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Tag Archives: 18AndWriting

Luck and Fairy Tales

The Luckiest Fairy Tale

The Luckiest Unlucky Man Alive is Signed: To Megan- The next J.K. Rowling. Bill Goss
The Freedom Fairy Tale is Signed- To Megan: I was impressed by your confidence and spunk! You’ll go places! John Rossi

 

You may not know this, but I’m a server. I work in a tiny little town at a Pizza Hut not too far off the interstate. In some ways, I wish I could say that I’m not like other servers, that I love it when I see customers come in no matter what time it is… but I can’t say that. While I love my job, and I very rarely dread seeing customers in our doorway, at 9:15 pm on a night we close at 10 and when I finish I have to drive 45 minutes back to college? Let’s just say I was nearly done, and I was so ready to get out of there that seeing two gentlemen trot right in and grab two seats at a table before I could even say hello had me huffing and puffing in the back of my head all while pasting on a server-smile.

Now, as I said before, we’re not too far off the interstate, and a lot of families and other travelers will come in for a sit down meal that still isn’t too long of a wait, so I’ve met a few people here and there- Russians, Scots-women, Californians, and a Michiganite once. So, when these two gentlemen started asking me about souvenirs and travel stops, I didn’t expect too much of it. It turned out that they were from Florida and were on their way to see one of the gentlemen’s sons who was about to become a Navy pilot.

Well, since I’m self-published, and it’s kind of difficult to get myself out past Arkansas, having a job where I get to meet people from out of state helps me out. Usually I sign a copy and give it to them in order to promote myself out of state. I’ve become great at giving myself a chance by moving from questions like “So how’s your day?” to “What are you majoring in?” to “Oh so you like to write?” It’s that final question that gives me the chance to introduce the fact that I’m a published author.

Unfortunately, though, this past Monday was not that way. I didn’t have any copies of my book. I don’t have business cards yet. My usual signing pen had gone missing. The world was against me, but I was determined that I had to somehow sell myself as a legit author. So, instead of doing my usual act of beating around the bush, I just walked up to the men and said, “Gentlemen, I have a favor to ask of you.”

And here they tentatively said okay, to which I asked (now I realize the stupidity of this question), “You know anyone back in Florida who likes to read?” They said yes, and so I started to tell them all about my book, how I would really appreciate it if they’d just tell someone about it, and how I appreciated them listening to me to begin with. With that, I had to go grab their pizza for them. When I came back, one of the guys was gone, and I assumed he’d gone out to smoke or something. When he came back in, he was holding a couple things in his hand and asked to borrow my pen.

Despite the fact that I was using it, I agreed, and I am more glad that I did than I can explain. It turns out, as you have probably guessed from that picture up there, that they were authors, and they were so impressed by my “spunk” and confidence that they had decided that they’d each give me a copy of their book, signed. Dr. John Rossi, author of The Freedom Fairy Tale, and Mr. Bill Goss, author of The Luckiest Unlucky Man Alive, gave me more happiness that night than anything. The odds of that happening might be slim, and I may have begun their visit to Pizza Hut as miserable as could be, but I ended up gaining an experience I’ll cherish forever. Where Mr. Goss may be the luckiest unlucky man, that night, I was the luckiest girl in the whole of my little town.

Just remember- Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get.

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To Be A College Student

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I’m sitting outside of a classroom now, recognizing how much I have changed yet again. Maybe I should have a category just on my self-change realizations. Basically, this time, my question is: Can you be a college student without really being a college student?

I don’t mean can you be immature, not quite at the level college is supposed to require. We all know that happens all the time. And, if you didn’t know, I am sorry to say that you should probably quit reading here. I may keep destroying your beautiful view of people in college because a lot of us are procrastinating, coffee-inhaling zombies- unless of course you get us on a good day. Then you can cut out the zombie part.

