One of our upcoming assignments is something called “Who Am I.” It should be a pretty easy question to answer, right?
For me, it’s not.
Over the years, I’ve derived my identity from different things.
I am the oldest of five kids. In my earlier years, I was a homeschooler.I was the artistic one. I was the only child who ever stood up to my dad and yelled at him when I was upset.
When I got a bit older, I was the messed up one. The sad one, the quiet one. I was a writer. I was the messy one.
Flash forward to my mid teenage years. I was not the pretty one in my group of friends. I was unwanted. I was a romantic. I was bulimic. I was suicidal. I was still messed up, but at a grander scale.
All of these are labels I assigned to myself. They were based on my own perceptions, even if it wasn’t reality.
The one thing that I have always done and will always do is write. No matter who I am or how I’m feeling, my writing reflects it.
I don’t know who I am now. I’m still figuring it out. I do know that no matter what, my writing will see me through.
This is an excerpt from the first novel I wrote, called Star.
Star barked, hoping one of the humans would hear and come out. Star was the example of a well bred golden retriever, and had a show case full of ribbons and medals to show for it.
Star didn’t know that the next day her owner, John Henderson, was planning on breeding Star to the neighbors dog, a big purebred golden retriever , in hopes that the pups would soon be as famous as their parents in the show ring.
Star lived the life of a pampered pooch. Sleeping on a heated bed in an insulated barn with the rest of John’s dogs, an assorted pack of show dogs, hunters and mutts, although none of them were as beautiful or as expensive as Star. But despite this Star was not content. She had hated being alone ever since she was a pup. When John first brought her home she had whimpered and whined all night and into the early morning until John came out.
Far off the cry of a wolf shattered the silence of the night; the cry of a wolf looking for a mate. Star’s head flew up and deep within her being a longing was stirred. An instinct buried deep under centuries of living with man, being pampered and tamed, was awakened. Star felt the tug and heeded it.
Then Star began to do something she had never done before. She began to dig, first
slowly and hesitantly, looking around as if expecting someone to stop her, and then
full force, eager to fulfill the longing she felt.
Once the hole was dug, Star paused and turned back towards the house. This was her life, her home, and no matter how lonely she felt, she still loved her life and the people here. Finally she turned back and scampered out of the hole.
She had chosen freedom.
Once she had escaped her kennel she stopped, her ears perked, as she heard again the cry of the wolf, further away this time. Then she trotted purposefully towards the woods, once again heeding the inner tug. And so began the adventures of Star.
When the moon appears
When the sun disappears below the horizon
and the moon shows its face
This is the time the fairies emerge
and the unicorns race.
And the Naiads and the Dryads
dance the night away,
and the elven children
come out and play.
The centaurs then appear,
and gather all around.
And in the glades and meadows,
fauns can be found.
And then they all join hands,
and dance around the glade.
Together they pass the hours,
until the stars begin to fade.
And the moon is shrouded in shadow,
and sun appears,
leaving not a trace
of the Naiads, the Dryads,
the Centaurs and the fauns.
The unicorns and the fairies,
all are gone.
I’ll miss your kindness my friend
I’ll remember the times we’ve shared
All the support and love you so willingly gave.
I’ll remember the times together when I was scared
of what life would hold.
All the secrets that I whispered
Never again to be told.
I miss the compassion in your eyes
With you I never had to disguise
My feelings of hurt and anger, my many tears
My feelings of incompetence, my confusion and fears.
I’ll miss you, my loyal pet and friend
and I pray that I will see you once again
In that place where no tears are shed
This is where I hope to see you, Sheba, my friend.
Many pets may come and go
But this I know.
I will always
Have a place for you in my heart
My dog, my friend.
This is the ‘scroll’ that led me to write the novel I would eventually publish, Tales of the Bonded: Fire and Ice”
Reathins. A short summary
The reathin is often confused with the dragon, and although at first glance they may appear similar, there are several differences. First of all, while dragons are mainly meat eaters, reathins are primarily plant eaters, although if nothing else is available they will eat meat. They are especially partial to fruit, and prefer peaches to any other food. They mainly live on grass and foliage.
Also, reathins are built more like a lizard, with a smaller body, as well as longer tail and wingspan than a dragon. Reathins can contact other reathins by telepathy, although the young reathin often uses high pitched squeaks and grunts to communicate.
Also, while dragons breath streams of fire, reathins shoot both fire and ice, which can freeze a victim for up to four hours on contact.
And while dragons lay a clutch of up to eight eggs, reathins lay only one or two, which the male and female will take turns guarding. The eggs have no need of someone to sit on them, since they retain an almost electrifying heat. They are small and heavy, and often metallic, shiny, or brightly coloured. The colour of the egg corresponds to the colour of the reathin inside. While young reathins are considered ready to hatch early on in the development cycle, they often choose to remain in the safety of their egg for around three to four months.
