Monday, October 16, 2017


Have you ever gone somewhere and it just felt like the most wonderful place in the world? I'm not talking about Disneyland, but I am talking about a few places I've lived before. Utah Valley has been my home most of my life, and I can't complain. There is beauty and a sense of safety next to my tall mountains, especially at this time of year. Last weekend, however, I left it all behind for a day and ventured to someplace else that is also dear to my heart.

People that have met me in the last few years may know that I am an Aggies fan through and through which sometimes seems a bit odd. I spent my freshman year of college there, and given how long it took me to graduate college, that was barely a drop in the bucket. Not to mention my GPA upon leaving USU was not the best. BUT, there was something about that year that dwarfs the rest of my college experience. Perhaps it was because it was my first time living on my own. Or perhaps because it was the first time I felt like no one was judging me or comparing me to who I was growing up.
Regardless of what it was, this place is home to me. One school year, not even a complete calendar year, that has altered the course of my life for the better.

The friends I made there changed the way I looked at myself. Shortly after I moved back, one of my best friends from high school mentioned that I was a lot more confident. I beamed because confidence is something I have always struggled with. I made friends that knew and appreciated me for me. They liked who I was, which made me want to be myself. They are the friends that I still talk to today, the friends that I value and treasure most in this life. I honestly don't know where I would be without them. The friends I have made since then all know that there is almost nothing I wouldn't do if any of my Logan friends needed help. I

And so, I walked that campus and drove around that city-my city-with newer friends that had only heard about my love for that place. I probably drove them crazy with stories and experiences around almost every corner. From the tabernacle to Old Main, I had a story for every place we drove by and walked in to. I still dream about that place and how much I really would love to return to live there. Sometimes a place just sticks with you. There has only ever been one other place to just stick with me, it's on the east coast, and one day I'll get there too. Because there's nothing better than feeling that wonderful

acceptance. Often, people don't understand why a place of such magnitude that seems so ordinary could hold so much meaning, but it's not about the place, usually. It's about the memories. Even if things change, as they always do. Even if the people that made that place what it is to you aren't there, it will still have an impact, it will still be Home.

Last weekend, I went home.

Monday, June 26, 2017


I am not a quiet person. I mean, I can be, I totally can be, but in general I have no issue talking in front of groups of people, I can let my opinion be known. I do not hide easily among people mostly because I am not small. I am 6'0" tall, and have the build of a football player, and for a woman, that is not common. People generally notice when I walk into a room and therefore I am used to the stares as people internally wonder exactly how tall I am. Or if I, maybe, eat small children for breakfast (which I do not, btw). So, I am not quiet, but for a not quiet person I certainly do seem to be invisible to a lot of people. Don't get me wrong, I am loved and I have a great family. There are plenty of people that care a great deal for me and I have no doubt that if something tragic were to happen to me, I would have an amazing support system already in least I think I would? I'm not willing to test this theory, so we'll just go with it. But beyond my relatively small group of friends and family, I feel like the world, in general, does not see me. This is proven by the year of applying for hundreds of jobs with a completely stellar resume (three or four of them, actually) and only getting 2 interviews. One of which was because my brother got me the interview. When I got hired at my current job one of the management staff pulled me aside and asked why I hadn't gotten hired before by anyone because my credentials were amazing and I have great skills and interview well. I told her I had not idea, it was not for a lack of trying.

Any way, I often, especially lately, feel invisible. I have felt invisible to guys for years, especially the guys I have developed feelings for. It really sucks when you fall for someone who barely notices you exist. In some ways, it almost worse than if they just told you they didn't like you and to go away. It's one of those things that is devastating in the long run and, unfortunately, has taught me to keep my distance from people. I actually let few people into my life. I am close to some, but only a very select few have ever seen me cry, or seen me cry when I really had no reason why I was.

