Living

Three months ago to the date on the calendar, I almost died.

I woke up a little after midnight that Monday morning because I had excruciating stomach pain. My wife drove me to our hospital’s emergency room where they x-rayed my stomach and then loaded me into an ambulance and sped me north to one of the two major “city hospitals” where the awaiting surgeons sliced open my stomach and repaired a torn duodenal ulcer. Later, one of my surgeons told me that if I had waited an hour longer, I would have died.

That was some heavy info to ponder while I lay recuperating in a hospital bed for a week. My nurses made sure there was no sepsis or complications from the surgery, and I pondered about the important things in life while I made sure to exercise my legs and lungs to prevent blood clots.

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the hospital allowed me only one visitor, which I had to approve in writing the best I could while on my back. I chose my wife, of course, and she visited nearly every day while I kept in touch with family and friends via phone and (shudder) Facebook. (I don’t like Facebook, but that’s another post for another time.)

Because of the drive and her part-time work schedule, my wife could only visit for four or five hours. We have been married for 39 years (40 in November) and she is my partner, best friend, and my crutch to lean on when I need to lean. So, when she wasn’t at my side and I wasn’t on my phone, the rest of the time I was busy soul searching. (I’ve been told almost dying can do that to a person.)

When I left the hospital and went home to finish recuperating, my love and appreciation for my wife and family had grown. My cares and worries about my job, social status, and everything outside my family circle became less important. Being anything outside my role as husband, dad, and grandfather, whether artist, author, or that guy who works in the photo center at a Walmart store: not important.

Three months ago, I almost died. But three months ago, I started living again.

Writing Time

I could write more books—and blog about them—if I had more time to write. My 9-to-5 job—the one that pays the bills—runs within a timeframe of 8:30am to 10pm, five of the seven days of the week. My hours worked during a week fall between 30 and 38 hours. A typical schedule looks like this: Saturday and Sunday, 8:30am–5:30pm, Monday and Wednesday, 1pm–10pm, and Thursday, 5:30pm–10pm. Those hours can switch so that another schedule can look like this: Saturday, 1pm–10pm, Sunday, 8:30am–5:30pm, Tuesday, 5:30pm–10pm, Wednesday, 1pm–10pm, and Thursday, 8:30am–5:30pm. As you can see, I am never scheduled to work on Friday because I requested that day off for doctor appointments, car maintenance, housework, and if time allows (which is rare), writing. As such, I get one guaranteed day of the week to write. One.

So what happens on that only day I’ve set aside for writing?

I begin the day by waking up no later than 9am and taking my morning medication for my thyroid disorder. Then, while I wait an hour before I can eat breakfast, I go over last week’s notes of whatever story project I’m working on and jot down any ideas that come to me.

10am, I eat breakfast, feed the dog, and take him outdoors for his morning constitutional.

11am, I get back to work on my story.

Noon, my wife calls from her babysitting job to chat about her morning. This usually lasts for 15 minutes, so I wash my breakfast dishes and pour a glass of juice. Sometimes I make tea. Then, when my wife is done, I hurry back to my writing, which usually lasts until 2 o’clock.

2pm, our dog needs to outside again. If the weather is nice, we run in the yard for 10 minutes. If not, it’s a quick trip off the porch so he can do his business, then it’s back to my writing for me and a nap for him.

2:20pm (some days), my daughter calls from work and asks me to watch her kids when they get out of school at 2:40pm. I say yes and force myself away from my story, which often has percolated into a bubbling action sequence that has me rubbing my hands together and chuckling diabolically.

3pm, my first grandchild shows up. He is always hungry, so we spend about 15 minutes in the kitchen, looking for foods that he likes to eat and isn’t allergic to. By that time, my second grandchild shows up, so we look for different foods for him to eat. He has no allergies, so it’s usually pb&j sandwiches. Then they argue over what to watch on TV while I pester them to do their homework first.

4pm, my two grandsons have lost interest in their school assignments, so I turn on TV and alternate between SpongeBob SquarePants and All Hail King Julien for the next 90 minutes.

5:30pm, my wife arrives home from babysitting and I return to my writing for an hour.

6:30pm, my daughter has picked up her children and my wife and I sit down to supper.

7pm, I spend another hour writing, unless something comes up (visitors, we have to run to the store, our daughter has an emergency at her house and needs a repairperson). Something always comes up.

8pm, I take the dog out and get ready for bed (unless our visitors haven’t left/our daughter’s emergency hasn’t been fixed).

