Jun 28, 2011


"I don't want to die!" I cried as I gently rocked myself. I was a prisoner, locked in a cold, white room with no way out. The pathetic moans that tore from my tortured body soothed me just a little.

I grabbed my stomach, shredded by the awful demons. The pain was excruciating. Hot tears soaked my face and my neck, drenching my shirt with ruthlessness. I was helpless and alone, shivering from agony and the knowledge that I wasn't going to get out of this alive.

"Help me, help me," I whispered to no one in particular, rocking myself and clutching my body. "Help..."

The exhaustion was setting in. I hung my head and let the cold perspiration drip from my forehead onto my lap. I only focused on the short, shallow breaths that were sure to be my last.

"Help," I pleaded with a weary mind.

My breathing quickened, my heart rate took off, and I found the strength to moan again as the pain cinched tightly around my organs.

"I don't want to die," I panted through clutched teeth, feeling the tears well up behind my bloodshot eyes. I rocked myself slowly at first, but as the pain increased, the movements became spasmodic jerks. Frantic, desperate moans pushed their way out.

When at last the pain became more than I could bear, my body exploded once again. "Why?" I gasped, wiping my mouth with a weakly crumpled piece of tissue. "Why? Never again. Never...I'll never eat at Chick-fil-A again."

Jun 27, 2011


The soft snow sank beneath my thick blue moon boots. It was a cold, miserable morning, the trees dripping icicles and frost. I took slow, heavy steps with my backpack weighed down by my spelling workbook and teddy bear I had brought for show-and-tell.

The path in front of me was smooth and pure, untouched yet by other school children. I carefully placed each boot in front of me, eager to leave behind perfect footprints instead of sloppy skids from dragging my feet. I ignored the chatter of my sister and neighbors, focusing solely on my task. My prints were the only ones that mattered. I hoped to see them in their perfect beauty when we walked home later that day.

As I took my next purposeful step, whoosh! I suddenly found the world shooting up above me. My body plunged into Earth's terrible jaws, sucking me deep into the cold, lonely earth. I watched in horror as the trees, houses and people disappeared. Up above, the pale blue sky closed up like the bottom tip of a funnel. I was trapped!

"Help!" I screamed frantically, turning in tight circles against the hard dirt walls. It was straight up, nowhere for me to climb.

How long was I going to be stuck here? I pictured my friends running for help, only to come back, unable to find me in the white wilderness. Was I going to freeze to death, starve, or even die of dehydration? Images of Baby Jessica formed in my head as I recalled the show about an 18-month old who fell down a well. It took workers over two days to fish her out. How long would it take to rescue me?

As terrified tears drenched my frozen cheeks, my sister's head appeared at the opening. "Take my hand!" she ordered.

I reached up, surprised, relieved, and somewhat disappointed. Her gloved hand grasped mine, and she easily pulled me out from the everlasting depths of a four-foot hole. Looked like I was going to have to go to school after all.

Night Intruder

Overall, my life has not been exciting. I've always been the type to sit on the sidelines and safely watch others brave life as I munched away on buttered popcorn. Skip school for a doughnut run? No, thank you. Bungee jump at Lagoon? I'll pass. But despite my cautious attitude, some danger still managed to creep into my life. The next several entries to this blog will contain life-threatening situations that I somehow managed to escape from...alive. Enjoy!

The Night Intruder

The silence that followed the humming of the television was thick with tension. It was late, way past bedtime, and we were downstairs in the basement. We shouldn't have watched that movie so late, we realized. The feeling of suspense lurked in the dark room, despite the protection Theresa's large black dog offered us.

"Let's go to bed," Dominique whispered, throwing her long, blonde hair behind her shoulders.

"Okay," my older sister, Jennifer, whimpered.

We tip-toed towards the bedroom, cautiously passing the darkened staircase that led upstairs. Why hadn't their parents come down to tell us good night? We watched in dismay as Sadie ditched her security job and made her way upstairs to find a better sleeping spot, her collar jingling as she left.

Theresa entered their room first, flicked on the lamp, and the rest of us charged towards the queen-sized bed, fighting for the safety of the middle. I lost.

"Good night," I forced out, trying to fight the feeling of impending doom.

"Good night," whispered the others, sensing the same. Dominique betrayed us by turning off the lamp.

I tucked the covers tightly beneath my chin, creating a protective barrier between myself and whatever lurked outside in the darkness. I tried closing my eyes, but I could hear better with them open. I searched the empty blackness, making sure that everything was alright before submitting myself to the mercy of sleep. Everything was silent. We were safe.