This post is getting a little too close for my liking, but I really felt like I needed to share. I don't know, maybe someone reading this also feels invisible, but doesn't know quite what to do about it. Being invisible has it's perks. There was once I just stopped texting my friends first, like, I decided I would not initiate a conversation just to see how long it took some people to notice. This was good for two reasons, 1. It helped me see who among my friends wanted me around. And 2, it helped me not be as clingy or as needy. I can be a needy person, or I feel like I can be. I initiate friendships too often and give of myself too freely at times. It's hard because I tend to be a giving person. I'd give you the shirt off my back if you needed it. And that can be a problem sometimes when you are invisible to people 90 percent of the time. I have a really bad habit of collecting people that just want things from me. I'm an amazing baker and a really good cook, so I have had friends want to hang out with me because of that. I am very giving of my time and energy and have had friends only hang out with me for that. Yet, when I struggle and when I actually need someone, I often find myself completely alone. Pert of it is that I don't really know how to reach out to people. There are times when I need help and I need a friend, but don't want to inconvenience anyone, especially if I feel like my feelings are irrational. I had a friend tell me yesterday that my irrational feelings were still valid feelings and that it was okay to feel them. We need this kind of friend in our lives because it really doesn't matter if we're crying over the end of a TV show, or if we're crying over someone completely ignoring our existence whether on purpose or not. All of those feelings came from somewhere. All of that emotion is valid.

Which brings me back to feeling invisible. I promise you, you're not invisible. Not to the people that really matter. And trust me, sometimes you feel like no one truly sees you and it sucks and it's hard. I get it. I have been there so many times I don't even try to keep track. But you're so strong. And you just haven't found the people that will truly see you. They're coming, I promise you that. Hold on to that hope. Hold on for just a little bit longer. I find myself saying that when things get really hard. Hard things make you stronger, and when things feel uncomprehensibly hard and you really don't want to be stronger, that's when the really awesome things start happening . So, please, just hang on a little bit longer, okay? Because you're amazing. And if you're thinking 'But Sooz, you don't even know me', that may be true, but I have felt invisible a lot and it always gets better. Sometimes it takes longer than you'd like, but it does get better, I promise you that.

And to finish up, here's a great music video that fits with the theme of this post!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Time Is Just A Moment And It's Passing By Too Fast

I was going to post on Mother's day, but realized that my last post was on Easter and I don't want this to become a thing where I only post on holidays. And then the moment left and I hadn't written anything here and it just sat for a bit longer.

My brother and his family came over today and I asked two of my nephews if they wanted to make cookies with me. They eagerly said yes and ran to the kitchen to help. I used to dislike cooking with kids because it always seems to take longer and be messier, but lately I really have grown to love it. The three year old, who thinks he is Batman - so that is what I will call him here, wanted to help dump the ingredients into the bowl and smell the cookie dough as it mixed in the mixer. It was adorable, and his nine year old brother was the same. They were eager to help and really wanted to taste the dough at each stage, which I did not permit because cookie dough doesn't taste good until it's done.

After I put a batch of cookies in the oven Batman wanted to watch them cook, so I went to help him down from the stool he was sitting on and he defiantly said "No! I can just jump off because I'm Batman!" and then proceeded to jump off the stool and run over to the oven to watch the cookie dough "melt".

It is these small little moments that remind me why I love being an aunt so much. It's the messes in the kitchen and the jumping and playing that makes each moment with them so precious. Before long they'll be all grown up and won't want to bake cookies with me anymore. They won't even want to come visit. And I'll wish I had enjoyed those moments more with them when I could. How quickly life passes us by! How quickly those moments slip through our fingers!

Thankfully, Batman is only three and will, hopefully, love making cookies with me for a long long time because he's such a fun kid to have help.

I have been working on a novella lately. It might become a novel, I don't know. I haven't decided yet. There's definitely enough material to make it a novel, but it's a fairy tale, so I kind of wanted to keep it shorter. But it has unlocked so much of LIGHTS background and history. And it's only expanding further and further. It's amazing!! I thought I'd give you a little taste of it, so here you go!

Little background, because this is literally the middle of a chapter that is not at the beginning...Ethne is Cinderella and Keegan is the prince, but Ethne doesn't know he's the prince because he's pretending to be a commoner and is working in a blacksmith shop. He is from a kingdom that can control fire (hence the blacksmith shop) and was the first person Ethne met when she found herself in Solais, which is the kingdom Ian (in LIGHTS) is from. Ethne is training to be a warrior, which she was destined to be because her mother was also a warrior. The warrior's belong to a group called The Order.

