“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. :)

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I’m Flying

So I have compiled the parts of the song for my dad!

To give a little bit of background on the inspiration and motivation behind this piece… it’s been a little bit of a crazy year for our family. Lots of unexpected experiences and changes of plans have come our way.

Not long after parts of this song began forming in my mind, my dad experienced a heart attack. Though not a major one, it was a scare to everyone. And even though we didn’t have the means to do much for Christmas this time around, and my plans for a job after the holidays had fallen through at the last minute, and none of us had any idea what was going to happen in our lives during the next few months immediately following that, we had a great time being together during the holidays because we could appreciate that we were, in fact, together. It was nice!

Of course, my dad is a very sentimental kind of person, so a lot of little things matter to him that probably a lot of people take for granted. My music is one of those things. It’s not like my dad and I hang out and talk all the time or anything–he’s not really into the things I’m into (mostly because I’m a girl, and I’m 21…just a few decades behind). But it’s not really all about words anyway. It’s the presence that counts. It’s just nice to be around each other. So sometimes when I’m at home, he watches tv while I stare blankly at it and think about completely unrelated things in my own little world…because I’d rather sit there and think with someone than just sit there and think alone.

I used to play piano in the living room every day in the morning, afternoon, and night…basically all the time. I was addicted to playing the piano. I was also addicted to riding my bike, which my friends made fun of me for… but they could just kiss it because I had killer thighs and they didn’t.

Usually in the afternoons and at night when I played piano, everyone else was busy doing other stuff. My dad usually was sitting in his recliner reading his Bible or some other book in the stack beside his chair. (Guess who instilled in me the value of education.)

So I’d play piano while everybody else did whatever they did, and I didn’t think anything of it until I visited home after going off to college. I was informed by each member of the family that it was “really quiet” without me. (I guess this was a compliment…?)

That’s when I discovered that my dad really misses me playing piano. I came home one weekend, and once I found myself at the keys, I KNOW I heard someone sniffling. And I KNOW that it was my dad. This is why I usually give him things like socks for Christmas.

So Deddy, if you are reading this, I’m sending this song to you online so that when you hear it I won’t have to listen to you get all sniffly. I am not going to China (any time soon, at least); and if I do one day, it’ll be okay because I’ll be coming right back. Thank you for all your willingness to try understanding all my youthful and sometimes unexpected dreams and goals, and for always encouraging me.¬†Also, I love you and hope you enjoy the song! (It doesn’t have any words, of course.)