefore, that a consistently bitter region would produce consistently bitter people. After enduring nine months of bitterness, one might as well continue being bitter. The wind had an icy bite that seemed to attack even the most layered parts of my body, and I could feel the water soaking through my shoes. I wrapped my scarf around my face a third time, but to no avail. When I reached the train station, the line thankfully wasn’t long. A small woman stared back...

Chapter 3: Part I

    The next morning, Mrs. Holme demanded that I stay in bed till nine. Honestly, I was exhausted and wanted time away from that crazy family, but I never told her that. To my disappointment, she told me we would be spending the entire day in the town of Nidderdale.
“We will have no problem being occupied,” she said buttoning up her shawl, “I’ve lived here for fifty-two years, but I’m not convinced I’ve seen the whole place.”
 “That reminds me, where do you keep your automobiles? I haven’t seen a single one.”
 “That’s because we only have two; they’re behind the house.”
 “Well I assumed you did, but what about the other families? Like the Dales and my other cousins?” Mrs. Holme looked up.
 “My dear, when I say we only have two cars, I mean the entire extended Holme family.”
What?” This family kept shocking me. “There must be twenty of you!”
  “Actually, there are 26,...

Chapter 2


“Come in, come in! Alfred, Jane is here! Here let me take those for you… Now, let me get a good look at you. Just as beautiful as your mother.” Her smile faltered for a moment. “How was your trip? You must be exhausted.”
 “It was good. I’m not too tired,” I lied. The sound of shuffling footsteps trickled down the hall.
 “There you are Alfred. Come welcome your granddaughter while I move her bags into the kitchen.” Mr. Holme, just as slow as before, shuffled towards me. He smiled poignantly looking me straight in the eye without a word, but something told me it was not me that he saw. 
 “Hello Mr. Holme, it’s nice to finally meet you.”
“None of that,” called Mrs. Holme from the kitchen. “Call us grandma and papa.” I sat down in the dining room, which was on the immediate left through a large opening about the width of two doors, while Mrs. Holme...

Chapter 1

     Why did it have to be at 6:30? Why not 7? I really could have used the extra half hour of sleep. But there I was, turning up my collar to avoid the wind’s icy bite. The scene of cold, reserved people walking quickly with their heads down and with no interest in interaction was nothing new. The weather has a way of influencing a person on a deeper level besides mere physicality. It’s no surprise, therefore, that a consistently bitter region would produce consistently bitter people. After enduring nine months of bitterness, one might as well continue being bitter. The wind had an icy bite that seemed to attack even the most layered parts of my body, and I could feel the water soaking through my shoes. I wrapped my scarf around my face a third time, but to no avail. When I reached the train station, the line thankfully wasn’t long. A small woman stared back...

Random Music Idea: poems needed!

Hey y'all,
So I just had a weird idea. I'm a music major and I just wrote a song. I'd love to write more, but I'm not the best at coming up with lyrics. So I was thinking, do any of ya'll have any poems that I could use for my lyrics? If so, could you post them below? Thanks!

Invisible Cities

The Town of Nidderdale

    We reached a beautiful road with tall lush trees on either side and with the sun peeping in. I thought we had come to a dead end when the car stopped, but across the road I saw a diminutive red fence. Behind the fence the road continued, but it was narrower and less tended. It disappeared as it took a sharp turn behind some trees to the right. On the left side, the trees disseminated until it was only bushes and tall grass with a full view of the sun.
    “This is where I stop miss,” said the taxi driver, “Don’t worry, the town is right around the corner. On the other side of the red fence was a white sign, about eight feet tall. On it was written, Welcome to Nidderdale!in green paint. The fence had no lock of any kind and only extended about ten feet failing to keep anything out as one could just walk around...

Love in Words

I don't undersand

I don't understand why you do what you do. I don't understand why you feel the need to make a non-awkward situation awkward by calling it awkward. I don't understand how you start talking about something you learned at school but instead end up describing every detail of a new brush you just got. I don't know why you try to recount your dreams to me because we both know you'll talk yourself in circles. I don't know why your body has outbursts of energy and you respond by rolling on the floor. I don't get it; I don't understand you.
But I love all of it---every single piece of you.  