9pm, bedtime, unless (see previous).

Overall, I get about 5 or 6 hours of writing done per week. I can get a few hours more writing done if I have a noneventful Friday or my day off from my 9-to-5 job falls on Saturday or Sunday, but rarely does either of those lucky events happen. It takes me about 700 hours to write a 300-page book. At 6 hours per week, that equals one book every 2.25 years if I don’t lose interest in the story along the way. My last 300-page book came out in 2014. You do the math.

Some of you may wonder why it takes me 700 hours to write a book. Below is a description of the sequences and drafts of my last book.

Draft 1 was the “Inspiration” draft. I wrote whatever came to mind until the story ended. It took 140 hours to write.

Draft 2 was a complete rewrite where I bled over getting the characters to seem real. That took 200 hours to do. Big name authors call this “fleshing the characters.” The title omits pumping lifeblood into your characters’ veins and giving each one a personality. When you change a character’s personality, you change the entire book.

Draft 3 took 98 hours to write after I showed Draft 2 to some of the writers group I belong to and considered their suggestions. As I mentioned earlier, when you change a character’s personality, you change the entire book. The same is true when you add a new supporting character.

Draft 4 was a continuation of Draft 3. This was after I put it aside for a month, then read it from the viewpoint of a reader. The trick here was not to start writing any new books in the same genre during this time, especially if the new book had reoccurring characters, which it did and influenced changes to my story when I took it from storage and read it. After fighting and holding those influences at bay, I strengthened the emotional parts of the story. I tend to shorthand emotions, so I had to get deep into the heads and hearts of my characters. The total time for Draft 4 of my last book took 130 hours.

At 568 hours, I wasn’t done.

After I eagerly presented Draft 4 to my writer friends with a promise “You’re gonna love it,” I licked my wounds and began Draft 5 where, if you’re familiar with Stephen King’s help book On Writing, you end up killing your darlings. So I butchered mine by chopping out chapters and scenes that were redundant and didn’t move the story toward the end, i.e., the boring parts. Most of these were downtime events where my main characters regrouped. Total time for Draft 5 was 102 hours.

After I wrote Draft 5, I contacted people from my writers groups who had read my earlier drafts and wanted to be my beta readers. Beta readers are people who provide honest feedback on your book. Best friends, spouses and family members are the worst beta readers. They’re predisposed to loving whatever you write—no matter how crappy it is. I contacted people who like reading the genre I write and, after I got five readers, I asked them for their opinions about what the liked and didn’t like about my book. After I collected their opinions, I began Draft 6, the final tweaking of my book. From their opinions, I looked at why certain things confused them. Many were story elements missing from my draft, so I corrected them. That took 70 hours. Then I let my ultimate beta reader—the one who was most brutal with my book—have the final lookover. Once a few more corrections were made—8 hours—I headed off to publish it.

Overall, the book took 748 hours to write.

I’m making no promises, but I hope to have another book written before 2018 ends. Maybe sooner, if I don’t lose interest and can squeeze more hours from my busy life.

Vree’s Journal Entry 6 [fiction]

It took me a while to dig up this information from Luken. Here it is:

Quinn Bettencourt, My Wizard Uncle:

Quinn Bettencourt is my maternal grandmother’s 45-year-old son. He has dark-brown hair, beard stubble (he calls it 5 o’clock shadow—he always looks like he needs to shave before the end of the day), dark blue eyes that sometimes look black, and very white teeth, which shows often when he smiles. He has a thin build but is strong. I saw him once without a shirt and he had a well-toned chest and muscular arms. And he walks with a small limp—he favors his right leg.

He often wears buttoned shirts with collars and sharp-pressed trousers, though he does wear jeans. His shoes, however, are always dark brown leather oxfords when I see him. And he wears earthy sweaters and long knitted scarves during autumn, winter, and springtime.

According to Luken, nuns stripped Quinn of most of his magic while he was in France. Now, he can read thoughts, but they are impressions and occur as pictures in his mind, which he sometimes mistakes as foggy memories of dreams he has had. He can also sense psychic impressions (vibrations) left on an object by someone connected with it, so if you were to lose your car keys, for example, he would sense they belong to you. That is the limit of his magic, which weakens as he grows older.

He has two stepsisters from Trevor’s marriage to a French woman named Bianca: Phoebe, who is 59 and Dextra, who is 57.