One day, two months after her arrival, Ethne was walking by the blacksmith shop when Keegan came outside. He bowed respectfully to her, which Ethne had grown accustom to. It was the common greeting for all those in the Order. She bowed in return and when she stood again she noticed Keegan grinning like a fool.
Why are you so happy this morning?” She asked.
I have just received a letter from home.” He told her.
Oh? And what was in this letter?” She wished he’d just tell her, but he was having too much fun dragging this out.
There is to be a ball back in my kingdom. The king and queen have just announced it. And I am hoping to attend. They say it’s to be a masquerade. You have not lived until you have seen their ballroom. The entire length of the ceiling is lit by a fire that never goes out.” He explained. Ethne had never been to a ball. She had never even heard of an opportunity to go to one.
How interesting. What is the occasion?” She tried not to sound too eager as she asked. He chuckled lightly before answering,
You, of course.” He stated.
Me? Why would they be having a ball for me?” She was truly perplexed at the thought.
Because you are of the Order and all those who are new to the order attend a ball in their honor when their training is complete. Your training will be finished soon and a ball must be had.” He explained.
But why in another kingdom? I’ve never left Solais, why won’t they host it?” She wondered aloud to him.
Because Solais is just part of this world. The rest of the world wishes to honor its newest warrior. The work you will do here is truly remarkable and we all wish to pay our respect for your efforts on our behalf.” He said. There was a glimmer that shined from the corner of his eyes as he spoke of her strength and effort. She blushed at the compliment.
I really haven’t done anything yet. I don’t deserve a ball.” She told him.
On the contrary. You have already given us hope in the future. You deserve more than just a masquerade ball. But this is one small way we can show you how important you are. You must attend.” He insisted.

If I must.” She replied, but in her heart she wanted to go. Especially if Keegan would be there.

Any way, there you go, a glimpse into my current WIP. I hope to have this draft done by the end of the week, but I've been saying that for weeks, so we shall see!! Let me know what you thought in the comments!!

Sunday, April 16, 2017

That by knowing him here, we may know him better there.

Easter. My favorite holiday. I often have a hard time actually expressing why Easter is my favorite holiday. And for many years it wasn't that significant to me. You get a bag full of candy and some nice thoughts about Jesus at church. It was a lesser Christmas to me.

And then one year it wasn't. One year I suddenly didn't care if I got a bag of candy, or if we had an Easter egg hunt in the back yard where all my nieces and nephews could go find them. All at once it actually meant something. It could have been the year and a half I spent as a missionary for my church. It could have been that I was reading my scriptures and happened upon the best Easter scriptures right around that time of year. I don't remember exactly when it happened, I just know now that it did happen.

Over the last year I have been broken in so many ways. My head, my heart, my soul, my strength have all been challenged, bruised and broken. And yet I have lived through it all. I have been strengthened by a force beyond my own. I have been lifted and healed by the grace of God. I have found solace in the words of the prophets. I have lived through it and come out stronger than I went in. And it has just solidified my love for my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

A few years ago my church posted a video gearing up for Easter, and it still brings me to tears. I thought I'd share it.

The video shared nothing that I didn't already know, but it reminded me of how important this holiday really is. There is so much that we have in this life and to look forward to beyond it all because of Jesus Christ. His love for us is so incredibly strong. He has conquered the world so that we might become all that we can be. He has given us the opportunity to succeed. He loves us that much. And I love him with all my heart in return.

I was reading the Chronicles of Narnia series at the beginning of the year. It is my favorite young adult series. It has always been a part of my life. I hadn't read the entire series in a very long time, so it was fun to experience them again. I love the simplicity and the symbolism that is intertwined throughout the series. And I love Aslan, the Great Lion. It is no secret that CS Lewis was Christian and used symbolism in a lot of his work. But I love the stories he tells and the worlds he created. And most importantly, I love the feeling I get when I read his books. I was reading The Last Battle and was crying because the series was ending, but also because I was reading the most beautiful words I had ever read. It was a final thought about the Pevensie children, and those great souls that had found their way back to Narnia, and back to Alsan. The quote is:

"Now at last they were beginning chapter one of the great story which no one on Earth has read. Which goes on forever in which every chapter is better than the one before."

And it just left the most wonderful thought and feeling in my heart. To me, that is what Jesus offers us. He offers us peace that can continue on and on forever in which every moment, every hour is better than the one before. 