The hatchlings are small when they leave their egg, weighing about two to four pounds. Full grown, they range from 1,600 pounds to 2,000 pounds and from nose to tail are anywhere from ten to sixteen feet long. As a general rule, male reathins weigh more than female reathins, but will have a shorter tail and wingspan.
They gain about a hundred pounds a month until they are a year and a half, at which age they reach physical and mental maturity. Dragons mature at five years. Reathins have a long life span, the oldest of which was estimated to be four hundred years old. Most reathins live to the age of two hundred.
Reathins can shoot ice at birth, so caution is needed when handling these creatures, as young reathins may shoot without meaning to when they cough, hiss, snort or breath heavily. They can fly at 1 1/2 to 2 months.
Reathins also have excellent night vision, and are able to see just as well in the dark as in the day. This makes them very good night-fliers.
I can be free
When life pulls down on me,
and I feel like I just want to scream
aloud my hurt, my pain, my fears
I go out to the pasture
and wipe away the tears.
My horse is waiting, and she doesn’t care
about harsh words, or how life isn’t fair
She wants to run, and I want to get away
from the life that I live every day.
So I mount up, and ride away
Through the fields, into the distance
where I can escape.
On her back I feel free,
like no one can ever hurt me.
Back on the ground, life presses down
and once again I’m overwhelmed
By feelings of fear, uncertainty, and pain
But I know that I can always mount up again
And go somewhere that those feelings can’t reach.
A place where only my horse and I can be
A place of freedom that beckons to me.
So I’ll live my life one day at a time,
choosing to love, to forgive, to pray.
And I know that when I need to get away,
My horse is there, waiting for me
And on her back I can be free.
—-2014 and on—-
Here are just some random pieces I’ve written in the past few years
Why do you always fall for the broken boys? For the ones you think you can fix?
The boy who sleeps to escape being awake, the boy who never sleeps because the terrors of the night are worse than going without sleep. The boy who spends his days fighting the voices in his head and the desire to die, and the boy whose dependency on nicotine has replaced his desire for the other substances that once fed his needs.
Why do you think you can help anyone? It’s never worked before. You’re not whole yourself but you’ve never been shattered like that, so how could you ever understand what they’re going through?
_ _ _ _
he’s art. I know, I’ve said it before but no one really understands what I mean. of course there’s his face, which is a masterpiece in and of itself. his eyes are more piercing than the knives in his home and he’s all sharp edges- jawline, profile, collarbones, hips- edges that fit together perfectly. but there’s more. his heartbeat and the way it matches mine when I lay my head on his chest- that is art. His hands that are gentle on me but could shatter my bones in a second if the urge struck him. That little smirk that curves his lips when he catches me looking at him. The way our lips fit together like they were made for the sole purpose of kissing the other. His body, long and lean. The way the light reflects on his collarbone and silhouettes them like wings and how my head can nestle into that one spot on his chest, and how his fingertips dance on my back and through my hair, that’s art. The way our bodies fit together, how they collide like meteorites, like a perfect storm. the way the light reflects on his skin, casting shadows I just want to trace with my fingertips. He’s like a painting I can’t stop staring at, or sculpture I can’t keep myself from touching, a line of poetry always in my mind, a melody that won’t leave my conscience.
_ _ _ _
i have eyes that are too big in a face that is too pale, a body too thin with sharp collarbones and hip bones that jut out like the branches of a tree in winter. i have a voice that cannot sing and hands that are too weak to hold your heart and i love easily. I’m sorry for all this, I’m sorry for being me.
I’m sorry for the way i look at you like you could be my saviour and I’m sorry that I’ve made a home in the cavity in your chest when we both know you’re destined to move on and that i am rooted here like a tree. I’m sorry for the way i touch you like i could set fire to your skin because the last thing i want is to burn you. I’m sorry for loving you and letting you love me because the truth is that this love will destroy you, because i love far too easily and i love with an intensity that should not be allowed.
I’m sorry for making you my haven in the storm of my life when you’re already a shelter to so many people, I’m sorry I’m too selfish to stop laying my burdens on you. I’m sorry for not letting you help me carry them, for pulling away when you want to help me. I’m sorry for letting you in one moment only to push you out the next and I’m sorry that i cannot decide whether my love or my fear of you is greater. I’m sorry for being scared of you and for not knowing why. I’m sorry for being too much and not enough, never enough.
_ _ _ _
There’s a girl who has hands that are soft like flower petals and a soft, raspy voice. If the colour lavender was a sound, it would be her voice. She has fair skin and eyes like bluebells and a laugh that makes the stars come out, she has dark hair that tumbles over her shoulders like a waterfall and a slender body like a birch tree. She is so beautiful and her mind is a book of poetry that only a few take the time to peer into. And that’s the greatest tragedy of all, that so few people know how to appreciate the poems that pulse in her veins and make her eyes shine.