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Vree’s Journal Entry 5 [fiction]

Luminaries:

A white crow who says his name is Luken, speaks to me telepathically. He calls me a Luminary because I glow with an aura of white light when my emotions are high, especially when I’m very upset or angry. He says the light is a manifestation of my magic, but I’d rather keep it hidden from people. I don’t want them thinking I’m a freak of nature.

I like that Luken calls me a Luminary instead of witch and psychic, though he says Luminaries are both.

Luken:

He is a mysterious white crow with a black beak and eyes.

He can transport from one place to another in a blink of an eye, which seems to be the only magical thing he can do besides speaking telepathically. His visits are rare, which is good since they have been to warn me of danger so far. Unfortunately, though, his warnings are sketchy on information about what the danger is.

However, one of his visits revealed that he knows my maternal family tree. He said my powers came from my ancestors and were unlocked when lightning struck me. I wrote down his information for future reference.

My Maternal Family Tree, at a glance:

Joseph and Hendrika Groot
(My maternal great-great-great-great-great-grandparents)
begat 2 children

Daughter Mina
(My great-great-great-great-grandmother)
married to Baltisar Andersson
begat 7 children

Daughter Ruth
(My great-great-great-grandmother)
married to Jonathan Kaufmann
begat 2 children (sons)

Youngest son Joseph
(My great-great-grandfather)
married Helen Baker
begat 5 children (daughters)

Daughter Verawenda
(My great-grandmother)
married to Benjamin Myers
begat 1 child: Evelyn

Daughter Evelyn
(My grandmother)

lived with Trevor Bettencourt
begat 1 child: son, Quinn Bettencourt

married to Jonathan “Jack” Lybrook
begat 3 children

Daughter Karrie
(My mother)
married to Charles Erickson
begat 1 child: me

Brief Family History:

Mina Groot Andersson and her husband Baltasar had seven children. They lived in Ridgewood and were influential members of the community before Baltasar killed a man and went to prison. After their youngest child was old enough, Mina left home for a nunnery. She stayed there until her death. Mina had telepathic powers. She prophesized her husband’s act of murder, along with other prophesies, including the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the sinking of the Titanic. Her daughter Ruth could also see future events. Ruth’s son Walter was a vaudeville magician who could move objects with his mind. His brother Joseph claimed to see and speak to spirits. Psychic abilities in my family stopped with Walter and Joseph until lightning triggered them in Grandma Evelyn. But she suppressed them and let them die. Then lightning struck me and triggered them in me.

Journal Entry 6

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Vree’s Journal Entry 4 [fiction]

Lenny Burkhart:

Lenny Burkhart is my next-door neighbor and best friend.

Lenny

He’s handsome, with dreamy dark brown eyes and hair. He stands around 5’ 7” tall and says he weighs 130 pounds. He is 15, born July 5. He believes in the supernatural and has shelves of books about it. He has never seen a ghost, but I don’t tease him. Seeing the spirits of dead people isn’t glamorous. Mostly, it’s creepy and often frightening.

He owns a book written by Trevor Bettencourt about the history of Ridgewood. In it is a story about Mara Dekownik, the woman who once lived in my house. Bettencourt claims in his book that she committed suicide after my great-grandfather accidentally killed her father while hunting small game. Ghosts tell me otherwise.

Mara Dekownik:

My maternal great-grandfather, Benjamin Myers, and Mara’s father, Ludwick Dekownik, were neighbors on Myers Ridge and best friends. They hunted together until Benjamin accidentally shot and killed Ludwick while hunting in the woods behind Ludwick’s house. Ludwick’s only daughter Mara Dekownik was a witch who swore vengeance for her father’s death.

Mara

She conjured magic that killed Benjamin and his wife Verawenda. I have met both ghosts.

According to them, a witch’s agency called The Fifth Council House of Magic sentenced Mara to a 1,000-year incarceration called Yalendora, but she escaped custody, stole a valuable spell book from the Council, and used a powerful spell to fight them. The Council called on other councils and obtained enough magic to capture her. They added another thousand years to her incarceration for 2,000 years.

Yalendora isn’t a place, but a thing in which Mara is imprisoned by magic inside her portrait painted by another witch. Trevor Bettencourt owns the portrait and keeps it in the mansion that once belonged to Benjamin and Verawenda. My grandma sold it to Bettencourt and moved to Alice Lake when she married my grandpa.

The Bettencourts:

Trevor Bettencourt lives at the old Myers Mansion with his wife, Ademia, and his son and daughter-in-law, Quinn and Laila Bettencourt. Both Trevor and Ademia are reclusive writers and book authors. Quinn is our town’s leading doctor and surgeon, and Laila is a dentist and orthodontist (which I thought were the same profession, but the latter requires additional schooling and comes with a saying: “All orthodontists are dentists, but most dentists are not orthodontists”).

