Thursday, March 15, 2012

Time is running out

As you may recall, I have mentioned before that my co-worker, Tim Sandlin, is also the founder behind the Jackson Hole Writer's Conference as well as the Executive Director behind the Jackson Hole Writers. So I knew from the start I would never have to go 'searching' for information on the Conference- it would find me. And it did. Two days ago. Tim came to work with a stack on brochures, and when I took one I realize the Conference has been fully planned.

 Want to see? Check out their website at: 

And what have I been doing? Have I been writing? Well yes. But have I been writing to prepare for the conference? No. I have been writing for my other craft/review/giveaway blog, SaMiE Designs. The blog is actually only one part of an entire brand, so I have been working on making product and setting up a social media consulting business. All fine and dandy except for the part where I HAVE NOT BEEN WRITING FOR THE DIRTY ROAD OR THE CONFERENCE!

Until now. Last night I had one thought. That thought to another. Then that one led to another. Then that led to the dark side. Okay, not really. But it did lead me to a new idea. A new book. A new kind of book. (Well, for me at least.) Originally I was thinking of fiction. I had quite a few ideas on that. We all remember the Cerulean Tale, right? Perfect example. A comment on society in honor of my favorite books of all time- 1984, Brave New World, and Anthem. Down side-I'm not really drawing from personal experience in my recent writing.

Until I realized I wasn't following the cardinal rule of writing: Write what you know. So, without giving away the surprise, let's just say that from now on, (or at least for the conference) I will be following that rule.

And for this new idea I have exactly one piece written. So I better get a move on if I ever plan to have it in time. Thus, I will have to leave you at this so I can get to this:

Be back soon. I promise this time.
Also-I'd also like to say in reference to this new idea right now "I'm sorry" to my mom and dad.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Cerulean Tale.. part 4

“No sir.” I replied, crossing to the closet and picked up one of the books. I flipped it open, letting the pages fall so he could see many of them. “They’re sketchbooks. I like to draw and sometimes I go around towns and draw people for spare change. It makes enough to keep me breathing and eating, you see?” I showed him a few of the drawings, then gesturing to the walls. “These on the wall are a few of my favorites.” He proceeded to reach in the closet, pulling another book from the stack and flipping it open. I watched him as he skimmed the pages.

“Where did you buy this?” He demanded, holding the book in the air.

“I didn’t, I make them out of stuff from the junk yard. That one—and a few more down there were made from scraps of a nightstand I found in Wormwood a year ago.”  I explained, eager for him to drop his interest in the books.

His eyebrows arched. “Wormwood?”

“Yes sir. I lived there since my 16th birthday, but just left two months ago, when there started to become an overcrowding of Ceruleans. I couldn’t risk it any longer.”

He paused, staring at me, for a few seconds, then shrugged. “Alright then.” He dropped the book to the floor and I jumped when it made a loud “thud.” He started to walk towards the door, then turned back to face me once again. “Don’t start getting any ideas about that shop though. Just take out the garbage, get your pay, and go home.” He warned, eyeing me intently.

I nodded in understanding. “Yes sir. It wouldn’t be much use anyway as I can’t read.” I added.

“Well, I’ll be leaving now,” he announced “I’ll be keeping an eye on you, alright? You’re the first Cerulean we’ve had in Welchwood in six months, and those were peaceful times. It’s going to stay that way too, or I’ll be back.” He warned once more, exiting as he did so.

“Yes sir.”

He looked at me one last time before turning and walking into the night, carefully surveying his surroundings. I remember how hard my heart was beating when I finally closed the door behind him, how deep I exhaled. That Sharmal was closer to my truth than he knew, he was holding it in his hands. For those sketchbooks weren’t merely sketchbooks, they were my little safes. Each one had approximately 500 drika sealed in the bindings. I had been saving every penny since I could remember and had recently begun stowing it away in the bindings of the books. I never carried too much drika on me, for that would only be giving my death a reason. I saved up so much because drika spoke louder than hate. For the right amount, you could get nearly anything. 