A wave of security washed over us, only seven and eight years old, and the excited whispers of girls at a sleepover gently emerged. We giggled about the movie, and our voices gradually grew louder as we talked about life and boys.

A gentle creak caused us to abruptly choke down our words. The covers flew to our noses as we strained to hear another sound. Our eyes were wide, trying to see what never could be found.

After minutes of strained silence, we breathed again. Must have just been the house creaking. We whispered again, quieter this time, and gained confidence as the silence continued.


We gasped. This time, I could swear it was on the stairs. Nobody breathed.

I waited for Sadie to jump on our bed, but she never showed. She was still upstairs, wasn't she? Where were Mr. and Mrs. Richards? Would they hear us scream if...never mind. I wasn't even going to finish that thought. If I didn't think it, it wouldn't happen.

I waited for something to happen. Anything. The tension was too much. Why did my bladder wait until now to tell me that it was in trouble? Too bad. I swallowed hard. I tried to take small, quiet breaths. Why couldn't I be home in my own bed, safe and upstairs?

Another creak. Closer this time. It was so slow. It was so quiet. Whatever it was was listening to us. Smelling us. Breathing our air. Tonight, I was going to die. In the basement, in the dark. Mommy...

"Did you hear that?" I whispered.

Nobody dared answer. I regretted having made myself known. I tried playing dead, but my senses were crackling, keenly aware of the thick darkness and something that was coming for us.

This time, I heard something different. It was something worse. I heard breathing. It was quiet. Oh, so quiet. But I heard it, I know. I wrapped my covers tightly around my chin, too scared to be attacked blindly. I had to see what it was.

It waited outside our door, breathing its awful breath, thriving from the pure fear that emanated from our trembling bodies. The wait was eternal. My heart ripped at my chest, my lungs burned with deprivation, and my body was a frozen corpse, patiently waiting for the kill.

"Rrawrrh!" the beast exploded, charging into our doorway. The walls shook as Satan came to claim his souls.

An entire minute passed before I realized that the deafening screams were coming from our bed. Tears streamed down our faces as our lungs burst greedily for air, shrieking over and over as the panic was released. This was it. The last sound my mortal body would ever make.

And then a strange noise silenced us. It was unexpected. It was...their father laughing, grabbing his stomach and hooting at the perfectly awful joke he had just played.

"Good night, girls!" he laughed, making his way back upstairs.

We laughed at the second chance of life we had just been given. Our whispers were forgotten as relief and stories poured out, drawing us closer to one another. As we finally settled down, turning over and getting ready for sleep, our ears pricked up.

Did anyone else hear that?

Jun 24, 2011

Life After Rejection

I thought I knew all there was to know about rejection letters, because I have gotten so many of them. But that was before I sent in "Waiting For Cupid." This manuscript was my baby, and I worked long and hard on it, and actively improved it each time I went through revisions. It got to where I felt it was perfect. But what changed for me this time was not a simple rejection letter. I actually had TWO different requests for my manuscript!

I'll admit that I started feeling a little cocky, completely sure that this was my winning piece, and that I was going to become a millionaire. Overnight, of course. I greedily checked my e-mail in great anticipation twelve times a day for the invitation to publish, excitedly envisioning who was currently reading my words and drooling for the rights to publish. So when I got an e-mail saying that one agent was not as excited about my story as she had hoped to be, I was pretty bummed. Okay, I was angry. And annoyed. How could she not like my book? It wasn't geared for old farts like her anyway, but young adults who were going through the same things I had gone through...and was able to finally laugh about. THEY would appreciate it! Why couldn't she use her professional resources and see just how popular my book could actually be?

All hope was not lost, however. I still had another agent considering my manuscript, and I held my breath as more days passed by without a word. That was good, right? It meant that the first few words didn't make him toss it aside with disgust. Was it being passed among his co-workers, editors and book publishers? I stopped checking my e-mail so much, and then, that was when it happened: I received yet another rejection. Once again, my manuscript didn't get him as excited as he had hoped for.

Rather than anger and annoyance, I felt completely deflated. My writing was worthless, not good enough to sell, and why on earth had I been dumb enough to send it in to so many people? Talk about embarrassing. I was an idiot. And then my sweet husband told me something that I haven't forgotten. He said, "At least you got a couple of nibbles!" And in that moment, I knew that at least I had written an awesome query letter...my first one to get some invitations! Maybe my idea wasn't so awful after all.

