Tag Archives: Past

The Talking Shoes…

The first story I ever wrote was called, “The Talking Shoes.”

I can’t tell you what it said, because I don’t remember. I was in the 4th grade. It was entered into a contest, and I won. I had to go to a convention of some sort and read the blasted thing, too. I did it. I remember, even today, standing in front of all those people and being terrified out of my mind. I read my story though, like a champ. Met some local authors and illustrators. Even got a free book that was signed and everything.

I had zero idea way back then that I’d someday write professionally. But honestly, if I could spin a fantastic tale out of a pair of talking shoes that won an award and was worthy of being read in front of a crowd, it couldn’t have been complete rubbish, right? I mean, it had to be somewhat rubbish, after all, I only had a 4th grade education. 😘 But there’s got to be some talent deep down in my bones somewhere. I like to think I honed it over the years and I’m an exceptional writer now. (Don’t burst my bubble, y’all. )

As someone who was never good with speaking words, I could certainly weave them together on paper decently enough. That should have been one of my first signs. The fact that I used to spend my days as a young child playing basketball out front, with a little radio and headphones in, crafting all sorts of stories in my head, should have been another one of those signs. And then when I got older, and despite trying not to win, I’d still, every year, manage to win these essay contests we were required to submit for extra credit in high school. Even when I gave it the least amount of effort I could, because I hated winning and having my picture taken and put in the newspaper, I’d still win. Every year. It should have been a clue. All the nights I used to spend out back in the my parent’s swing, headphones in, night sky above me, weaving even more stories together, usually inspired by the many different songs that blasted through the speakers…. it should have been a clue. Pair all that with my obsession for reading, and clearly, the writing had been on the wall all along.

It started with the talking shoes, but it didn’t end there.

What’s more? Many of the core characters of my first few novels, came from those late nights out in my parent’s backyard in my late teens and early twenties. Characters that popped into my head, with stories galore. I had no idea I’d put them to paper someday. But here I am. Still crafting and weaving, reading and writing, the same as I’ve done for years.

Sometimes people are just meant for things. Life has been nudging me in this direction my entire life; I just didn’t always know it.

I know it now though.

I don’t write about talking shoes anymore. Although, clearly, I’ve always been a creative genius… 😘) No, I spin tales of love and romance. Handsome men with piercing gazes and searing kisses… (Don’t let Dad read this Mom!😂) And lovely women with kind hearts, fierce character, and eyes for those handsome men. I write about loss and heartache, but then journeys that even despite pain, lead to happy endings and hopeful futures.

I guess that should come as no surprise given my kindle and bookshelves are slap full of romance novels.

No, there are no more talking shoes, but they certainly served their purpose way back when. They were the beginning. ❤️

When Past & Present Collide…

My junior year in high school, we were given a project to do in lit class. Pick two songs with lyrics that meant something to us or inspired us in some way, that sort of thing. We could either assemble them into a scrap-book or write them on a white t-shirt, one on the front, the other on the back… then present them to the class & explain why we chose them. — I only remember one of the songs I chose. I can’t for the life of me remember the other one. But as it doesn’t pertain what I’m about to share, I guess it doesn’t really matter. — What does matter, however, is the song I do remember.

Stand, by Rascal Flatts. I remember thinking back then, this really isn’t a cool song. I almost, in fact, traded it in for something more hip & teenager-like. I mean, at 16, those aren’t really the kind of songs teenagers are blasting on their radios. Anyhow, I went with it in the end. & looking back now, I’m glad I did.

I just heard it again. For the first time in ages. & just like when I was younger, it encouraged me & spoke to me, in that way only music can do. — If you don’t know, these are just some of the lyrics….

“Cause when push comes to shove,
You taste what you’re made of.
You might bend till you break,
‘Cause it’s all you can take.
On your knees, you look up,
Decide you’ve had enough.
You get mad, you get strong,
Wipe your hands, shake it off,
Then you stand.”

Life is a beautiful journey. It’s a gift & worth every second. Having said that tho, it’s not always fun. It’s not always pretty, & it’s not always easy. It’s full of pain, anger, sadness, loss, & loneliness. So much heartbreak & so many struggles. It’s a journey that is filled with a lot of ugliness along the way. Some that we talk about & share with others, some that we keep to ourselves & don’t speak of. But what doesn’t change, is that it’s there & changes shape throughout life.

Lately, some of that ugliness has been creeping in & keeping me company despite that I didn’t invite it or welcome it once it waltzed through the door.

Ya see, I think for all of us, it’s the same. We’re pushed & we’re shoved, until we bend & we break… we get knocked down. That’s something I knew back then, & I know it now. There’s only one thing for us to do afterwards though…  & that’s stand back up. We stand & we keep going… because that’s life.

Anyhow, I heard that song tonight & just like back then, I could feel the determination to get back up & keep on going. I could feel a difference inside myself the moment the tide turned. — All from lyrics to a song I knew meant something years ago. Because it’s a message that stands the test of time. —

You can be just a teenage girl in a very big world, picking out a song that encourages you for a school project, without even realizing just how much truth is in the very lyrics that you chose. Not realizing how much you’d bend & break in the years to come. Or without knowing how many times you’d brush yourself off & get back up. — It’s funny… cause I knew, but at the same time I didn’t know.

If you’re reading this… & you’ve taken a tumble recently, maybe give the song a listen. You might like it. 🙂

Every time we get back up, even if we have to fight & claw our way there, we’ve made it. & that’s something. 🙂