Now, two months after the experience with the Sharmal, I am even more careful when entering and exiting the shop. I am careful to make a quiet, quick exit, and make my way straight to the storage room. There is a light in the storage room, but if it were on it would only announce my presence, therefore I don’t use it. Instead I bring a candle and matches with me each day. When I arrive, I set the candle on a dish on the second to bottom shelf in the corner, lighting it carefully. I see that there is a new book today, and I grab it eagerly. Beginning Trigo. Great, I am horrible with that. I set it down, picking up the book I began reading last time, “The End of the Great Conquest.” It is a history book that specifically details the war between the Royals and Indigos two hundred years ago. I settle into the corner, my usual spot, and flip the last page I read, about The Battle of Kaywood. The Battle of Kaywood was a legendary battle in the war because it is the moment that General Tas Shus, a Royal, advance in on the unsuspecting General Talo Wrig, an Indigo, and his troops during Sariah, which was always known to be a day of peace during war time.

I read about how Shus and his troops snuck up on the indigos before dawn, set fire to their camps, the bloody battle that ensued, and how when Shus defeated Wrig, he took his head as a prize, giving it to his wife later that night as a gift for the holiday. Mir Shus, his wife, hung Wrig’s head from their front porch, as if it were a basket of flowers, for 3 years, until the war had finally ended. General Shus rode back to Kaywood that same night, celebrating with his troops for two days. After that, the troops continued to the remaining villages in Kaywood, raping the women, murdering the young boys, stealing any food and supplies before they headed on to the next village.

There was one village that changed his routine though. A quiet village just on the edge of Kaywood named Trui, where Shus and his troops remained for three weeks. During this time, Shus attempted to court a young maiden in the village, despite her repeated refusals. When he no longer cared to woo her, Shus beat the maiden, raped her, then kidnapped her to travel with him. She remained with his troops for two and a half more years, when she was murdered by one of Shus’s men, who later endured the most brutal penalty for the transgression.

The Indigo maiden, Cotte Dape, gave birth to two of Shus’ children during those years. The eldest, Tas Shus the Second, most likely the product of the initial rape, was only one month younger than Pul Shus, the son birthed by Mir Shus. Cotte’s other child, Lura, was only one week old when her mother was murdered.
After Cotte’s unfortunate death, Tas took his bastard children to his wife, Mir, demanding that she raise them. Ever the dutiful wife, she obliged. Tas and Lura Shus were raised in the Shus household for 17 more years. The book claims that Mir raised them as her own, loving them equally to her own five children, and that they never knew the truth about their real mother until much later in their adult life. It also said that Lura became a school teacher and Tas traveled abroad, making a home in Depsin as a businessman.

I stopped, set the book in my lap, and thought. Remember. Remember. Something wasn’t adding up, something seemed wrong. Remember. I struggled against my memory, knowing the truth was locked in there. It started to come back, slowly at first, then more rapidly, but my thoughts were interrupted by the sound of approaching footsteps in the hall, coming towards the stock room door. I paused, listening as they grew closer, then stopping in front of the door. I held my breath, waiting for more movement, but there was none. Whoever it was had stopped in front of this door. Quickly I blew the candle out and shrunk into the corner, hiding behind a stack of boxes. 

Slowly the door opened, and I heard someone enter the room, shutting the door behind them.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Cerulean Tale, part 3!

I have been getting responses from my friends and family that they like this story, and I very much appreciate them! Here's another piece for you...

After leaving the market, I stopped by the bookstore for a few hours. I stopped by nearly every day, reading every book on every subject I could get my hands on, trying to learn all the things I missed my chance to learn in school, and then some. As a Cerulean, I was forbidden to own books, but I paid the shopkeeper 300 drika a month to be able to read them in the store. I was lucky about this for two reasons, the first being that I could read before I was forced to leave school, unlike many Ceruleans today, who were forced to work in the mines or fields under horrible conditions with very little pay; the second reason being that the shopkeeper, an elderly Indigo woman, remembers the time when our kinds were civil, agreed to this arrangement. If she were ever found out, she would surely be sent to prison, if not sent to her death. We have a system though, to prevent such things from occurring. I read in the storage room, which is about 3 feet wide and 8 feet long, badly lit, and is full of shelves and boxes. There are only two others who know of this arrangement, her daughter who is in her late twenties, and her son, who just finished college. They both assist her to run the shop, and also manage it for her when she is not there herself, which is rare. 
Each week, I meet her son 4 hours before sun break, at the door in the alley behind the shop. He lets me in, and for up to an hour I am able to look around the store, making a list of the books I would like to read for that week. I give the list to Ranolp, her son, and he gives the list to her. I am not certain where she keeps the list, but she never strays from it. At any given time, there are always two books in the stock room, one that I am currently reading and another so that if I finish the first, I can continue without pause. Every night, after the shop is closed, the shopkeeper or her children check the storage room. If a book is left face down on the top shelf, that is to signify that I have finished it and it can be reshelved and replaced with another.

