Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

One year ago

One year ago today I wrote a poem - and I never shared it publicly on this blog or anywhere else.

Most of my family has read it, or at least have heard it, but this a poem I wrote for Jimmy last May for my class' "poetry coffee house".  Jimmy never got to read this because I never got around to sending him a care package for his birthday, and I didn't want him to read it in an email.  I was going to post this on his birthday (the 24th), but I just wasn't in the mood.

I love you, Jimmy.

When All Words Fail Me

(My Strong Soldier)


Planes and flights come and go
As do the people.
How many times did I pray
That he’d never be part of this number?

He’s already been included twice,
But that was for Iraq.
Why him, why his unit?
Afghanistan this time.

How do I say goodbye,
Not knowing if I’ll see him again?
How can he bring himself to leave
Knowing he might not come back?

Does he ever feel too afraid to carry on?
Does he ever feel all hope is lost?
Does he even realize how dangerous it is?
Does he remember what he’s fighting for?

Of course he’s scared
But he keeps fighting.
Of course he realizes the danger.
And he definitely knows what he’s fighting for.

He’s fighting for his parents,
His wife,
His kids.

So how do I repay him?
A thank you be not sufficient?
How do I tell him that I forever owe him?
That I don’t deserve it?

When all words fail me,
And tears begin to fill the void,
I’ll look away, not letting him see,
And embrace my strong soldier.

So, God, I ask
When will the war end?
And when will we all realize
That we’re all human beings?

Be we American or Middle-Eastern
Does it really matter?
We’re all just people,
Fighting for the country which we love.

God, let the war end
And keep my strong soldier safe.
Bring him home to me.
So I’ll never have to say goodbye again.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


There are so many causes out there - it's impossible to pick just one to be dedicated to.  I think a big part in determining which cause we become most involved with is what we've been through and therefore what's personal to us.

Before you continue reading this, let me stress that this is not meant in a mean way.  This is just my opinion and I am NOT saying that I don't feel bad for other countries' problems caused by disasters.

The past few weeks, we have had a lady selling wristbands for Japan Tsunami relief efforts - Which is a great idea, and a great way to raise money to help. I don't know how much money she ended up raising, but I'd say she made a pretty good chunk of money for Japan.  Today at the assembly we had to recognize the efforts she was making to help Japan, she said "Please do not forget about Japan.  Even though the media only focuses on it for a few days, a week maybe, it doesn't mean things there are all better.  Japan still needs your support, help, and prayers.  Please, do not forget about Japan."

And while I agree that Japan is definitely still in bad shape and definitely still needs help rebuilding, I think that we as a population have become more involved in other countries' problems and supporting those causes than we have our own. 

The media doesn't focus as much on our Troops overseas anymore - definitely not the ones still in Iraq (By the way THERE ARE STILL TROOPS IN IRAQ.  IF SOMEONE TELLS YOU THAT WAR IS OVER - THEY ARE WRONG.).  We as Americans don't tend to openly support our troops because somewhere along these past years, supporting our troops means you support the war.  Just because you support our troops doesn't mean that you support the war.  I know that war was necessary at the time, but I don't like the fact that we're still there - that our men and women are still dying for our freedom there, that my cousin's there now.  It makes me worry that our soldiers think that we have forgotten them.  I would do anything to change this, even in just a small way.

At the same time that wristbands were being sold for Japan, I had student council organize a drive for the Thank You Foundation - a local organization that collects supplies of all sorts to send to the Troops overseas.  Almost everyone in every single one of my classes was wearing a "Gaman" band, but my class didn't even completely fill one box of supplies for the troops.  I'm not saying that Japan relief isn't important, because I know it is, I'm just saying that if we didn't have Troops defending us, protecting us, we wouldn't even be able to care about other causes.  Our FREEDOM is what allows us to do that. 

I guess the point I'm trying to make is, America, we need to take care of our own First.  And, yes, I'm begging you PLEASE DO NOT FORGET ABOUT OUR SOLDIERS.