Of course, following this fiasco, I had to put a lot of thought into what was wrong with my manuscript. What was it that made it seem like a promising story but ended up lacking a certain satisfaction? It's hard to go through this thought process, because you have to be willing to give up the "final masterpiece" and be willing to maybe try a new medium. It didn't take much fighting to realize what exactly needs to be done with my story. The hard part now is going to be starting over.

It's been weeks now, and I'll admit that I have been too scared to write. This blog is my first attempt to get things rolling again, and I know that it's going to help me get started. What is so intimidating is the knowledge of the long road ahead of me, all of the re-writes and editing and actual brainstorming that I have to do. Writing is hard work!

While I am scared to fail, I know that re-writing is going to build my writing and creativity skills. I remember my first writing project in my creative writing class my senior year of college. My short story ended up such an awful disaster that my instructor actually withheld sharing it for our class' critique. THAT was embarrassing. But what I'm grateful for is the amazing growth that comes from having stories critiqued, and shredded apart, and picked apart piece by piece, because it helps you to think of things in a different perspective. With a lot of critical feedback and ideas that differed from mine, it was amazing the things I was able to write! Writers need to maintain a healthy dose of humility and be willing to try new things in a different light, even if it is uncomfortable at first.

As I think of the editing process, a hilarious scene comes to mind from one of my favorite movies, "Pillow Talk."

Jonathon: What do you have against marriage?

Brad: Jonathon, before a man marries, he's...like a tree in the forest. He stands there independent. An entity unto himself. Then he's chopped down, loses his branches and bark. Lands in the river. Then he's taken to the mill. When he comes out, he's no longer a tree. He's the vanity table, the breakfast nook, the baby crib, and the newspaper that lines the garbage can.

Jonathon: No, no. If this girl weren't something special, then I'd agree with you. But with Jan, you look forward to losing your branches.

Editing and rewriting and getting critiqued feel a lot like getting your branches cut, turning your work from an ordinary tree into a beautiful creation. It's hard to have someone tell us that they don't like our story as much as us, but as painful as it is, we need to embrace it, and welcome the pain that comes as we create our art into even more amazing masterpieces.

I am going to start writing again, and I know that I'm going to learn new techniques and improve my storytelling. There is life after rejection, and it's going to be amazing.

Jun 6, 2011

Kids Say the Darndest Things

I've been collecting some quotes my children have said, and I am amazed at how absolutely hilarious my young children can be!

Jacob (4 years old):

“I have a frog in my throat. What kind of frog is it? A boy? A girl?”

“Mommy! If you don’t put your seatbelt on, a policeman will take you out and spank you!”

Mommy: “Good night, four-year-old! I love you.”
Jacob: “Good night, big girl Mommy!”

“You’re welcome, Mom, for doing that!”

“I have bones inside that make me really good talking.”

Mommy: “You’re my special Jacob.”
Jacob: “Did the other Jacob break?”

Jacob: “Stupid cat!”
Daddy: “Don’t say that word. It’s naughty.”
Jacob: “Oh, only Mommy can say it?”

“When I get bigger, I’m going to buy a girl costume, and I’m going to marry myself!”

“Mom, I sneezed again! What do you saaayyy?”

“So…how’s it doing, Mom?” (trying to make small talk)

“When I get bigger, will my ears fall out and I’ll get bigger ears?”

“Bye, Daddy! Have a good dream at work today!”

(Jacob was rubbing his nose with his finger) Mommy: Do you need to blow your nose?
Jacob: Nah. I'm just playing the violin.

Gabriel (3 years old):

“I don’t want a hug or a kiss…you can just kiss my hand.”

“Don’t kiss my owie! You’ll get an owie on your face.”

Mommy: “How did you get so strong? Did you eat your vegetables?”
Gabriel: “Oh, no. I ate my popcorn!”

Gabriel: “Can I have more marshmallows?”
Mommy: “No, that’s too much sugar.”
Gabriel: “Can I have more sugar?”

“Oh! Don’t kiss my hand! I’ll put hand sanitizer on your kissing!”

Jacob: “Who are you going to marry?”
Gabriel: “Ummm…I’m going to marry Grandpa Frye!”
Jacob: “You can’t marry Grandpa Frye! He’s a boy!”
Gabriel: “Then I no get married!”

Jacob: “Mommy, how tall are you?”
Mommy: “I’m five feet, six inches.”
Gabriel: “I have five feet, too!”