Per my usual routine, I walk directly in front of the store, glancing inside to see if it is crowded. If it is quite crowded I either continue home, or walk to the shore and wait an hour before returning to evaluate the crowd again. If there are only a few people, I continue to the end of the block, where I make a left, walk half a block, then make another left in the alley. I enter through the back door, quickly and quietly so I won’t be seen. I make my way to the stockroom quickly, and when I leave I always do the same save for one important part. On my way out, I always grab a bag of trash that the shopkeeper or her children have left for me. This is to prevent questions on my way out, as one would assume I am merely a trash collector.

                Once a Sharmal, which is a prestigious Royal or Indigo assigned with the duty of keeping peace and enforcing laws, stopped me as I made my way out of the shop on his regular patrol. I gave him the planned story, but this particular Sharmal was the type who enjoyed his privilege, and the power he had over others. He ordered me to show him my residence. We walked the four miles to my home, silently. I walked a few steps ahead of him, only aware he was still behind me by the growls he made every few minutes.

Upon approaching where I lived, he became quite alert and studied the surroundings. It was the bad part of neighborhood, and his life was worth more than mine in these parts. He surveyed my building, which at one time had been a motel, now renovated as cheap apartments, of which only the poorest Ceruleans or transient Indigos would ever live in. It was not appealing from the outside, and there was no reason it should be, as it was never kept up by the old Indigo man who ran it. You could see that the original color had been a dark brown, but it had been faded to a very light tan, but of course that was only where paint remained. The gutters and shutters adorned the apartments sporadically, and most of the surface of it had been covered with graffiti-old or new, one could barely tell. Rent was cheap and I was left alone, which is what I desired, so in my eyes the run down building was my sanctuary, if ever there were one.

When the motel was changed to apartments, the rooms were divided into two halves-one that had a window, bathroom, and kitchenette; the other having only a closet. Those who rented the smaller rooms were forced to share an outhouse that sat behind the apartments. A shower was in the “office” of the apartments and one could shower whenever the owner happened to be there, which was every three days, at best. I did not want a window because I wanted to have as much privacy as possible-so I chose the smaller of the two apartments.

We reached my door, and I looked back at the Sharmal. He looked around, as if he expected something to jump out at any moment. He looked back at me and nodded, which I knew was his way of ordering me to open the door. I opened the door and held it open, glancing back at the Sharmal, who did not move.  “Turn on the light.” He ordered. I reached towards the lamp, which was nearly out of my reach from the door, and flicked it on. The Sharmal stood in the doorway and looked around. The length of time he spent studying my room was grossly unnecessary as I don’t have much to my name. My room consists of: a mattress, blanket, and pillow; a small table and one chair; a small lamp next to my bed; and a pitcher of water and glass that I kept on the table. Five minutes went by as he glared into my room before he responded.  The Sharmal crooked his neck to the side, with his eyes fixed on something in the back left. “Are those…Books?” He asked, and with that he marched forwards towards my closet, where I noticed the door was left open by a few inches.  Through the crack you could just barely catch a glimpse of a stack of books piled against the back wall. How could I have been so careless to leave them in plain sight? I breathed deep, knowing that this moment could be death for me

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Cerulean Tale...part 2


Of course, there had always been a slight uprising against my kind, although it wasn’t until 15 years ago that the Royals succeeded in pushing all the Indigos and Ceruleans out of political office, whether through fixed voting, or assassination. The most memorable event for me was when Tais Dappe was assassinated, on the Eve of Sariah, the holiest of days. He was a life long advocate for Ceruleans. A half Indigo half Cerulean mix, he was the Royals worst enemy because his devotees were from both races. The news of his death spread quickly the day of Sariah. We all mourned the loss of our leader, and the day was marked as Hashriah, “the black of all that is holy.”

