Your Story Dies With You

Your Story Dies With You. It's rather self-explanitory, but anyway, the idea is that every person on this earth (that's right, every last one of us) has a story to tell, and it should be told before it's too late. For thousands of years, storytelling has been a central part of how humans have communicated--stories have been passed down through generations, sharing knowledge, family history, and the odd tale with a moral that was forgotten years ago. Everyone has a story to tell, and you should tell it, now while you have the chance, because your story dies with you.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Hello again! Exciting news today: my work has been selected by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards for three Gold Key awards and a Silver Key award! The three stories selected for Gold Keys automatically advance to national judging, which takes place in March. One story was selected for the "American Voices" award, one of only five stories in my region (my region stretches over 52 counties) to have the distinction of being the best the region has to offer. That story advances to the national judging for the "American Voices" award. :-)
Some of the stories, you have the opportunity to read here, on my blog! They are:
The Rope Swing: Gold Key
The Stranger: Gold Key
The Polka Dot Dress: Silver Key

The other story that received recognition in the form of a Gold Key award, is "The Parishioner and the Pastor." My works will be displayed in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art from Feburary 10th, after the Award Ceremony, through April 7th, 2013.

Thank you for all your support! Stay posted for more stories, and the release date of my next novel, which is currently in the works! :-)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

NEW: Lingering, a Short Story

It's been a while since we've had a new story here, so I decided to post one I wrote a while back for a competition--it was originally intended to be the start of a new novel that never took off. It didn't receive any recognition, and I thought I would give it a second shot at being read by someone other than myself, so here it is for you to critique:

My first thought was that I was dead. My second was that I hadn’t been that lucky.

 Everything was cold. So cold that it raised goose bumps on my flesh, the hairs on my arms standing on end like soldiers frozen in salute. The darkness that surrounded me was a wet darkness; dripping inky blackness that stained the floor beneath my feet, forming puddles that rapidly grew into an ocean that pressed in on me like the suffocating folds of a shroud, threatening to crush me with its sheer force. The scent of flowers lingered, sickeningly sweet, smelling at once both of the freshness of flowers just cut and of their decay as they begin to die, cruelly torn from the ground to decorate this barren room that is colder than the hands of death. I could still smell the flowers; long after the bouquets had been carried away, heads drooping, petals falling to the floor, only to be crushed underfoot by the quiet footsteps made by polished black heels that waver as they walk.

For well over an hour I had stood in those wretched heels, legs shaking beneath the dark folds of my dress. Face aching from the strain of not crumpling, lips twisted in some macabre smile, fingers throbbing from the shaking of so many hands, ribs sore from the repeated catching in backbreaking hugs of strangers as they attempt to assuage their own grief by pretending to comfort me in mine. The lights appeared garish, reflecting off the polished glass of the picture frames, disorienting as I made my way from stranger to stranger, exchanging words of comfort and empty embraces, limbs growing cold and vision fading in and out like some old black and white horror movie.

When the crowd finally disappeared I did not wish to linger. My freezing hands shook as I lifted the cold porcelain pots that held the flowers, funeral bouquets that would have been beautiful in any other circumstance, but that are ugly because they serve such a grim purpose, and began to make my way through the quiet halls, wobbling on my tired feet, until I can set the pots in the back of the car. I think with regret that the car will smell of the flowers for days, but there is nothing to be done; they cannot be left here in the empty rooms, rotting in the cold and the dark.

I returned to the room, crushing the fallen petals beneath my feet. The lights continued to grow dim, and I could feel the texture of the plaster walls beneath my fingertips, wondering why they are not as smooth as they appear in the instant before I fell forward into the merciful darkness, the scent of crushed flower petals lingering in the faded carpet.

 My first thought was that I was dead. My second was that I hadn’t been that lucky.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey! Happy New Year! It's officially 2013. How about celebrating with some new reading material??? Love Me Anyway is free in the Kindle store tomorrow January 4th only!