The Grimoire:

The ghosts of my ancestors, Benjamin and Kate Myers, led me to the stolen spell book, which Mara hid beneath the floorboards of her father’s bedroom. I found the book after my release from the hospital and can read some of the spells, which ae written in a strange language. One of the spells can release Mara from her imprisonment. That spell scares me.

The dusty black spell book is called a grimoire, but it has no title on its hard leather cover or on the title page inside. Its pages are askew and filled with numbers and strange figures, like secret code, which are bits of history written as poems, spells written as songs, and some strange recipes that I’m sure no one would want to eat. I’m the only one who can read the book, when it reveals itself to me. When it doesn’t, the pages are riddled with numbers and strange figures. Having the book has been a blessing and a curse.

Some of My Psychic Powers:

Lightning struck me and, IMHO, unlocked strong psychic abilities in me. I believe everyone has degrees of psychic powers in them, but some people are more “gifted” (or cursed) than others, the same way some of us are naturally inclined towards music or mathematics, for example. The lightning changed me and made me aware of these abilities in me.

Psychic abilities are also known as extrasensory perception (ESP) and sixth sense. There are many kinds and I am slowly discovering and developing new ones.

For now, I can see past events when I touch people (or they touch me). It isn’t something I do purposely … it just happens. Doctors of ESP science call this Retro-cognition or Post-Cognition.

I can also sometimes see events in flashes of detailed insight before they happen. The moments are short and they “announce” themselves with buzzing sounds that only I can hear. Doctors call this Precognition or Premonition.

And

I See Ghosts and Spirits!

Mediumship or Channeling is the ability to see and talk to ghosts and spirits. The difference between ghosts and spirits is who is stuck on Earth and who has crossed the astral plane. Ghosts are stuck here for whatever reason, and spirits have left our earthly plane and travel the spirit world. Some spirits return to Earth from time to time, but not often because it’s a difficult process.

Having ghosts and spirits pop in and out is something I cannot control. And I cannot beckon them to appear. I always thought psychics channeled on purpose to earn money from customers who wished to speak to their dearly departed. This isn’t so … in my case anyway. It’s unnerving when they appear unannounced. And it creeps me out every time.

Journal Entry 5

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Vree’s Journal Entry 3 [fiction]

More about My Maternal Grandmother:

“I was nine years old, down on the backside of Alice Lake, fishing with my dad one summer day,” Grandma Lybrook told me when I found out that lightning had struck her too. We sat side by side at my mom’s kitchen table, drinking herbal tea. “I never knew what happened until after I awoke in my dad’s arms,” she said. “He was crying, and he nearly broke me in half when he hugged me.” Grandma tightened her embrace around my shoulders. “I still remember my confusion and the pain after I was struck. The lightning had burned my back where it hit me. I was numb and couldn’t walk, so my dad carried me to his truck and drove me home. For several weeks, I had strange dreams and I thought I saw ghosts. I even saw a strange-looking dog prowling the grounds.”

“Was it big and black with red eyes and knobby horns above its eyes?”

Grandma loosened her embrace. “You too, huh? Well, I’d always thought it was a vision caused by my brain healing from the lightning. I stopped seeing it a few weeks later. I stopped seeing ghosts and having strange dreams too.”

“Don’t you find it odd that we were both struck by lightning and started seeing them?” I asked.

“It’s all part of the healing process.” Grandma said.

Later, a white crow who says his name is Luken, appeared to me. I began seeing Luken not long after lightning struck me. He speaks to me telepathically. He claims to know things about my grandma, Evelyn Lybrook. He told me the following:

There Are Witches In Ridgewood:

Once upon a time, a warlock named Trevor Bettencourt lost his magic. Most witches of the Allegheny clans that Trevor was born to, begin to lose their magic at around the age of 50 and are usually powerless when they reach their sixties. Trevor, however, was only 33 when his magic died after diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome (also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis), a debilitating fatigue that made his daily tasks impossible. After regaining some physical and mental strength, he settled in New Cambridge and operated a bookstore near the university campus. One day, he met my grandma, who was a freshman college student, and saw magic in her but did not approach her about it and spoke little about it to her. Fear and anxiety shrouded her magic, which he dared not activate.