Mrs. Hotchkiss Meets Treebeard

    “Treebeard, have you heard the calamity? Can you believe it? What a reckless man! He should be kicked out! Banished, banishment to the reckless man!”
“Root and twig, that is quite a demand! Who? And why ever would you want to do that?” hummed the old Ent.
“Mr. Dararell! That fool’s crazy cow got loose on Mr. Brown’s farm. I wuz over for tea with Mrs. Brown ‘n’ I saw it. Ask Mrs. Brown, sh-she’ll tell you. I saw it clear as day. Look, s’I, look at that crazy cow! It’s runin’ all over the place, s’I. It’s goin’ through the corn, s’I, ‘n’ now the lettuce, s’I, ‘n’ now the tomatoes, s’I. It destroyed half his crops! Trampled them right to the ground. I saw it with my own two eyes.” As Mrs. Hotchkiss was forced to take a breath, Treebeard took the chance to respond before she got carried away again.
“O my, hrum hoom, I see, that...

Arthur Dimmesdale's Perspective

    It seems as though my foot moves separate from my thoughts. It relies not on my mind, but has a mind of its own, following its own path. On and on, darkness surrounding me, houses full of a slumbering village with no knowledge of the evil so close to their doors. Close as I am, I will not be discovered. It is this that tortures me most. So close to relief, to freedom of deceit, and yet, the devil finds a way. But wait, can there be a moment of peace here? Can I find peace in such a frightful fate I escaped long ago? Perhaps, perhaps this platform will offer me relief. No, even on this public scaffold, my shame hides from the world. The darkness laughs at me, mocking my feebleness. Oh this pain, this darkness, and yet I feel the world closing in on me. They can see, they can see this mark. It is done! My...

Miss Ann Leaves

    I fell in love with books at a very young age. Time itself seems to disappear the moment I curl up in that relaxing chair, in that peaceful room, in that realm of knowledge. I must thank Miss Ann Leaves, a quiet, introverted, educated librarian, for exposing me to the world of books. Every Saturday, I see Miss Ann dressed in her old-fashioned sweater, long skirt, high socks, and reading glasses. She always pulls her hair back in a tight bun, but the rest of her attire is quite comfortable. Her entirely black clothing accentuates the color of her skin, which is already as white as a sheet. I enjoy observing her journey across the room, completely silent, so as not to disturb those who are reading. Each time I listen closely, but never a sound. She simply sails across the room in a straight line with her eyes on her destination, never off track.
    When I first browsed Miss...

Daisy Meets Tom Sawyer

    “Oh, it’s such a beautiful day, Tom! The perfect, absolutely perfect day to do something adventurous. We should plan something. But what should we plan?”
“Hmm,” Tom looked around, wrinkled his eyebrows, and rubbed his chin, “I know! We should go on a treasure hunt.” Daisy’s face lit up.
“A treasure hunt?”
“Yes, a treasure hunt. Now we ought to get a name of course, and a large chest made from wood a thousand years old with gold coins inside along with special gems and rubies and all that.”
“Ooh, how exciting! You have such exciting ideas, Tom. I’ve got some jewelry we could use and a chest, but it isn’t a thousand years old. Why does it have to be a thousand years old?”
“Why does it have to be a thousand years old? Because all treasure hunters search for ancientchests of course. Why, I reckon we’ll need to carve a special key out of a bone for...

Mr. Wimple

     Mr. Wimple is a tall, round, loud, and overall annoying man. I cannot call him a gentleman for he has few manners, and most of them include accepting hospitality, or in other words, drinking all the wine when it is offered. My mother insists that I put up with him for he holds our fate in his thick, sausage-linked fingers. Mr. Wimple is our landlord. Since I see him at least twice a week, I have become quite acquainted with his apparel: a nearly bursting green vest that threatens its beholders with buttons that look as if they might shoot out at any moment, a brown coat with inside pockets, a cane, a sizeable bow tie that seems small on his generously proportioned body, and a top hat that hides the little hair he has left. His shoe laces always seem to come undone, though he never notices. But for that I do not blame him, for from his viewpoint,...