Another favorite quote is from Voyage of the Dawn Treader when Lucy Pevensie realizes that she will not be returning to Narnia again and pleads with Aslan to visit them here in our world to which he responds,

"But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia. That by knowing me here a little, you may know me better there."

And I feel like that is one of those very symbolic thoughts that CS Lewis added for a wonderful moment in the story between Aslan and Lucy, but also for us as we look to our Savior. Our time in this world is so short when you consider the vastness of eternity. Are we taking the time we have here to better know our Savior? So that when we see him again, we will recognize his face and run to him as he has run to us countless times. That by knowing him a little here, we may know him better there. 

I don't know if this at all explains my love of Easter, but I am so grateful for this time of year. As spring begins and the world wakes up around us. Flowers bloom and the trees turn green. That moment of renewal as we also take a few minutes to remember our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his sacrifice for each of us. Because of him, we don't ever have to feel alone or like no one could truly understand. He has given us so much, he has given us everything. And because of all that he does for me, and all the love that he has shown me, I will praise his name forever. I will welcome the peace he brings into my life. We are all so incredibly blessed to have such an ally and friend on our side, cheering us on. 

May we all focus on this beautiful day, and may we all come to know our Savior a little better. This time of year is for renewal, I hope you will all take a minute to renew your dedication to following Jesus Christ. Following his teachings and his words. I think the world would be a better and kinder place if we could follow him.

Monday, April 3, 2017

The Family Pew

They built a church building down the street from my childhood home the year I was born. From the day of it's dedication on we sat on the second to last back pew on the west side of the chapel. The Carmichael family has ALWAYS sat there, with the exception of the 2 1/2 year stint where we moved to Washington state for a bit just to mix things up. There, we sat on the opposite side of the chapel, as most chapels in my church are designed the same.

A few months ago, my parents were asked to help with a different congregation a few miles away, so I attended alone. For the first time in a very long time, I attended all of my church meetings alone. And I felt the responsibility to sit on the family pew. Never mind it is a rather long pew for just one person to sit on, but I still felt it my duty to sit there and share it if anyone needed a place to sit through services.

A few times, I did not get there early enough and someone else did not know, apparently, that THAT was MY PEW. I honestly felt a little betrayed. How could they NOT know that we have always, ALWAYS sat there! As long as this church building has been standing! So, I was determined to get there earlier.  And I did. And I sat on the family pew. Several people even commented on my dedication to sitting there without my family and I'd tell them, "32 years we've sat on this pew, and we'll sit here at least 32 more." I believed my own words at the time.

Because, you see, I am leaving that congregation. I'm moving to a new one a little further away. One that probably has that pew on the west side, second from the back, but I don't know if it will be the same. In fact, I know that it won't be. Change is in the air, you see, and whether I like it or not, nothing will ever be the same again.

I've had so many changes come this year, and it's been great, but it's also been hard. Sometimes I like knowing that at least one thing isn't going to change, even if that one thing is where I sit for church on Sunday. But we don't always get what we want. And it's time to let go and see where the wind takes me.

I've already seen so many amazing things happen in my life in the last 3 months, and I know there's still more to come. I'm excited and nervous and anxious, but mostly, I'm hopeful. Because sometimes change is a good thing. So, I said goodbye to my pew and am choosing to look forward to something new. I have hope for the first time in a long time. Good things are on the way, my friends. Good things are on the way.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Lesson of Pain