Her wrists bear the mark of the thoughtless words that have come her way and of the battles that war in her mind, but every day she wins another fight and her scars bear witness to this. She looks at herself and sees only the imperfections and cannot see that they are only brush strokes in the work of art that is her body.
There’s a girl with eyes like bluebells and a mouth like cotton candy clouds in summer and a laugh like a stream in the forest, with skin as beautiful and soft as her heart. She speaks in words too beautiful for mere mortals and she rests in the hands of God. She’s His favourite and He gave her to me.
She hasn’t yet learned to recognize herself for the gift that she is, but it’s okay. There’s a gracefulness to her oblivion, a magnetism in her quiet strength, and a beauty to her sharp edges. One day she will see herself through the eyes of the world and she will see the way her love radiates from her and brings light to the darkest place and she will see the way her sad, soft eyes light up when she speaks of the things that she loves, and she will fall in love with herself the way that everyone who grows near to her falls in love with her every day.
There is a girl with a voice like lavender and with a sad soul and she is so beautiful. She is a sunset of pastel pinks and deep blues, vibrant purples and that hue of yellow that you can’t describe. She is indescribable, she is kindness and light and the feeling of fresh sheets and a warm bed after a long day. She is cool breeze on a hot summer’s afternoon and the sense of home you get when you’re in a room with all your loved ones.
There is a girl and she is everything at once, and she is mine.
_ _ _ _
Sage green, deep burgundy. Rich colours that stir your soul and make you feel at home. Blue eyes in a pale face, a heavy heart that belongs to a time already past. She is music that no one else has heard of, like finding a hidden place so beautiful that you want to keep it to yourself and share it with the world at the same time. She is rain thudding on the rooftop while you lay in bed, safe and warm and feeling small and insignificant as a single raindrop. She is a storm that’s just ending- the rain slowing, thunder growing more distant, and the lightening of the sky.
She is the flashing lights and blaring music of a fair, the drop in your stomach when you go on a fast ride and the happy scream that rips from your lungs even though you’re not scared. She is exhilaration and the search for something more, something concrete in a world that’s anything but.
She’s the white of your knuckles as you hold on with all your might as things begin to change, willing them to stay the same. She is the fear of insignificance and the longing to do something, while at the same time wanting nothing more than to be yourself. She is that soft first kiss that took your breath away and the way he takes your hand when he sees that you’re unsteady. She’s the fight for freedom and fun, the burning of the liquor and the laugh that bubbles up from inside when your best friend trips over her own feet. She is singing at the top of your lungs in a car filled with smoke and laughter, and the sick feeling in your stomach as the night comes to an end.
She is the satisfaction of listening to sad music after a bad day and the peaceful feeling that fills you when your mom hugs you close.
She is, “this made me think of you,” and “drive safe.” She is “I love you” said nine hundred different ways.
Deep green and rich purple, bruises on skin and paint staining your hands. She’s art that you can’t explain and don’t need to. She’s both the art and the artist, seeking to fill in the blank spaces with vibrant colours that no one else understands. She is a study of opposites and inconsistencies that make her more captivating than the fireworks on a summer night. She is the colour no one can describe, but you don’t need to.
She is lovely and she is lonely, she is joy and she is sadness, and in everything, she is simply herself. And there is nothing simple about that.
_ _ _ _
Summertime. Warm wind, burning liquor, wide blue eyes fringed by lashes heavy with mascara, blonde hair tousled and windblown.
She is summer, she is heavy smell of wet grass mixed with blooming flowers, the hot touch of the sun, the light mist of rain on late nights spent in a haze of smoke. The warm feeling after one swig too many, the soft kiss of a stranger in the black of night.
She is night spent chasing after youth and death and things that kill us, she is waking up on a Sunday morning to the sound of bird singing and the feeling of new life. She is everything warm and exhilarating, like the thrill of a rollercoaster or sneaking back inside with the heat of his mouth still on your neck and the imprint of his hands on your hips.
She is the hand in yours, pulling you onto the crowded dance floor; the snapshot memories of blurred smiles and laughter and the feeling of invincibility.
She is the soft velvet blackness lit only by stars as bright as her dreams and the moon as large and full as her heart.
She has mascara stained cheeks from the tears that have been pushed back all day, scars like rivers running down her body, sadness that seeps from every pore. She is the pursuit of adventure in a life that’s plain and settled and the chasing after rainbows that you’ll never reach. She is the struggle to feel fine and the longing to feel loved.
She is a rain shower while the sun is still shining- the pure joy in the midst of pain, like being held by the one you love while your heart is breaking.
She is summer.
She is tipsy dancing in headlights with a bottle to your lips, she is your favourite song that becomes the soundtrack to your memories and the sweet taste of your best friend’s lips. She is the pale pinks and yellows of the sun rising at 5 am when you’re finally getting home and as alive and vibrant as the music that thuds through your veins and makes you one with those around you.
She is summer, she is life and she is death. She is nothing to herself and she is everything to me.