“Manner Book: The Big Brown Bear”(?)… Complete with unintentionally creepy illustrations

Tonight I came home to my parents’ house just in time for a bed time story…

a story I wrote when I was about eight or nine years old.

[Entering serious thinking mode for a moment]…

I apparently wrote this and had given it to my grandmother. She passed away when I was fifteen, and after seven years, our family has now decided to sell her place. So, we have been cleaning out her house and gathering back the many little things we had given to her over the years. The following story, along with another story and a collection of poetry I had written at that same age, was found in her quilting patterns… My grandmother’s most well-known gift and hobby was quilting. Sure, she was a “pack rat,” but she knew where everything was because she put everything where it was for a reason. Even as a grown up, professional writer now, I can’t even begin to describe the significance of knowing that my gifts to my grandmother were that special to her.

…[Exiting serious thinking mode]

I vaguely remember drawing the super creepy bear on the cover, but I don’t remember anything else about this. I did a bunch of Google searches to see if this was just my copying an existing children’s story, maybe with my own twist to it, but no…nothing quite like this out there. I was just one super weird kid with a big imagination. Enjoy!

Cover Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6The end. :)


Birdiefly Kisses

When I was a freshman in college, I invested in a little friend I named Cadence. Cadence is a small, bright blue, lavender-tinted, rare breed budgerigar (parakeet) I got from Petco. Cadence was still technically a wild bird upon purchase, but I trained my little sweetie over the course of several months to become my friend.



Maybe in another post I will explain that whole process, but since I trained and socialized Cadence, that little bird has brought so many fun memories into my life that I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. I am now convinced that birds are truly the best pets you could ever have. So here is my list of 20 reasons why birds are awesome… in case you didn’t already know.

20 reasons why birds are pretty much the bomb diggity:

  1. They have very distinct, individual personalities.
  2. They are as loyal as dogs.
  3. They are as curious as cats.
  4. They want to be just like you.
  5. They will be just like you.
  6. They do not have foul odors like most other pets do.
  7. They are as fun to play with as children, but without all the mess.
  8. They will sing to you.
  9. They will pick up on the things you say to them and repeat them back to you exactly the way you say them.
  10. They are great company on long drives home from college.
  11. They will sometimes squawk at you until you turn on some music… Hey, they need a good jam, too.
  12. They do have a jam. You will know what song(s) to play when you want to party with your bird…whether it’s Drowning Pool’s “Bodies” or DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win.”

13. They are SMART. If you are stupid, don’t get a bird.
14. They will actually eat your homework. They love to chew paper. Mine tends to think the letters on the pages are seeds and will take the literature right out of my literature paper.
15. They are beautiful… and they know it. They do not like for one feather to be messed up. Ever.
16. They adjust the volume of their noises according to the amount of light in the room, so they are quiet at night, sweetly cheerful at sunrise, and a blast of high energy and fun during the day.
17. They LOVE to play in/with/around water.
18. They love social games, like winking with you or playing child games like peek-a-boo.
19. They are always interactive. If you are the caregiver, then you are their flock.

20. They LOVE you and will crawl all over you and do really sweet but super weird things, like nibbling on your eyelashes, just to show you how much they love you.

When I come home at the end of the day, this is what I do.