Thorns #ManateeContest

    The forest was green and luscious. The trees were a little taller, the bushes a little wider, the sky a little bluer. The male birds sang an extra special song, competing for the affections of other female birds. Squirrels came out to search for nuts as well as play with other creatures of the forest. Speckled rays of sunshine fingered various blooming lilies and violets, mushrooms and moss, rocks and stumps—all but a single flower, a rose. She stood alone in a bare clearing. Her vibrant red petals opened wide, relishing the summer air. But no creature came near the little rose. No bunny sniffed her rich fragrance. No beetle rested under her shade. For on her stem, she possessed sharp thorns of a dark green. “These thorns shall protect me. No one shall ever come close enough to hurt me,” she thought. But she also noticed that none of the forest’s inhabitants would interact with her at all. When...

Nidderdale Woods (rewritten)


    The moment I started down the path, I felt like I had stepped into a different world. The noise of the town gradually faded, and I entered an atmosphere of peaceful existence. There were no sudden movements or sounds, save for a few butterflies and the wind rustling the trees. The path was worn down but still clear. I imagined countless generations, before and after me, strolling through these same woods, sharing the same tracks. The trees, knotty but also skinny and tall, were sparse enough to see ahead clearly. Here and there I saw some Burford Holly trees, which were more like shrubs. Moss grew all over, on trees, large rocks, fallen branches, and even the path. Being the middle of summer, everything was rich green and healthy. There were trails of blossoming violets and lavenders, patches of colorful mushrooms, and a sea of Irish moss with its budding white flowers. The sun peeped through the branches creating rays...

Choosing Peace


    “So, you’ve never knitted before?”
    “Nope, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.” I held up a knotty mass of yarn that slightly resembled a triangle. “Or not.” Emma laughed. “I think I’ve murdered this scarf.”
    “I don’t make much of a teacher, sorry.”
    “How did you get to be so good?”
    “Practice. When you can't move around, you have to be creative.” Her fingers quickly moved up and down, back and forth between the two silver needles. This was my third visit with Emma, and we consistently lost track of time.
    “Can it be hard?” I had been itching to ask her since we met. “I mean, obviously it’s hard. From what I can tell, you’ve learned to live with it. But aren’t there times when it’s, I don’t know, unbearable? Don’t you get…”
    “Angry?” The sound of clicking ceased as she gently rested her hands on her lap. “Of course, I think it would be impossible...

My Big Fat Italian Family

Dear John Wiley,
    As you are preparing to enter into the beautiful bond of marriage with my sister, I feel it is my duty to remind you that you are also entering into a beautiful bond called my “big-fat-sixty-membered-Italian-family.” So out of the kindness of my dry blunt heart, I would like to give you some pointers to get you started. You’ll find that many of the Italian stereotypes are actually true. Firstly, you should know that the only thing my family loves more than food is each other (bear that in mind each time you and Olivia are tempted to bicker). At the first cousin wedding, Bella, Susanna, and Emily, all 11 at the time, sang “Daddy’s Got a Shotgun” to our newest member, John, as he sat with his bride. We may have calmed down a bit since then, but Italian family fidelity is an all too real thing. As I go on, keep in mind that I...

Why I Write

Processing

    I write as a processing mechanism. I'm not emotional, sensitive, or feely-touchy. Instead, I tend to approach life logically and with reason. It has been a blessing, and yet there are times it feels more like a burden. I don't process emotion well so I drag it in, shove it down, and lock it away. Writing serves me as a way to process my emotions and experiences. It is one of the only ways I am vulnerable with others, and even myself. 

Apples Are Better Than Oranges

I want to paint you a picture. You have a decision. A decision that affects your health, your humor, your happiness. It is twelve o’clock and slowly you walk towards a bowl, which holds your dilemma. You only have two options, but you must decide: apples or oranges?
Contrary to what you might think, there is a right choice. Imagine you chose the orange. What else would you eat? An orange often leaves in the mouth a bitter taste, that bitter taste then affects the rest of your meal. An apple could go well with just about anything, peanut butter, cinnamon, yogurt. An apple would also be extremely easier to eat. As for the orange, you must labor and work to pull back the thick peel, damaging your nails in the process. But you’re not done. As you attempt to eat the orange, you nearly choke on the inside skin. When you finally finish, you must waste your time in...