The Royals wasted no time once they gained political power, starting a smear campaign against the Ceruleans. With no leader, the Indigos began believing the stories as truth. As they no longer had a leader to lead them in truth, they were easily brainwashed by the Royals. They quickly came to believe that Ceruleans were evil, and that to save the races it was necessary to exterminate our race.
To outright kill us would have been inhumane, they said, so instead they passed a series of laws that made it so our race would die out on its own in time. The first and foremost law being that No Ceruleans shall ever interact with another Cerulean, and if they break that law, it is punishable by death. This was the first law created, and it was spawned in hopes that our race would not procreate. I was still a child when this law was passed, so even before I knew about procreating, I knew I could not do it. Could you imagine growing up knowing you could never have children? Not because of any physical reason, but because a law forbid you to do so?

When The Great Restate, which is what the Royals and Indigos now called it, was passed, Cerulean children were banned from attending school, as part to enforce this new law. Children remained with their mother until they reached the age of 16, when they must set apart on their own “journey.” This was a nice way of saying you were exiled to at the least, three districts away. The men were all gathered up, shipped to Salwood, a long abandoned district. It is said they were left with enough supplies to last them a year, upon which time they would have created their own farms and way of sustaining life. I have heard rumors though, that the supplies would have lasted a third of the men for half a year, if they portioned it out just right, and scavenged by. They were never to leave Salwood for any reason, and live the rest of their years there. It was a battle to get them to remain, but after many casualities, the men relented. A 30 foot high, 10 foot wide brick wall was built around the district, forever keeping them in. No one comes out of Salwood, and no one goes in. So it’s a true mystery what ever happened in Salwood. Perhaps one day we will find out.

As an aide to enforce this new law, the Royal’s forced all Ceruleans who remained to wear the blue wristband-to denote Cerulean heritage- at all times. If ever any Cerulean was caught without it, any Royal or Indigo had the right to enforce capital law on the spot. It would be quite noticeable if one were not wearing the wristband, because after a little while, it began to stain the surrounding area a greenish/blue tint- which could not be rinsed off easily.

These laws had been around so long, I never even had to think whenever I was in public. It was a second nature to me. I hurried to pay for my groceries then left the marketplace. Although I never broke a law, it’s never good to stay in areas crowded with Indigos or Royals too long, as it is their word against me, and who would really ever know the truth? On that note, who would ever really care?

so...what did you think?

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Cerulean tale...intro

Here is an excerpt from a piece I wrote for my class. Jenny from the Art Association said it was I'm hoping that will be a majority of the reaction. I have never written anything so completely in another world so it was kinda neat....Although difficult. (I have a document to keep all my new lingo straight:)

I was always inspired by 1984, Brave New World, and Anthem. Such beautiful tales that are true to our society at any time...and yet disguised in an intriguing story. Not even my intent when I started writing, I can see, and hopefully you will too, that this is really a comment to our society and its structure. Of course...this is only part one...:)

(Hi Jenny! Did you like how I threw your name up there? ^giggles^)