That’s not the point in this post, though. Today I’m trying to figure out where I went wrong when I came to college, how I missed that necessary step, until now, to become part of the folds. I walked over the bricked walkway next to my library, made my way to sit outside of my next class and wait, and found myself looking around. With my laptop in hand, backpack on my shoulders, and a not too warm but still uncomfortable breeze blew my direction, I realized that, until that moment, I had missed something vastly important to my experience here.

Too often, I’ve told people that college isn’t like it is in the movies. Not here, not where I go to school, but is it? The campus screams college. It’s all sleek edges and perfect scenery, people on bikes and skateboards and advocating the Greek life. In a way, it is all like the movies, and I’ve not been a part of it until now. I have existed in a half-college attendee for a long while, this being the beginning of my second year.

I have to wonder if that is because I began college differently than most. By no means was I any prodigy or undiscovered intelligence, but with my zeal for learning, a mother who worked in the Student Admissions office, and a high school that offered me a chance to attend college for free, I was handed an opportunity few even knew was out there. To walk in, as an entering Freshman in college with 45 hours under my belt of general education courses and just courses in general was crazy. At the age of 19, I am a Junior on my way to getting a Bachelor’s in English and a minor in Business.

At some point, though, I think that hindered me. I came to think of college as just another set of classes to take, rather than a part of my life to experience to the fullest. I haven’t attended clubs, I go to work four out of seven days of my week, I interact with my roommates on only a very basic level, and I exist in college like a mother going back to school after many years would. I do not look at college as a new experience or interesting new world. I look at it as a necessity to get a good job. My off-campus, campus apartment is not a way for me to meet new people, it is a convenience to avoid an unnecessary 45 minute drive unless required.

So, I guess in some ways you can be a college student without being a college student. I mean, I’m succeeding rather well at it, though I’m not sure if, now that my eyes have opened to it, that might not change. What do you think? I’ve got 51 followers now, and I thank you ALL for that, though I have not said so yet, but none of you really tell me what you think, and I would love to hear your views on it.

I thank you and will see you soon. I will eventually get back into my weekly routine of blogging, I’m just not there yet. Stick with me.

Megan

19 And Writing

Happy-Birthday-King2

Well guys and gals, it’s my birthday. Now that I’m 19, I wondered if I should choose to change the title of my blog, I mean, I’m not 18 anymore, I’m 19, and letting people know I’m a little older, a little wiser, a little more lost, and a bit more found should be important.

But no. I have decided to leave my blog title just the way it is. This post is important to me, but so is my title. It’s an indication to people far and wide, be they old, young, middle aged, or whatever, that it doesn’t matter what your age is. You can still create, do, make whatever you want if you have the drive, the motivation, the perseverance. I seem to like lists today, sorry.

So, though I’m no longer 18, I think that serves a purpose, not to confuse people, but to be a sort of shining beacon. I mean, if I can do this, anyone can. I’m juggling school grades, 5 classes, a job, a boyfriend, moving, having a life, writing, and trying to keep my scholarships, and somehow I’m making it happen, even if it is a little slow. Being a writer isn’t about having hours to sit down in a day and just write. I mean, sure, that’d be nice, but I’ve met people far and wide who might have thirty minutes here or there, whose kids are always interrupting, who have classwork to juggle on the side, who all in all you would think wouldn’t have the time to produce anything, yet they are some of the best writers I know.

On this wonderful birthday, cupcakes scarfed down last night, a sticky note left on my door from one of my apartment-mates wishing me a happy birthday, and a Facebook wall full of birthday wishes, I find myself in a very happy mood, and I thought I could share that a bit with you, typing up my thoughts before my day really gets underway with work and homework and whatnot.

Sometimes It Hurts…

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The pain in being shy does not lie in the shy tendencies. It lives in the darker place that no one sees, in the want to be like the rest of the crowd around you, the want to be friendly without a fear of what could happen, immediately ready for engaging with the person or people you have to meet and realizing that, no matter how much you might want it, it’s just beyond your reach.