Don't be yourself

"Just be yourself. You will get the right boy by being yourself." 
That's what everyone says, and they're right. Most girls take years to master this concept. Her struggle, however, was quite the opposite. She loved to be herself. She was confident even in the way she walked across the room. She always made eye contact and stayed engaged, laughing and reacting to everything someone said. She asked various questions and genuinely wanted the answers, but her kindness was taken as interest; her laugh was a giggle; her smile was bright. All of it, even her small quirks, were considered flirtatious. They misunderstood her and her intentions, all of the boys did. Why she attracted so many is a mystery. Yes, she was pretty, and yes, she was not completely obnoxious unlike many girls. Perhaps they found peace and stability in her sincere warmth.

All she knew was that it was a problem.
The solution? She couldn't be herself. She...

Blank Verse Inspired by Remarque

A swirling vortex of emotions grab
Me, pull me, suck me down into abyss.
From earth, from air, sustaining forces pour.
The soldier’s love for earth surpasses man’s.
He presses down his limbs escaping death.
The earth protects and covers eye and nose.
O earth, a soldier’s comrade, kin, and mate.
 
Despair takes hold of our vitality.
Suppress our cries, control our fear dear friend
And we may bite the dust but just once more.
Before explosion, open thy folds wide
That we may fling ourselves like sinking bombs.
 
Thou grants resisting surge of new-won life.
Endure the storm, the earth will stream you back
Through grieved hands. Do not forget thyself.
In one mute agony of hope, we wait.
Fly us away to light and day again.
 

Rock-a-bye Baby

    Among the boughs and among the branches, the crib was held in place. Wrapped in soft purple velvet, a little boy slumbered away. Despite the chirping birds—hopeful of a response—or the rustling leaves—betossed by the wind when unsatisfied with their dwelling—the child’s sleep was not disturbed, but only deepened by nature’s lullabies. The green, mossy tree, holding the child, stood tall and sheltered his eyes from the golden sunshine—almost like a father lifting his son upon his shoulders when the boy’s legs grow weak—or perhaps like a father carrying his aslumbering son after a long day of adventure when his eyes grow weary. The tree’s strong arms wrapped around the crib, keeping the boy from awaking from vibrant dreams. The wind lingered through the trees, slightly rustling the brown and yellow speckled leaves and rocking the cradle back and forth like a mother soothing her sleeping child with songs of love and affection. From beyond the forest’s edge appeared a...

Nidderdale Woods

    By four-thirty, I was exhausted of people and feared I couldn’t handle another enthusiastic introduction with anyone. On the right edge of town, I saw a path leading into the woods and wished I could follow it wherever it led if only to be free from those people. I must have been staring because Mrs. Holme seemed to read my mind. She told me to take a walk through the woods and explore, as long as I was back at the house and ready for dinner by six thirty.

    The moment I started down the path, I felt like I had stepped into a different world. The noise of the town gradually faded, and I entered an atmosphere of peaceful existence. There were no sudden movements or sounds, save for a few butterflies and the wind rustling the trees. The path was worn down but still clear. I imagined countless generations, before and after me, strolling through these same woods,...

Chapter 1

       Why did it have to be at 6:30? Why not 7? I really could have used the extra half hour of sleep. But there I was, in the frozen, wet street. The scene of cold, reserved people walking quickly with their heads down and with no interest in interaction was nothing new. The weather has a way of influencing a person on a deeper level besides mere physicality. It’s no surprise, therefore, that a consistently bitter region would produce consistently bitter people. After enduring nine months of bitterness, one might as well continue being bitter. The wind had an icy bite that seemed to attack even the most layered parts of my body. I could feel the water soaking through my shoes. I wrapped my scarf around my face a third time, but it didn’t help much. When I reached the train station, the line thankfully wasn’t long. A small woman stared back at me behind small...

Personal Narrative Competition 2018

An Unlikely Gift

        I had an unusual childhood. I was a homeschooled Orthodox Christian who grew up within fifteen minutes of my entire extended family—excuse me, a-fifty-member-extended-family. A normal child would spend five days a week with a hundred other kids their age. I spent seven days a week with my five siblings. Only when I was thirteen did I take any classes away from the comfort of my living room and the snacks of my kitchen. Even then, the number of students per class was around six, and most of them were with the same two cousins and the same two childhood friends. Consequently, I didn’t have very many friends. As an Orthodox Christian in a parish that had arisen from forty converts, you can imagine my opportunity for finding companions in the church was not much more promising. Along with the same two cousins and two childhood friends, there was one other girl around my age, but her shyness prevented her...