It all started last Wednesday when I got to work and realized I was feeling a bit off. My shoulders were a little achy, I had a bit of a headache and that general feeling of my good health slipping through my fingers. I knew I was coming down with something, but I still felt great and went about my day, pretending that I didn't feel anything out of the ordinary. In fact, I felt perfectly fine until that night when I found myself laying on the floor watching TV shivering, and not from laying on the actually warm carpet. I got up, warmed up my corn bag, put it in the foot of my bed, and got ready for sleep. Three hours earlier than usual. But if sickness was coming, I was going to meet it head on and nip it in the bud. I don't have time for sickness and needed to minimize it as much as possible.
I ended up with three more blankets ony bed and shivering through the night. I could barely move when I woke up. I had that lovely stomach bug that had been going around. It only lasts a day, but it, what a day it is. And for the first time in, like, five years, I called in sick.
My coworker told me the next day that he knew I must have been practically dead to call in, it happens so rarely. So, I lounged about that day, mostly tried to recoup and think well thoughts. And I thought I had kicked it! Great! I went back to work on Friday and worked most of the day.
By the end, hiwever, I was exhausted and just felt fatigued and left a little early. I had dinner with my family and was determined to rest up the renainder of the evening so I could do all the things I needed to that weekend. Oh, how God laughs when we make plans.
I woke up feeling nauseated around 2 AM, and knew that something wasn't right. I spent a majority of that night on the floor of my tiny bathroom. My head was pounding and I could barely move. It must be that stomach bug, back for round 2.
My mom came to check on me, thinking it was just the flu, but I watched concern creep into her eyes as I sat, huddled on the edge of the bathtub peeking through my fingers because my head hurt so much.  She offered me some Coke, thinking that if my stomach would calm, the headache would go away and we could get me rehydrated. It took her almost an hour to coax me out of the bathroom and onto the couch were I was instructed to sip both the Coke and a Gatorade in regular intervals. But I couldn't sip them. As soon as I did, they would come right back. I couldn't keep anything  down, but was finally able to sleep, curled in a ball, for about four hours, which felt heavenly, until I woke up to the same excruciating pain I'd left before I slept. It wouldn't go away and I crawled my way back to my room, feeling  rather sloth like. I couldn't stand because if I did, I'd lose my balance. So, slow crawling it was.
I couldn't watch any shows on my computer because the screen hurt my eyes. I hated the light being on, but I hated the feeling of loneliness even more in the cold dark basement.
So the light stayed on and my mom kept me company on the room next to mine. She worked on sewing projects and I would try to make her laugh. Because I like it when my mom is happy. But everytime she'd come by my door and see me lying there hurting so much, the worry would come back and she'd check her watch to see if I could take morepain killers or not.
Sunday came much like Saturday, with me on the side of the bathtub cradling my eyes because my head still hurt so much. I remember at some point during the night pleading with God to take the pain away. Or at the very least help me understand it. I am used to His answers and the need to wait for them, but I thought surely this time He would make an exception and I'd have an answer. It peace. Something. ANYTHING. But, my answer didn't come that night, in fact I'm pretty sure I'm still waiting for it. Those answers, the quiet pleadings of our hearts, you know the ones, that are every bit of our souls and every scrap of faith we've got left. We throw it all into that prayer of pleading and then sit. Hoping for an answer. For my part, there were more than a number of tears shed, and not just from the pain, though there were plenty to of those too.
There were the silent prayers I did not hear that I know where said on my behalf. The pleading for understanding and how to help this poor soul crying on her cold, dark bathroom floor. They don't go unanswered, you know. Not a tear is shed that isn't accounted for. But what would we learn if at the first sign of pain our loving white Knight came swooping  in? How helpful would that really be for us? It would be nice, but we wouldn't learn.
And so, Sunday morning came and I had now gone three days without keeping any food or liquid down. I had counted those sixteen floor tiles over and over and over again from every angle. I knew each detail in the bathtub non slip decals. I was in the routine of walking in, placing my glasses on the edge of the sink so they wouldn't get dirty. I had become a pro at washing my hands from my knees so I wouldn't get nauseous again. And I even found a semi comfortable spot on the door to lay my head when I just couldn't move any further.
Have you ever watched a parent's heart break for their child? I'm pretty sure I did. My mom, who was fighting a cold herself, would check on me throughout the day. She came home from church and without even taking off her coat came down to check on me. And the worry deepend. She was anxious for me to make any small improvements, buy I didn't. I stayed consistently the same, if not a little worse.
The excruciating pain that I tried to minimalize and pretend to sleep through was not fooling anyone. There was no sleeping through it. There were boughts of exhaustion filled with the craziest dreams I've EVER had, which is saying something. And more of the same. That afternoon, I prayed another pleading prayer up to God begging for anything. ANYTHING that I could do or say that would take this pain away. And again, the heavens fell silent.
That night was darker than the others. I didn't see myself getting  better. Normally there's some change, but not with this. I saw no hope. Now, I know what you're thinking, 'Really, Suz, that was what, like, two days?! Come on. Surely it couldn't have been THAT bad', and you're right, it wasn't a long duration to this point, but I had a sickness that was not going away and I was at a  loss what to do.
My mom came to me at about 5 in the morning asking for my insurance information so she could find a doctor that would see me that morning. She was not going  another day through this and I guided her to what she wanted and collapsed back onto my bed. By 9 she had the day off of work and an appointment for me at 11. I hadn't washed my hair in about 4 days at this point, maybe 5. My glasses were filthy and I literally grabbed whatever clothes were closest to me. It ended up being an old t-shirt and jeans with holes ripped in them. I could not have looked more homeless if I tried. But I just didn't care, the pain was the only thing on my mind.
We went back to the exam room and I sat there, head in my hands because it was so bright and my head hurt so much. The doctor came in and kind of looked over the scene. I'm sure he was wondering if I was completely there mentally. But after a few questions I could see the wheels start to turn in his head and he was trying to figure out the strange puzzle before him.
It was not the stomach bug I thought wouldn't leave me alone, but a really awesome migraine that wasn't letting go. I left with a prescription that would hopefully get me on my way to recovery.
This is where the lesson comes in. Pain sucks. It does. There's no way around it. There's nothing inherently good about it. But isn't it funny the things we learn through it? Some of the happiest people I've ever met have been through the most excruciating experiences. This experience was very small for me, really. But it made me stop and take a look at my life. Do I only pray when I need help? Do I pray only to be heard? My prayer wasn't answered your I wanted it to, but it was answered. I did find our what was happening to me, and even how to get rid of it.
This could be the start of a bigger lesson for me, though never know, but I am grateful that I know that my suffering is never in vain or without purpose. I am often reminded of my favorite scripture in Alma 7:11-13
"11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me."
Jesus Christ suffered for ALL of us, for EVERYTHING we'd experience. The good, bad, and ugly. And he did that so he could succor, or run to the aid of, us. How wonderful is that?! Someone that loves you, personally, that much. He is right there with us. Always. And forever