Mommy: “Let me clean your hand.”
Gabriel: “I was washing it with my tongue!”

“I look like a monkey when I got undressed!”

“Are you Mommy, Mom?”

Jacob: “Mommy is asleep.”
Gabriel: “No, her head is awake!”

Gabriel: “You make me sooo mad!”
Jacob: “I’m mad, too!”
Gabriel: “Then I’m not mad. I’m happy.”

Jun 4, 2011

My Peg Leg

I'm going to say right off that I do not condone lying. But that's because I'm now an adult with children. When I was younger and life was hilarious, so was lying. I never told any harmful lies, because I knew that it was wrong. But funny lies I embraced.

I was out with my friends late one night, cruising Main Street in the lonely town of Centerville. We decided to look for adventure, and went to the only logical place in town: the grocery store. Hoping to spice things up a bit, we thought it would be hilarious to park in the last stall of the parking lot. I know, we were totally living it up, right? Anyway, as we skipped towards the store, we were stopped by a group of guys. Jackpot! We flirted and smiled, and then one of my greatest dreams came true: I was asked for MY phone number! Nothing could have topped the excitement I felt, and I was going to fulfill the rest of my dream. I pulled out a paper and pen, wrote down some digits, and colored little hearts around them. I smiled as I handed the boy the paper, and seductively said, "Call me!"

"I can't believe you just did that!" my friends laughed as we skipped away, invigorated from love.

I laughed even harder. "I didn't! It was the number for time and temperature!"

I always knew that I wasn't the type who guys actively singled out from a crowd, so what I did really didn't matter. My sister, a genuine guy-magnet, took me along with her and her friends one day. Meeting a guy was just going to happen, there was no denying it. And so, we came up with a brilliant plan. For the night, my name was going to be Bertha.

Excited butterflies fluttered in my stomach when we were finally approached at the mall by an adorable guy. Whether he wanted to or not, he was going to ask me my name. Forget the gorgeous girls when an ugly duckling has the audacity to be named Bertha! I held back the laughter as he forced polite conversation with me, obviously intrigued by my unusual(and can I add hideous?) name. It was unfortunately the most attention a guy ever paid to me when out with these super models. No one would give a hoot to a girl named Kim. See how brilliant our plan was?

When I got to college, I decided that I needed to change my last name. Frye was so, well, gross. I needed something that shouted, "Look at me!" After much contemplation and tons of practice, I occasionally introduced myself as Kimberly Alzerezgredeldedski (pronounced Al-zerez-gredel-ded-ski). "No way!" guys would laugh, knowing I was full of it. But I smugly spelled it as fast as the letters could be spoken, giving the full letter count as additional proof. (Nineteen, in case you were wondering, even though now you're probably going to count. Aren't you?) "I thought your last name was Frye!" they would protest. Luckily, I was getting good at making up stories on the spot.

"My Mom is Polish, and married my step-dad. Technically, my name is hyphenated, but it's way too long, so I just go by Frye." I smiled. And then, after a week, I would laugh and confess the truth. It was too good a lie to be prolonged. The funny thing about this is that my roommate told her younger brother about my fake last name, and he loved it so much that he ended up naming his hamster Alzerezgredeldedski. Isn't that wonderful?

I'm convinced that lying for fun was genetic. When I was in high school, my parents went to Subway to pick up some dinner. They came back ecstatic. "We just met the perfect guy for you!" my Dad gushed.

"He was so cute!" Mom interjected.

"We told him all about you," Dad continued with an enormous grin. "We told him to look for you at school. I told him you were single...and had a peg leg!" He and Mom screamed with laughter, and I considered whether or not I should be annoyed or delighted. I'd have to wait until I went to school.

When I found my best friend before school, I told her the drama my parents had lovingly created for me, and we decided to play along. We searched the halls, and when I finally found Subway boy, I made sure to hobble a little as we passed. Life and lying were definitely wonderful.

So what brought about this random post, you may be asking yourself? As I was cutting our lawn today, I noticed that I wasn't cutting in straight lines, but curved lines. I ended up having a conversation in my mind about what I would tell someone if they questioned my "method."

"Oh, didn't you know?" I'd ask while looking at them as if they knew absolutely nothing about landscaping. "When you cut with a curve, it actually makes your yard look bigger!" And then I'd anxiously look around the neighborhood for the next several months, and smile as everyone's lawns were cut at a curve.

Maybe I need to start lying again, and see what kinds of fun I can create. But if anyone asks, it's all true. I promise.