Grandma Evelyn moved off campus and lived with Trevor at his apartment above his bookstore where she worked. At 19, she gave birth to a son—Quinn Bettencourt. Three years later, she graduated New Cambridge University with a degree in primary teaching. That same year, her parents stopped answering her phone calls. She and Trevor found her dad’s body in his mansion, frozen to death, and her mom’s body at the bottom of cliffs behind the mansion. Trevor pretended to call the police because he knew someone had used magic to kill my grandma’s parents. He called the local witch’s council then took my distraught grandma to the apartment to rest.

That evening, Quinn broke a lamp while running through the apartment after my grandma told him not to. When she sent him to his room as punishment, Quinn struck back with uncontrolled magic that almost killed her. During her recuperation at the hospital, Trevor called on Phoebe, his eldest daughter from a prior marriage, to cast a spell that erased my grandma’s memory of the incident, her love for him, and everything about Quinn. Phoebe also erased her memory of finding her parents dead. She planted a false memory of them vacationing in the Bahamas. When they didn’t return from vacation, Grandma Evelyn called the authorities who presumed they had perished in a plane accident at sea.

Trevor sent Quinn to France to reside with Phoebe, sold his store, and bought my grandma’s mansion on Myers Ridge, which became headquarters for a short time while he and the witch’s council hunted for a murderer. Meanwhile, my grandma met a young architect named Jack Lybrook and fell in love. She was 22.

Since then, Trevor became an author on local history. He, married local artist and author Ademia Savakis, and took in his son Quinn who has become Ridgewood’s leading doctor and surgeon at Ridgewood Mercy Hospital.

I was startled to find this out, and I’m upset that I have no one to talk to about it. I wonder if my secret uncle remembers his mother. I wonder what trouble I would stir up if I visited Trevor and Quinn and told them what I know.

Journal Entry 4

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In Memory of My Brother

My brother and best friend died on July 8, 2016. He was 57.

Russ died on a Friday night while I was at work and feeling that something wasn’t right. I knew he was sick—he’d been battling cancer for several years and was growing weaker by the day. His cancer had reached stage 4. I received the phone call the next day and wept. I was glad to know he no longer suffered, but I wept because I felt alone. We’d done so much together. Now he was gone.

Russ was born in a small town called Union City in Pennsylvania, on November 29, 1958. He was 21 months younger than his big brother Steve who, according to their mother, gave Russ all his toys the day Mom brought him home from the hospital. It didn’t take long for the two of them to become best friends. The rest is family legend.

Russ married when he was 17 and remained married to his wife for 40 years. During that time, he served in the United States Navy alongside his big brother for a while, raised an awesome daughter and awesome son, was an avid hunter, collected coins and knives, and loved the Pittsburgh Steelers, which began in 1971 after he and I watched the Pittsburgh Pirates win the World Series and wondered “Now what?”

a1
1969. My mother and I shared birthdays in February. Here, Russ stands behind me with a cousin, getting into the picture.
c1
1976. I had begun a career in radio when Russ convinced me to join the Navy with him. Here we are in Chicago the day we graduated boot camp.
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1980. Russ was Best Man at my wedding. Here we are posing for one of those humorous shots where I show up late for my wedding. Ha! Funny is how we look like waiters in our hip tuxedos.
g1
2001. Russ and I gave each other birthday gifts right up to his death. He had just brought me a gift in 2001 when he read an article about me and my artwork in the local paper. He was my biggest fan.
h1
2005. Here Russ poses on the day he had a local pilot fly our 66-year-old mom on her first plane ride. This was a week before her death from complications after stomach surgery. Russ was always glad he did this for her. So was I.

This has been a small glimpse of my brother’s life. Of course, telling it all would fill volumes of books. Perhaps I will, someday, tell more about him, one chapter at a time.

Rest in peace, dear brother. November 29, 1958—July 8, 2016.

Vree’s Journal Entry 2 [fiction]

I was born April 30 to Charles and Karrie Erickson.

My Dad:

My father, Charles Erickson, is a lawyer. He was born 41 years ago on May 11 in New Cambridge PA where he grew up. His parents are attorney Benjamin Erickson (70, retired) and school teacher Katrina Erickson (67, retired). Dad’s older sister, Jane (45, graphic designer), lives in Cincinnati OH with husband Paul Watson and family. His younger sister, Michelle (43, kindergarten teacher), lives in Monroeville PA.

Dad graduated from New Cambridge High School at age 18 and then from New Cambridge University of Law at age 22. He met my mom at college and married her when he was 25. They moved to Myers Ridge the month after I was born.