So in honor of Armed Forces Month and Armed Forces Day this coming Saturday and Memorial Day on the 30th, I ask you, please just take a minute of your day to say "Thank You" to a soldier you know - or if you see one out and about.  And if you have time, find out how you can get involved with an organization near you that supports our Troops.

P.S. Did you know that there are still hundreds of thousands of AMERICAN soldiers missing from the Vietnam and Korean wars? 

Friday, May 13, 2011



I'm not a fan.  Whether the judgement is coming from a teacher, a friend, a family member, or a peer, it's not fair.  A lot of people have judged me the past few months as to how I have dealt with things, how I have responded to things, and how I continue to...cope with things.  And while I have come to know which people to avoid subjects with, sometimes it slips up and appears into our conversation - even if it's not our conversation and they just overhear. This is probably making no sense to you guys whatsoever, but what I'm trying to say is, I'm me.  I can't change me.  Yes, other things have changed who I am, but I can't change the way that I react to things, how I deal with things, or how I cope with things.  All of these things are a part of who I am that cannot be changed by myself.  And therefore, you can't change them either. 

So there's this guy (for my over-protective family reading this - it is NOT a boyfriend.  FAR from it.) and I've known him since the 5th grade.  I'm not going to tell you his name, I'll simply call him D.  So basically, when I first decided that I wanted to be a writer, I was very open about it - until I wondered if there was a reason to be embarrassed about it.  I wanted to tell all my friends that I wanted to write, that I wanted to write a book, that I wanted to be an author, and I wanted them to be happy for me.  A lot of them were - D wasn't.  He asked me what exactly I meant by "I'm writing" and what I was writing.  I told him that I was writing a book.  He told me "Right, like anyone would read that" or "Right, like that'll ever happen" or something along those lines. (The book was terrible, but that's besides the point.)  That, in my opinion, made me become shy about my writing.  I didn't like talking about it.  It's only been recently that I've become even slightly comfortable talking about it with people - and even still it's very few people.  I know that with what I'm writing now, that I'm going to need all the support I can get, but I still haven't told but a few people in my family what I'm writing about - and if they know, chances are they know because they read this blog. 

D has been a bit of a debby-downer the whole time I've known him, but since my brother is friends with him, he's associated himself with me.  It wasn't really a choice I made, so much as he made.  Our personalities don't really mix well, and he simply doesn't care about the things I do.  He's much more focused on band or getting a good solo or something like that - and he gets way too stressed out about the little things.  And while I understand they are important to him, I think he finds these things really important because he's never experienced real pain, and therefore never realized what's really important.

My view on a lot of things has changed this year.  I've found out who my true friends are, who I can count on, who I can talk to, and who is just going to judge me for...being me.  D has made a few remarks about the button I wear of Jimmy, the metal bracelet my uncle gave me with Jim's information on it (which you're not really supposed to take off...), and the patrol cap liner that I carry with me, etc.  He doesn't understand how nearly 9 months after everything happened that I could still possibly miss Jimmy or even still be grieving.  I'm not completely sure that grieving process ever ends, to be honest, and if it does, I don't think there's a set limit because everyone is different.  Today, however, D made a remark, well, gesture would be a better word, that really hurt me - worse than when he first told me that no one would read the stuff I wrote.  A girl in my art class asked me what I was writing about now (we were talking about my longer projects/book-things) and I told her that I was writing about my cousin and how things have changed in my life, etc.  as well as the fact that in my story, Jimmy comes back as a ghost and he has unfinished business that he wants to have taken care of.   She was really interested in it and was talking about how she LOVES ghost stories.  This was a fun conversation for me - I love talking about this project when I don't have to explain things in great detail.  Then D had to remark in his monotone, disapproving voice "Uh, which cousin are you writing about again?" I sighed - I knew he already knew - and said "Jimmy."  He glared at me.  I said "D if you're glaring at me I swear..." and then I went back to talking to the girl. 

I understand that this might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but I'm writing this because I need to - not because it's the most comfortable thing to write about or because it's something that makes me happy.  I'm tired of being judged for this.  Jimmy was like a big-brother to me, and if you can't respect that I miss him every day and that yes, sometimes I still cry about it, then I don't understand how you can honestly call yourself my friend - and I'm not sure that I consider D my friend. 