This is just something that came to me today, and though I am thinking of trying to write a piece to go around it in a story, it struck me how unutterably true it is. I don’t know that you see it here. Can you? Whether you can or can not, though, does not really negate the fact that I am, and have been since around the age of seven or eight, shy to the point of terror. Where some say they are shy, they are really just not great with meeting new people, or they don’t really want more people in their life.

For me, it is completely different. I sit cloaked in a social phobia. I am terrible at communication. Crowds… no. A new person in general? Kill me. You probably don’t believe me, though, so let me interest you in a little fact. I can count, on one hand no less, the friends I actually spent time with that I had before a year ago. Can you guess how many? Three. And to take it a step farther, none of those three were my friend at the same time as another. I could only deal with one apparently. Another instance? I spent a year at college. In order to avoid the cafeteria because I did not have a friend to go with and could not imagine without a painful sort of terror braving the crowd on my own, I spent seven days in my room alone surviving on three packs of peanut butter crackers and tap water.

I wish I was joking. I am getting there, though, and with the help of some wonderful people, I might someday make it to being able to deal with the fear on my own. As of right now, though, I am stuck in a sand pit that, when in the company of close friends, I can walk freely in and have a good time. In the presence of anyone new, be it one person or one hundred, turns into quicksand. The terror makes my throat tighten painfully and I imagine I can’t get enough air. My hands  go clammy, I wrap my arms around my torso and hold myself, I hide in baggy hoodies, I don’t make eye contact, don’t smile, though I try my best to hide my internal misery, and I certainly don’t speak.

So often people believe that people in my own situation don’t try to get past it, that they do it, in the end, to themselves. Well, if you ever meet me and get the chance to get past my terror, you’ll see that I am nothing but friendly, loving, caring. To be angry hurts me nearly as much as being shy. I will do anything for someone. And I am trying to get past it. I know I love it when someone notices my shirt or my hair, something. And to try to give other people that same feeling of a little pride in themselves, I am attempting to conquer my fear of people by forcing myself to compliment them when I notice something nice about them. Not only is it forcing me to engage with new people, but it is noncommittal and makes people feel good about themselves.

Sometimes it hurts… but I’ve found that pushing through the pain is, at some level, possible with the right friends there to help.

Playing Trash Ball

Paper-Ball

I know what you’re thinking. What on Earth does trash ball have to do with the price of tea in China?

Well, I’m sitting here writing. Yes. Actually putting pen to paper instead of typing everything out because typing hasn’t gotten me much of anywhere here lately. So, anyway, here I am, writing some new- probably fleeting- idea out, and I seem to keep getting frustrated, tearing the pages out, balling them up, and throwing them at the trash can.

I’ve decided that this is actually a very large part of writing, and an even larger part of why I haven’t been able to get anything decent out recently. There is a major flaw with technology these days in the field of writing, and it is this:

There is something supremely cathartic in the ability to rip your words out- the words you have brought to life in a story- ball them up, throw them, tear them further, stomp on them, and generally cause them the pain that they, in not flowing freely or correctly like you want them to, have ultimately caused you.

Unfortunately… you can’t do that with a Word document. No, no matter how many times you delete those words, whether you do it letter by letter, sentence by sentence, line by line, page by page, chapter by chapter, or an entire book at once, you will never feel as good as you do when you rip that page out and all but tell it that it is trash that no one loves. And yes, despite the fact that I sound not only vindictive but also insane at the moment does not go unnoticed.

I know my words are not people, they are not alive. That being said, though, they are in some way something… not inanimate. It’s because they live inside of me. I know the story they should put together, the story I want to put out to the masses, and the story that they are fighting against becoming. So, though I know there is nothing real about them, I also know that, if put together correctly, they have the potential to create a living picture in someone else’s mind as well, and that is beautiful.

Therefore, if Word really wants to impress me as a writer, it should give me the ability to somehow electronically and satisfactorily destroy my words like they sometimes do me.