It was a Saturday when we crossed paths. I was walking East on the bike path-he west. We probably would have never given a second glace to each other-if it hadn’t been for the blue wristband he was wearing-the one I also wore. It was a loosely woven piece of dyed rope-extremely uncomfortable-knotted on his left wrist. Although we had never met before, our eyes caught each others with a flash of recognition and acceptance. You are my kind, I thought as he passed. Finally I had found someone like me. I had already been here for four months and I had never seen anyone else with a blue wristband. It’s a lonely life in Welchwood-but now I had a companion. My heart fluttered, my eyes turned towards the ground. What was I do? I knew I couldn’t acknowledge him-for it could mean death for both of us. I looked back up, just as he passed. His eyes were on the road ahead of him, but for one brief second he looked in my direction, and our eyes met again. And as quickly as I came across him, he passed me by. As hard as I wanted, I dared not look after him. My mind raced. Who was he? Where had he come from? I wanted to know everything. I kept on my way, adding a little more speed, making it home much earlier than expected. When I was safe inside my home, I was safe to sit and ponder this exceptional discovery of another of my kind here. I feel asleep happy, for the first time in a very, very long time.
It was two weeks until I saw him again. I was at the marketplace, shopping for some fruit, and I spotted him picking out potatoes a few stands away. I glanced around. There were only a few others in the marketplace, which was unusual for this time of day. I knew there wouldn’t be too many chances like this, so as casually as I could, I went from stand to stand, browsing the selection, trying to get close enough to him as possible. He was still picking out potatoes by the time I made it to the potato stand, so I started picking up potatoes, inspecting them as if I were trying to find just the perfect one. Out of the corner of my eye I watched him. It seemed like he still hadn’t noticed me, so I inched closer. I saw his head cock slightly in my direction, just enough to where I knew he saw me.

“You can’t do this, you know.” He whispered, only loud enough to where I was still struggling to hear. The sound of his voice echoed in my ears. Even thought it was only a whisper, it was the most beautiful sound I had heard in years. It was manly, rustic, with depth, showing this man had lived, that he was true, and pure. 

“I want to know who you are.” I replied, continuing to inspect potatoes at random.

“Is it worth death?” He asked, never even glancing in my direction.

I shrugged. “It’s death either way for us. Wouldn’t you rather not be alone?”
“I’m used to it.” He looked around, then turned back to the potatoes. The marketplace had more people in it, and surely there were more to come. “I have to go now.” He added, grabbing another potato and throwing it in his sack.
“Can I know your name?”
“Chales. I really have to go.” He turned, and I couldn’t help but call after him.

“I want to see you again. I’ll be in the book store next Thursday at 11pm, meet me in the alley behind it.”

He stopped for a moment, his head turned to the side. He didn’t acknowledge me, then continued walking away. I wasn’t sure if he had heard me at all, or if he had if he would meet me. I was filled with the excitement though, the hope that he would. My mind traveled to another plane as I shopped, where it would be possible for us to meet in the light of day, in the presence of others.  I was still careful, though, not to be in the way of any Indigo’s way, careful not to draw their attention.

I saw an Indigo and her two children as I grabbed a piece of bread. The children were young and were running around her, running their hands along the hemline of her skirt. The little girl, her hair in braids, ribbons streaming down past the ends was looking over her shoulder as he ran at the boy, who seemed to be a year or so younger than her. His cheeks were chubby, and he laughed as he ran, so happy in his own little world. I stopped to watch the children play, so happy, so unaware of the world they lived in, the hatred it was filled with. Of course, they weren’t on a bad side of it.

Just then the mother grabbed both childrens’ hands, saying, “Alright now, enough playing around. Let’s get dinner so we can cook before Daddy gets home.”

The children’s eyes lit up, smiles sweeped across their faces. “Yea! Daddy!” They cheered.

“Let’s get to it then.” The mother said, as she pulled on their hands slightly, urging them to walk forward. I held my breath, noticing they were coming my way. I turned to face the assortment of breads in front of me, hoping she would not notice. But I saw her head rise as I turned. Although it was only momentary, I saw the look of surprise register across her face, only lasting a moment before it was replaced with disgust.

I minded my business to the bread, as I should, but it was too late. I saw her scoop up the little boy, and pull the little girl in close. She was not to blame really-after all, this was her territory. It was ALL her territory. I lost my interest in the bread and turned away from the mother and her children. I decided I had all I needed. 

As I walked away, I could hear the mother, “You see that? That’s a Cerulean. You mustn’t ever speak to one. They are the worst breed imaginable. Of course, thanks to the Royals there aren’t too many left, and soon there won’t be any….” And then I could hear her no longer. I sighed. More impressionable youth taught to believe that we were the enemy. 

Of course, I took the mother’s words as no personal insult. Most of them were true. We were a dying breed, and that was largely in part to the Royals. And we do not mix with the Indigos, just as they were not favored to mix with the Royals.

