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The Christmas Princess

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It hasn’t snowed like this on Christmas since I was seven, but I don’t remember that Christmas so much because of the white-out or because my mom had just died. I remember it most because of the girl that found me in the snow on Christmas Eve. She had called herself “The Christmas Princess.”

 

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Losing my mom that Christmas made me lose faith in a lot of things, including Santa Claus. It’s amazing how death can make even the youngest child grow up almost overnight. At seven, death was the last thing on my mind until she passed, but suddenly it was all I thought about. I became very cynical over the prospect of life and was angry at any and everything that could end it. For a seven year old, I was mighty bitter. Child-like glee was something I knew nothing of anymore. All the anger though, was really just a mask I wore to conceal my fear. I couldn’t sleep, for fear of never waking up again. I was scared to eat, for fear that I’d choke to death or be poisoned. I was even scared to go to school, just for the fear that I’d never see my dad again.

 

Given the circumstances, I’d rather have just skipped Christmas that year. There was no freshly-baked-cookie smell warming our house, no Christmas stories at bed time. Mom’s voice wasn’t carrying throughout the house singing non-stop Christmas tunes until the big day. It just wouldn’t be the same without her. I could tell Dad felt the same way, but he tried really hard to hide his pain from me.

 

Putting up the tree felt more like a chore than anything else. There was no excitement leading up to lighting it, no Christmas music playing in the background to get us in the spirit. We felt dead, because she was dead.

 

I’d finally had enough of pretending. I dropped the string of lights in my hand angrily and said, “Dad, I don’t even believe in Santa Claus anymore. Why bother?”

 

Dad looked even more defeated than he had just a few minutes before as he sunk into his chair and stared blankly at the half decorated tree. We never finished it; it just stood there for the rest of the month naked and never lit. Christmas, like my mother, had died.

 

That month had to be the longest month ever, but probably because we just wanted it to be over with already. There was talk of a great blizzard coming on Christmas and while most of the kids in my class were excited over the possibility of having a white Christmas and missing school, I was dreading being stuck at home –indoors- with my miserable dad in our miserable state. Even though I was scared to wonder too far from him, being around him without Mom on Christmas was just going to be too hard.

 

The snow arrived early on Christmas Eve. By the time I woke up there was already a thick blanket of it coating everything. At the rate it was falling there’d be several feet by nightfall. I had to get out of the house one last time before I was actually trapped in it. Dad never even got out of bed. I guess the day was just too much for him.

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The Princess and the Pea – A Contest of Epic Proportions!

Ok I never enter competitions (especially not writing ones), but I thought I’d give it a shot for once.

Sponsored by Merry Sisters of Fates, here were the instructions and the prompt picture: In the spirit of giving away free fiction on the internet (a cause we firmly believe in), all you have to do is write something to the following prompt. A story. A poem. A flash fiction. A paragraph vignette. Anything creative that involves words. Post it to your blog and link back to us.

Hopefully this qualifies – I tried to put a slight twist to the original…

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The princess eyed the bed before her skeptically, twenty mattresses tall. “Are you kidding me? This is my room? You expect me to sleep on that mountain of mattresses? Are you insane?”

Before I could even answer she whipped around with even more questions. Her voice laced with self-righteous arrogance.

“How do you suggest I get up there? Is there a ladder? Do you intend on hoisting me up there yourself? And what if I have to relieve myself in the middle of the night? How on earth would I even get down?”

I had a couple of questions of my own -Do you ever shut up? Are you always this ungrateful?– but I kept them to myself. “I assure you princess; this bed is the best our castle has to offer. You will sleep better than any of us in that bed.”

She laughed at me, “Ha! Surely you’re joking.” She waited for me to agree that I was, but I didn’t.

I exited the room, forcing a smile, “Sleep well princess, see you at sunrise,” and closed the door behind me. I could still hear her scoffing over her sleeping arrangements from beyond the door.

Mother waited for me in the hall, her hopeful expression faded once seeing my face. “What is it son?”

I linked my arm through hers to escort her to her room and sighed, “This is a waste of time.”

“But how can you be so sure? She’s quite beautiful and if she is truly the princess she says she is…”

I stopped her, “I don’t care if she feels the pea or not Mother, or how pretty her face is there is no way I’ll commit my life to someone like her. Just five minutes alone with her gave me a headache. No thanks.”

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Doing everything except what I should be doing… typical

Boy was it a trying week. Seriously my job is pushing me to new extremes. I’m bound to lose it at any moment at this point. Heath came up with this awesome quote this week that I feel like represents almost everyday I faced at work this week.

“What did you put in your tea this morning? Some sugar and a splash of stupid?”

I was so heated by the time today ended I couldn’t even sit still without sighing heavily at the sheer ridiculousness of it all. Thank God the week is over. Hopefully the Lord will grant me more patience next week, when I’m guaranteed to be faced with the same, if not more, annoyance. I tell myself, “At least I have a job, right?” *Remember this Sarah*

Anyway, work isn’t worth losing sleep over so let me fill you in on all of the other things my week involved. I watched three insanely good movies and since it’s been a while since I’ve given much attention to my first love (movies) I feel the need to tell you about them.