So, if you’re having trouble with a piece, don’t keep trying on your laptop or desktop. Don’t scratch out lines. Write them, rip them out, and play a little trash ball. You might find it was exactly what you needed, just as I have.

Growing Into My Skin

Stuff

That’s right. As I sit here, wiggling my new mustache mouse, clicking my keys, and thinking all the way back to the last August I completed, I can’t believe that I could already be so different. In 14 days, I’ll officially be 19- well, the 30th. I don’t know what day it is where you are. So I’m just shy of another year of my life being over, and I can barely fathom it.

This time last year, my soul was woggly (yes, woggly, it’s hard to explain) and cowering, terrified of what exactly college was going to hold for me. Was I going to hate my roommate who I didn’t know at all? Were the classes going to kill me? Would I lose my scholarships? Would I make friends? Would I give up writing? What would happen to me? Would I become involved in the wrong crowd, disappoint my mother and stepfather and ruin myself? Would I lose the tenuous hold on my boyfriend who was, at that point, only a friend with benefits?

Well, guys, I’d like to think that I did not do any of those things. I hated some of my classes, yes, but that’s to be expected and was partially due to the major I had and didn’t need to have. I didn’t hate my roommate; in fact, she was the best roommate and friend I could hope for. I still have my scholarship, though I had a moment of up all night, crying my eyes out worrying that I might at one point. The crowd I got involved in really encourage and push me to the dreams both I and my parents have for my future. My boyfriend and I got closer and finally decided on a relationship.

And, thank goodness, probably the most important to my well-being… I did NOT give up my writing. In fact, being at college, being with this new boyfriend, having these new friends, has not only boosted my knowledge of life and thus enhanced my writing, but has also really pushed me into the ability to be more confident in my writing and what I want to do.

So, I got lucky, but in a terrifying sort of way. I look at the world around me, and though most of it has stayed the same, I view it differently. Maybe this is growing up, or maybe this is me finally growing into the skin I was born with. I am not certain, but with a job I feel secure in leaving me, a new year of college beginning, the less lovey and more serious stage of a relationship starting, and me sitting here with a blog in front of me once again, I have to say I’m not scared or woggly or nervous. I am anticipating what very well might be yet another year I’ll never want to forget.

Be prepared, my fellow bloggers, readers, writers, and friends. What comes from me next might blow your minds, not only because it’s some of my best work, but because it might be something you never expected from me.

So, be watching, you might well be surprised.

With Confidence,

Megan

Thanking-Nominating-Answering-Asking

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See that picture up there? It says something about an award. Yeah, that’s because, with the luck and wonder and awesome people of this world, I was nominated for a Liebster Award. At first, when I saw something about that, I had no idea what was going on. I mean, when Scott from don’t touch my poodle messaged me telling me he’d nominated me for an award, I just kind of stared for a moment. I’m sure he thought I was ignoring him at first, too. Due to finals coming up, it was five days before I checked my messages.

I wasn’t ignoring him, though, and I honestly LOVE this idea of a way to really let people know about bloggers you think are amazing. I am so excited to not only have been nominated, but also to have the chance to nominate others. So, a little about how this works…

The Liebster Award was started as a way to tell other small bloggers that their work is appreciated, and to do so in a more global manner. Other blogs are referenced, thereby driving traffic to ones’ site as we reference each other.

How It Works

  1. Thank the Liebster Blog presenter who nominated you and link back to their blog. Like for me, this is another turn for me to say THANK YOU Scott! 🙂
  2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answering the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Nominate 11 blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag backs, meaning you can’t just re-nominate the person who nominated you.

 

Nominating

  1. Diablogue
  2. Chris McMullen
  3. A Writer’s Life
  4. Boy With A Hat
  5. Max Living At Maximum
  6. Chasity Cooper

 

Perhaps it’s bad of me, but I only have six… but I’m new-ish at blogging. This has given me the incentive to really check out some new people.

Let’s Get to Answering!