Royals were largely different from Indigos. They were the supreme race, and they all acted like it. If they were to ever come across a Cerulean, they would simply act as if they hadn’t. If it came to life and death for a Cerulean, they would let one suffer out. No one would ever question it, as it was just the way it was.

It hadn’t always been like this. I can remember a time when it was different, when all races mixed together, played together, went to school together. I was 10 when it changed, when they passed the new laws. I had grown accustomed to them, knowing they would not change but hoping they would. In 15 years I had seen the world go from a peaceful civilization to a world where even the wrong turn of the eye could warrant one’s death. 

Let me know what you think...if you're eager for part two or if I should just move it along...

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A little treat for you guys...

I haven't forgotten! Truth is, I have been desperately trying to finish off my writing assignments for a class that ended over a week ago! It was much harder than I thought to write 64 hand written pages and 20 finished pages in a month! Not to mention that I also write the blog for my work, which you can find by clicking here. (Is there such a thing as shameless promotion? If so, I've never heard of it)

I have truly realized how my craft is like a well. When you keep taking from it over and over....eventually you run out. You have to refill that well to be able to write well. And hopefully I have refilled that well enough to continue writing, and to have those that find my writing enjoyable.

One amazing thing I have gained from this writing class is a new experience, a new way to practice my art. It may not seem obvious to consider writing a form of art, but it most definitely is. As singers and musicians practice before a show, as painters always learn new techniques, a writer must always be practicing if s/he is absolutely devoted to their craft.

I have learned a new technique that I think is quite valuable. While I was writing the 64 pages, I became quite drained rather easily, finding it hard to think of material. Just for fun, I started writing little two page "stories" in as many different forms as I could. I would write as a male, as a socio-phobic woman, as a stalker, as a spirit recounting her last moments. Some truly amazing story ideas have come up-and I can't wait to share a few of my best ones with you, but I am still working on typing them in at the moment.

Of course, the story wasn't always the end result. It was the practice of trying so many styles, of trying to be in the mind of so many different characters that was valuable to me. I have always written in one style: female, sharp, witty, usually sociable, you catch my drift. My boyfriend actually read one of my previous pieces and said, "I felt like...that's my girlfriend. Not someone else." I took his words to heart, and really tried embodying these different characters. And although the class has ended, I think this is a neat exercise that I will continue to try, for the experience, and for the obviously quite interesting stories that develop.

Right about now you're saying...."okay Sara, you said there's a treat...where's the treat?" Here it is. One of the assignments in my class was on bad writing. No joke. If you don't believe me, then,'s too much work, just believe me. Our assignment was to read the tabloids displayed in the supermarkets, and then for 15 minutes....just write one. They're all made up after all, right? I had a lot of fun with this assignment, just writing the silliest, most outrageous thing I could imagine.

It was obviously good, I got a "hand-written" email back from the professor saying he was literally laughing out of his seat, and that I had done a very good job. I told my mom this, of course, and telling her the general idea of the story. She told me to send it to her, and I got so busy, I completely forgot.

So here you are Mom, this one's for you..

Plans to wed: Sean Connery and Courtney Love
Sean Connery and Courtney Love are the hottest new couple in Hollywood! They were seen canoodling at an Eminem concert four months ago, and ever since then they have been out in the open and on the fast track to a new life. Sean has said that Courtney is his ‘true muse’, a new breath of fresh air, and the most wonderful woman he has ever met. He says she cleans the house from top to bottom, cooks him five course meals, then most nights they take a long bath together before making love throughout the night.

Courtney has been heard saying that Sean has motivated her to better herself, starting with her continued education. Starting next fall, Courtney will be attending Yale, with aspirations to become a lawyer. A source said Courtney is so excited about attending the upcoming semester, but is worried she might be a little overloaded because her pregnancy symptoms have just started to worsen.

Yes, you heard right, Courtney is pregnant! A family member has said it is twins, with a due date early next spring. The proud papa has been seen shopping boutiques all over town, picking out blue blankets and green onesies. A rep for Connery says Connery is the happiest he’s ever been.