Friday, January 13, 2017

I need light in the dark as I search for THE RESOLUTION....

As the new year has started, I purposely did not make any resolutions to do better. I didn't make any promises to myself that I would some how dramatically change now that a new year has started. But as the new year has begun rolling out, I can't help but feel a sense of urgency about a few things. I can be a bit of a slacker when it comes to things like writing on my journal, ironic, I know. But, I felt like I really ought to be keeping up with things of that nature. I have an incredible story to tell. Dull at times, yes, but also very exciting. This leads me to tell you all about one of the exciting adventures I'm starting this year! But first, a music video from Jack's Mannequin that is the title of this post:

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a classmate and asked if I'd be interested in writing a screenplay for someone. I said "absolutely!" and she sent the contact information to me. I emailed this guy who is needing a script ASAP and he responded and we started talking about the project. 
Guys. This is what I've been wanting to do with my life. Writing! Real things that will be made into real movies!! How fantastic is that?! It's very exciting, but currently I'm waiting. Always waiting.

In other news, have you guys heard of a bullet journal? I'm intrigued by the concept and have thought about starting one. I have a hard enough time coming up with things to blog about....well, to find time to blog about. I come up with topics every day and most of them get filed away in the back of my mind and at first they hope that I'll pull the file out again later, but it really hasn't happened day, perhaps. But the joy of bullet journaling is that it is meant to be a quick thing that reminds you of your life, and who doesn't need that. We may not want to remember things, but we need to. They help us to remember the struggles in life. The wait before something great happens in your life. It's excruciating, but it's necessary. And I want to do better at remembering it!

I am also starting another project. Another! I was baking for the holidays, enjoying the very busy week I had had. Writing, job interviews and the like, and in the middle of Cinderella, you know, the one that came out in 2015 with Lilly James, so I'm in the middle when the princes comes running to save her in the forest and he doesn't tell her who she is and this whole fairy tale unfolded in my mind. But it wasn't the classic one I grew up with. There wasn't actual magic or a fairy godmother, per se. There was the basic details of Cinderella with a twist. It took place in Solais and is a story Ian grew up with. Then, my mind just started going at a million miles an hour with a whole series of fairy tales with a Solais twist. It's actually helping me expand the universe I started to create when I started writing LIGHTS. This is giving the whole world more depth and character. Cinderella will take place in both Solais and a neighboring kingdom that controls fire in the same manner that Solais controls light. Cool, no? It is. It is cool. And there's a masquerade and Cinderella can't stand the prince at first and he can't stand her and they fall for each other without realizing who the other is. It's brilliant. There's also ballet involved and just a wonderful wonderful story that I can not wait to tell you about!!