  1. What toothpaste do you use?

    • Whichever is the cheapest at the time. I think I have- since beginning college- found myself at the Dollar Store more times than I can count. You’d never believe what you can find there! It’s amazing. And it’s always funny to check out the toys that, while they were amazing to us as children until they broke (one day in to playing with them), are terrible. Well… that went off on a tangent, didn’t it?
  2. Who was your favorite elementary school teacher?

    • The lovely Mrs. Vernon of course- my kindergarten teacher. She and I got along well because she recognized my love of anything reading, writing, or storytelling very early on and helped me stay entertained and challenged. I still go and pay visits to her classroom to this day, though I feel a little more like a giant than the perfectly-sized 4 year old I used to be.
  3. What was the last book you read?

    • Well, that’s a difficult one because I tend to read a few books at a time. I guess it’d be City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. The movie is coming out on the 21st, and I want to see how well they follow the book. It’s kind of a thing for me. If you haven’t read the Mortal Instruments series, though, GO! Go go go! You must read them. They’re wonderful.
  4. What reminds you of your favorite grandparent?

    • Chocolate covered pretzels. When I was very young, I used to go to the Sale Barn (which is very like a giant yard sale/plant sale/animal sale that goes on before and during an auction) with my Poppy and my Grandmother. My Poppy and I were always thick as thieves, and so he’d take me over to the booth with the chocolate covered pretzels and buy me the biggest bag they had, and I sat and ate them all day in the heat. I got chocolate everywhere. Those were some of the best times of my life.
  5. Toilet paper: over or under?

    • Over. Under is plain annoying. I just don’t understand it. Please, you Under people, explain it to me.
  6. What is your all time favorite movie?

    • That’s like asking… I dunno… what’s my favorite Pokemon? There are way too many for me to decide. Right now, my top favorites are Tangled (Disney Favorite), Mama (Horror Favorite), Host (Book Turned to Movie Favorite), Scott Pilgrim vs. The World (Comedy Favorite), Epic (Animated Favorite), and Now You See Me (Suspense/Drama Favorite).
  7. Righty or lefty?

    • Righty, though some day I hope to be ambidextrous.
  8. Dog person or cat person?

    • For loyalty, dog person. I love dogs, but they scare me to death if I don’t know them well. I actually own cats and I love them to death.
  9. What makes you a good neighbor?

    • I guess that I’m pretty quiet, I love to bake things for people, and I will do anything- well, almost- to help someone in need.
  10. When do you feel you’ve been at your best?

    • This past year, I believe, has been me at my best. I’ve been- despite my nearly summer long hiatus- writing, getting myself out there for people to see, and really working hard. I’ve been moving toward achieving dreams I’ve held and/or given up for a long time. I’ve stopped doubting myself as much, and I’m just doing well.
  11. What are you grateful for today?

    • Honestly? My friends. The ones I know through here, through work, through everyday life. I’m thankful that they stuck with me through the social anxiety and the nerves and all my silly little quirks because they’ve helped me get to a point in my life that I didn’t think was possible, and every day, they get me a little bit closer to where I want to be. They help more than they know.

      Answer Us This

  1. Where’s that one place that you feel the most comfortable by yourself?
  2. Books or Movies? This is for movies that start with a written counterpart. Both is not an option. Which do you prefer?
  3. What is your favorite restaurant- that place you can go four trillion times in a row and never get tired of it?
  4. If given a million dollars tomorrow and were not able to spend it on yourself at all, what would you do with the money?
  5. What was/is your dream job?
  6. If you could have only one soda for the rest of your life, what would it be?
  7. What childhood memory is your absolute favorite? And don’t say you don’t know. It’s probably the story you’ve told everyone three million times and they know it by heart. Most of us have one.
  8. What’s the best birthday present you have ever gotten?
  9. What’s the one thing you always use to put off something you don’t want to do? Like, mine is checking my email because it leads to living on the internet for hours.
  10. Favorite childhood board game? Even made up ones count here.
  11. What was the one thing that convinced you to start blogging?