With the upcoming little ones, Connery and Love have moved their planned 2013 wedding to next month. Barbara Walters, maid of honor, about on last Wednesday’s episode of The View, talked briefly about the upcoming nuptials, to be held in Jamaica, on the beach. Who will be designing this years hottest couple’s wedding attire? If rumor proves to be true, it won’t be the typical Vera Wang and Versace crowd, but instead a well known batch of designers: Roxy, Billabong, or Moximo. Courtney wants a truly unique wedding, as she plans to wear a tie dyed bathing suit and her bethrothed is rumored to be in the buff for the occasion. Wondering about the wedding band? Look for the Spice Girls to reunite for one solo performance, as they are said to be Love’s favorite band of all time.

The wedding will be broadcasted live on all major news outlets, so be sure to watch it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

100 things I love..

This weekend, I have been preoccupied with catching up in my creative writing class. One of the requirements is to write approximately 65 pages of train-of-thought writing, along with 20 finished pages.  I have been using the train-of-thought to write the story that I think I will submit next year to the conference.

Something that I thought was neat, which I also did last semester when I took the class, was an assignment to sit down, and for 30 minutes (or however long it takes you) make a list of 100 things you love. They can be big things, little thing, as long as it is something you love and makes you happy. I thought today, I would share with you my list I compiled over the weekend. Funny enough, it changed slightly since the last time, but most of the stuff is the same. Also, I almost put tiramisu and dancing twice in this list, so I guess I really, really love those. :)

The concept is, when you are having a really stressed or down time, you take out this list, and it refreshes you with new energy and spirit. I would have to say it works. Even making the list, cumbersome as it may be, reminds you of all the things you enjoy. It would be really cool if everyone did this too. Share yours, or not, whatever floats your kayak.

So...without further adieu, here is my list:

1.       Laying in humid heat
2.       Cherries (maraschino)
3.       My kids
4.       Books
5.       Reality tv shows
6.       Items w/a pink ribbon design
7.       Tiramisu
8.       Lady & the Tramp
9.       David Sedaris books
10.   Music
11.   Planning parties
12.   Writing
13.   Drawing
14.   Organizing
15.   Vw vans
16.   Puppies
17.   Friends
18.   Traveling
19.   Eating
20.   Comfortable clothes
21.   Summertime
22.   Grey’s Anatomy
23.   Peanut butter m&ms
24.   How I met your mother
25.   Feeling of being fit
26.   Tax returns!
27.   Being charitable
28.   Going to school
29.   Halloween
30.   Being independent
31.   Sushi
32.   Painting
33.   Netflix
34.   Wii
35.   My phone
36.   Technology, in general
37.   Originality
38.   Movie nights with the kids
39.   Retro items
40.   Dancing
41.   Laughing
42.   Ewan McGregor
43.   Reading
44.   Sleep
45.   The beach
46.   Laser tag
47.   Dressing up
48.   Pictures
49.   Bargains
50.   Saving money
51.   Playing games
52.   Down time
53.   Zombie movies
54.   Colorado bobdogs
55.   My planner
56.   Free stuff
57.   Trying new things
58.   Reruns of sitcoms
59.   The roads less traveled
60.   Musicals
61.   Math
62.   When my checkbook has no errors
63.   My job
64.   Bacon
65.   Neutrogena
66.   Cleanliness
67.   God
68.   Peace
69.   Serenity
70.   Sunset
71.   Arnold palmers
72.   Wedding dresses
73.   Flowers
74.   Tattoos
75.   Piercings
76.   Steak
77.   Cookouts
78.   Laying by the pool
79.   Exercising
80.   “kemps”
81.   New recipes
82.   Magazines
83.   My ipod
84.   Muse
85.   Queen
86.   Hot tubs
87.   Nights out with friends
88.   Libraries
89.   Journals
90.   Makeup
91.   Malls
92.   Shopping
93.   Rock climbing
94.   “eat poop you cat”
95.   Capture the flag
96.   Playing pool
97.   Poker
98.   Competition
99.   Playing sports
100.                        Nick
If you read all that and are still here, congrats! You made it!

Now it's time to hear yours!