And then he had to go make a remark about me texting my uncle all the time.  I told him he was going to be driving a lot these next few days so I wouldn't get to talk to him a whole lot and he said "It'll be good for you - maybe you can make some friends your own age."  GAH.  Do.  Not.  Diss.  My.  Biker.  Dude.

And while I understand that nobody's opinion of me should matter, it's what I think of myself, it still doesn't make hearing this any easier. I respect myself, I wish I were a little stronger, I'm pretty happy with the head on my shoulders (however screwed up it may be).

Other than that long rant, I hope you all have a great weekend.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Leanna Renee Hieber is Awesome

part of this was written on Thursday, the other part today (Friday)

So even though the title is pretty much self-explanatory, I still would like to try to explain to you just how awesome Leanna Renee Hieber is.  I'm not completely sure if it can be put into words.  My attempt will probably fail, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

Leanna's third installment of the Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess) was released this past Tuesday, and the local signing was tonight.  I was pretty down-right excited for this book, even though I usually have a hard time reading prequels.  The fact that these are totally different characters really interests me and after listening to Leanna read a portion of it at the signing, I just wish I could listen to her read the whole book.  She's so theatrical and such a great speaker, she's going to have to do my readings at my book signings (hopefully, one day) because that is a skill I definitely lack.  :)

I love that Leanna is so down-to-earth and she deeply cares about her readers.  She's so incredible, not only in what she writes and how she speaks, but also by the size of her heart.  I don't know the last time someone held a meaningful conversation with me about writing and the challenges of writing - not only paranormal, but also with just the difficulties of jumping from one world to the next.  I am so excited to get writing more, and maybe it just took a kick from her to get a part of me back that I've so desperately been missing.  I feel like since last August, I've slowly been losing part of me each day, instead of getting parts of me back.  I used to read and write all the time, and now I don't have the motivation to do that.  But now, I just want to stay up all night and write.  (Too bad it's Thursday...)  Maybe it's just that I'm still afraid that if I don't write that Leanna's ghosts will haunt me, or maybe it's just that I remember who I was when I last read these books last year, or maybe I just have been reminded of how inspirational Leanna is to me.  Being from Small Town Ohio, it's really hard to find someone that has accomplished the things they most want, such as being published.

Meeting Leanna has been a huge blessing in my life, she makes me feel like I can honestly do anything that I want with my life.  Although everybody has always told me that since I started writing it, I honestly never really believed that until last night.  This is something that I can never thank Leanna for enough.  She has either given me or given me back a piece of myself that I never realized I had or never realized I was missing.  She is just truly amazing. 

And, Leanna, if you're reading this, I hope you know that I can never repay you for everything you've done for me - I cherish all of the material things, as well as the 'spiritual' ones - but I will surely try my hardest to pay you back.  I love you.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I'm sorry

I'm sorry that I've been such a bad blogger lately.  It's not really that I've been busy, in fact I haven't had that much going on.  I've just been really lazy and have had a lot of school work to do or I've just been really tired.  I might be making excuses for not writing, but I've always done that, have I not?

So, in a desperate attempt to make up for my lack of blogging, I will post a poem I wrote that has a lot to do with my current novel/project.  In fact, it's written about the same event where my (current) title comes from.  So I hope you like it.

Catch Me

A gentle quick lift,

As if effortless.
Swing one leg over,
And I'm on top of the world.

I laugh, looking down
At the grass so far down.
You try to hide it,
But you're smiling too.

You tell me you'll flip me
Backwards off your back.
Part of me believes you
Really will.

You promise me
You won't let me fall,
That you'll catch me.
You promise.

You swing one leg
Back over,
And maneuver me somehow
So that I'm falling.

I brace myself to
Meet the ground.
But your arms are around me.
You caught me.

That is the best feeling,
Pressed in your chest,
Smiling at the thought,
As your strong arms hold me.

You kept your promise.
My eyes water, realizing
You loved me enough to
Catch Me.

Have a great week, I'll probably be blogging later this week at some point.