“The Lovely Bones” was beautiful, sad, imaginary, and suspenseful. I wish I had read the book first – I had initially intended too – but I will definitely still read it regardless because my theory is: the books are always better. I love Saoirse Ronan, who plays the main character in “The Lovely Bones”. She also plays the main character in another book series-made into movie that I loved, “The City of Ember” and this girl is Irish. I have a special place in my heart for the Irish 😉

The next movie was also a book first, “Shutter Island” staring Leonardo DiCaprio, whom I swear I hate, but I honestly can’t tell you a movie I didn’t like of his. I don’t know what I have against him because he is a truly talented actor. Anyway, this movie was super intense and kept you guessing until the last minute. Even at the end you aren’t completely positive what to believe. It was very well done and another one I wish I had read first.

But the best of all three movies was “From Paris with Love” starring John Travolta. Easily his best film in years, in my opinion. And there was this “Pulp Fiction” reference which I’m such a sucker for considering I love Quinton Tarantino. Everyone keeps calling this the new “Pulp Fiction” but I don’t get it. While the movie was uber action packed and completely bad ass I wouldn’t call it close to the likes of a film like “Pulp Fiction.” Anyway, this one was so great that I actually didn’t want to watch it, I wanted to be doing other things on my “to-do list,” but it was impossible to take my eyes off the screen. This one I will own one day, no doubt about it.

– Moving on –

I tried VERY hard to focus on the goals I set in the last post this week and I met some of them. I worked on FanNook three times this week, prepping content for at least two of the sites. And I wrote like 6,000 words total of re-writes for my book. That wasn’t as much as I’d hoped to achieve, but at least it wasn’t completely lost to me. Of course, tonight instead of working on those first few chapters I’ve revisited another chapter later on in the story where my main character gets drunk and crosses the lines in their relationship. I don’t know why, but it’s one of my favorite chapters and somehow I intend to make it even better than I already think it is. I know I have no business meddling with chapters I’m not supposed to be focusing on right now, but I can’t help myself. At least I’m working on it, right?

In other writing news, I started a short story this week completely out of my nature about a wife’s plot to murder her husband, inspired by a Beyonce song entitled, “Why don’t you love me?” It’s pretty scary that I can envision such things as chopping up your husband and feeding him to the dog, but I am for this track. Anyway, hopefully I’ll wrap that up soon and post for your amusement.

Three of my seven new books arrived this week and it was very hard to not read at least one of them, I was disappointed in one of them though. The description said “New,” but I don’t consider a cracked binding and bent corner “New.” I would have sent it back, but it was one of the Diana Wynne Jones books and it’s pretty much out of print so I will accept it as is. I was really hoping “Betwixt” would have arrived this week *What’s going on Amazon, you’re never this tardy?* I wanted to read that before I read “The Overton Window” which I know will arrive Wednesday guaranteed, but if it doesn’t show up by then it will take second place in my reading queue for the month because I am ridiculously excited for “The Overton Window.”

And so I leave you for the night jamming out to new music, even though I said I wouldn’t buy new music this month. *Blame m-stiefvater, it’s her fault* I hope to have a super successful and fun-filled weekend and I hope you all do too 😉

Much love – Sarah

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Victory is Mine!

Unfortunately I’m not referring to my book. I forced myself to sit down and write last night, but due to a series of distractions out of my hands I didn’t get much accomplished. And by the time the distractions could be stopped my eyes were too heavy to stay awake.

The victory I’m referring to is that I finally got my iPod to sync! Who knows when and if I’ll be able to get it synced again, but right now I’m happy about the fact that all of these news songs I’ve acquired over the past few weeks are finally on my musical companion.

I predict I will be victorious writing this upcoming weekend though. I have a three day weekend (because of Memorial Day), and fully intend on finishing up what I’ve been avoiding like the black plague – rewriting those first five chapters into three. I will do it! Or so I hope. I feel like if I can just get past them I will be on a roll again and so I really aim to get them out of the way. I hope by the end of the day Monday I’ll be posting about their completion and word count and feeling all sorts of – yay, me – I hope. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

And I’m seriously giving thought to walking to the carnival this weekend. It’s not a huge one or anything, but it’s not even a mile away. There’s no excuse not to at least visit it, even if it’s just for cotton candy. And the weather is supposed to be nice. When I say nice, I mean tolerable – normal spring weather. Not the sticky hot nonsense we’ve been having lately. More like 70, sunny and breezy which is much better in my opinion. Who knows, maybe my pasty skin will actually get some color. Probably not since the sun seems to reject me, but it would be nice to not look so translucent since my arms and legs will be more visible now in summer like attire.

I also plan to finally finish “The Forest of Hands and Teeth.” It’s never taken me so long to finish such a short book and it’s not that the book isn’t good because it definitely is. It’s just that I’ve been having a hard time staying focused on anything these days. It’s like I have ADD or something and it’s annoying the crap out of me. I already have “As you Wish” by Jackson Pearce to read too and you know I can’t seem to go a week without ordering a new book. I don’t want to get too backed up. Also, I desperately need a bookshelf. I have groups of books scattered all over my house now, with no true place to call their home. I’m thinking about having Heath make me one for the living room. One large enough to house all of the books we already own with room to grow since my addiction doesn’t seem to be fading any time soon.

Today I started writing a short story about the squirrels outside our house because they are hilarious to me and I love speaking for animals. I hope to wrap it up tonight and capture some pictures of them in the act so you won’t think I’m completely making their actions up. I don’t typically write comedy, but this one sort of is. I hope it comes across that way at least. My brand of funny isn’t always obvious in text, so… we’ll see I suppose.

Peace – Sarah

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