And then, while I was binge watching some Hallmark movies, because I am sha
melessly addicted to them, I was watching one and this guy keeps popping up in them and I found him intriguing and so I went to find all of the hallmark movies he's in. Because I have, like, all of them. I wish I was joking, but I'm not. And I watched, like, four hallmark movies that he's in. I'm pretty sure that I want him to be a prince in one of my stories. Because everything I write, I write as if it were going to be made into a movie. Often when I describe a character, I am describing an actual person that I would like to portray that character at some point. And I would LOVE to have both Andrew Walker (the guy from all the hallmark movies) and Blake Lively in one of my fairy tales. And Anna Kendrick. I could go on and on. But I'll leave you with this very rough beginning to Cinderella:

There are always things that must be. The sun setting in the west. Hour follows hour and each day leads to the next. And just as there are things that must be, there are people that are destined to follow paths they never thought they could.

Once, a long time ago, there was a beautiful girl named Ethne. She had followed her dreams as far as she could and had achieved her greatest goal of starring in a real ballet company production. She was set to play the lead role in the New York City Ballet company's production of Firebird. She would be the firebird! She could not believe her luck! She practiced every day, all day. She gave her heart and soul for the opportunity and just days before opening night she found a ring box tucked away in a box filled with her mother's things. Her mother, sadly, had died when she was a girl. It had been years since she had even looked at the box, let alone opened it up. The hinges creaked as she gently lifted the lid to reveal a rather unusual ring. It had a celtic eternity knot around the band that entwined at the top holding a fiercely red ruby at the pinnacle of the ring. Ethne felt a pull coming from the ring and took it out of it's box and slid it gently on to her right index finger. It fit perfectly. As soon as the ring was in place, though, Ethne noticed things around her start to change. The setting sun through the window seemed to be brighter, and it almost looked like the sun was on fire, but that would be ridiculous. The sun couldn't be on fire. At least, not this close to where Ethne was. Or could it? Ethne glanced around the room, frantic for an explanation, but there wasn't one. Her lamp on the bedside table seemed to also grow in brightness until the room was consumed in a brightness that caused Ethne to cover her eyes.

She noticed the smell of the earth first, then as the brightness faded, she heard the sound of a bird singing as it flew overhead. It was a sound unlike any bird she had heard before. And there was a musical tone to the trees. Ethne opened her eyes and found herself no longer in her room, but in a very unusual forest. She gasped as she took in the view around her. The trees were taller and wider than any tree she'd ever seen. Not even the Redwoods she'd seen last summer could compare. And the silver veins that ran through the trunks was breathtaking and beautiful. A breeze danced around her and she noticed the tinkling sound of silver. She looked up into the branches of the trees and noticed that even the veins of the green leaves were silver.

Where have I gone to? She thought to herself, and before she could answer herself she heard someone running through the trees and then rush to a stop. A young man stood before her. His silverish gray eyes caught her attention first. Then his sandy blonde hair with the smallest hint of scruff on his face. He looked at her in amazement and she couldn't help but feel her expression must be similar to his.

Like I said, ROUGH rough draft. But, It's a start. So, there's still some other exciting stuff happening, but I can't tell you about it just yet. So, in the mean time, listen to this song. It aptly sums up how I feel about life right now. It's called So Close and it's from Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness and he wrote it last year when he felt like all of these amazing things were just around the corner.

He said it's that moment when you feel like everything is either going to work out or fall apart and you're so close to amazing things happening. That's how I feel. I'm so close to either finally moving forward with my life or having everything fall apart. And either way, it's going to be an amazing journey. I can't wait. I'm so excited for everything that's going on in my life right now. Even if I am just kind of waiting to see what pans out. It's finding joy in the journey, you know? So close.