He is tall (6’ 3”) and has blonde hair and blue eyes.

My Mom:

Karrie Erickson was born 37 years ago on November 19 in Ridgewood PA, the oldest of three daughters to architect Jonathan “Jack” Lybrook (66) and Ridgewood High School principal Evelyn Lybrook (64) of Alice Lake. Mom was a 4-year cheerleader for the football team at her high school.

She graduated Ridgewood High School at age 17 and attended New Cambridge University of Education. She graduated at age 21, receiving her teaching degree in secondary education. She met my dad Charles Erickson while at college and married him the summer after she graduated. She teaches 8th grade science at Ridgewood High School.

She is 5’ 4” tall, has auburn hair, and dark blue eyes.

My Maternal Grandfather:

My grandfather Jonathan “Jack” Lybrook is 66 years old, tall and thin at 6’ 2”, has gray hair, handsome blue eyes, and wears glasses.

Our house is a remodeled single-story house that he renovated before my parents bought it. Here is a photo of how it looks today:

A sheepherder and farmer named Ludwik Dekownik built the original house in 1890. His daughter Mara was a self-proclaimed witch. Although she is dead, some people believe her spirit haunts the house.

Grandpa Lybrook grew up in nearby New Cambridge. His brother Jerry lives in Albany NY with wife Alice and family. His mother Helen Lybrook is deceased and his 91-year-old father George lives at New Cambridge Retirement and Health Center, a senior care home.

My Maternal Grandmother:

My 64-year-old grandmother Evelyn Lybrook is short at 5’. She has short, gray-blonde hair and blue eyes. She is the principal at my school.

She grew up an only child to Benjamin and Verawenda Myers at an estate on Myers Ridge. Her parents vanished one day without a trace. No one knows what happened to them, though a crow named Luken (more on him later) says a witch, Mara Dekownik, killed them when Ben accidentally shot and killed her father during a hunting accident.

Journal Entry 3

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Vree’s Journal Entry 1 [fiction]

Vree

My name is Verawenda Renee Erickson. I am 15. My nickname Vree comes from my initials VRE. I am named after my maternal great-grandmother, Verawenda Myers. My middle name Renee is my maternal grandmother’s middle name.

I live with my mom and dad on Myers Ridge, in Ridgewood PA. Lightning struck me and now I see things no one else can.

I sometimes have difficulty remembering past events from my childhood. When I’m tired or really stressed, it’s difficult for me to know if I’m remembering real events, dreams, or plots from TV shows, movies, or books.

Though I try to hide it from others, my body emits white light when I’m anxious or excited. Crazy, I know. People are going to see it and think I’m a freak.

Myers Ridge:

Myers Ridge sits southwest of Ridgewood, the town I go to school at. Did I tell you my mom is a teacher there? Eighth grade science.

Myers Ridge is mostly old farmland with a few farms in operation, though farming is almost a vanished way of life. Second growth woods and fields fill much of the landscape. This is rural country life where lawnmowers are big and loud, tractors plow fields and harvest crops, small flower and vegetable gardens grow in every yard, and barbecues and lemonade are part of backyard activity, as well as swimming in outdoor pools. There’s also backyard camping, hiking in woods, and riding horses in summer. In winter, there’s deer hunting, plowing and shoveling snow, and sleds and snowmobiles to ride.

A Little More About Me:

I have straight, shoulder length blonde hair that I usually part in the middle. Mom won’t let me get a pixie cut. I’d really like short hair so it’d be easier to dry when I’m in a hurry to be somewhere. My eyes are listed on my birth announcement and student identification as green, but they are really blue-green and gray with amber flecks in them. Some days they are bluer, some days greener—the blue stands out if I wear white clothing, and the green stands out if I wear dark clothing. I am 5’ 3” tall and weigh around 85-90 pounds.

Why Did I Start A Journal?

Sometimes I wonder if I’m in an alternate reality. If so, it could explain why my skin glows and why I see things no one else sees. Like ghosts. What would you do if you found out you can see and hear and do paranormal things that most other people cannot? I need to record these things and prove that I’m not crazy. Being a teenage girl is hard enough. Your body goes through physical changes that make you look less like a teenager and more like a woman. And mine makes me look like a freak of nature, glowing in the dark. So I act as if nothing is wrong or different with me. But I secretly think about the past when I was innocent of the bad things in life, and I dream of a future where everything turns out right.

That’s all I want: to be normal again.

Journal Entry 2

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