Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Mitzi and Her Bug

I'm going to try my hand at writing a short story today about one of my passions.... my dream car - a fire-engine red Volkswagon Beetle, with black vinyl top, decaled with a huge yellow daisy across the hood and fully loaded. Wow, I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

On another note - I had a great time at church last night. I can still smell the mhyrr of the anointing oil. I was blessed watching my family be blessed.

I'm looking forward to my son's success in this gifts and talents and am excited by his uniqueness and can't wait to see what he does.

A smile crossed my face when my shy daughter stepped out in courage. I'm excited to see that boldness grow in her as she uses her creativity and her ability to read things.

My heart leapt to see my oldest take a step toward faith and desire to have a relationship with Christ. That is my deepest desire - that Christ becomes the ultimate love in her life. She's such a devoted person - and when something has her heart, it has all of it. She's precious to me and she's beautiful. I'm hard on her, because I want to protect her and keep her safe. I don't want her to walk the hard road I've had to travel. I want her to be successful in everything she does.

I'm expecting that new wisdom and boldness to fill my husband. I can't wait to hear the words of knowledge flow from his heart and out of his mouth. He's a man of integrity and creatitivity and I can't wait to see him pour out his wisdom and pass down his gifts to the next generation.

There's a group of teens in our church family that are excited about their faith and are filled with a wonderful gift for music. They're coming together and I can't wait to see what happens with them. I believe they're going to make an awesome impact on the world and I feel priveledged to see it up close.

As I sit, wafting in the faint scent of mhyrr, I smile. It's going to be a good day.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Friday, August 18, 2006

Morning Poem

I haven't written a poem in a long time, so I thought I'd pen a small, quick one here this morning.

Nose tingling, heavy eyes
bent and aching back
Breath exhaling, beating heart
stiff and aching neck

Water heating, red light on
pot is warming up
beans brewing, wafting scent
hold onto my cup

Eyes opening, curt smile
smell of rich coffee
last yawning, rubbing eyes
flavor rescue me

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Round of Crits Today

It's Wednesday and as always, a new round of stories have been posted - which means I have a new round of crits to do. But, I have to wait a few more minutes before I start - because I haven't had my morning cup of Joe... yet.

I smell its rich, flavorful aroma as it wafts through the air. I hear the constant pop of percolation, beating like an African drum. My mouth is starting to water and my eyelids are starting to open. The dreams of the night are beginning to fade - my dashing hero returns to his secret hiding place just beyond the horizon, to wait patiently for the next adventure.

The sound of keys tapping on the keyboard, reports running on huge printers, the sound of the air conditioning vibrating the fluorescent light bulb fixtures fill my ears. The sound of footsteps and occasional 'hello's' pass by.

The world is in constant motion, moving forward, spinning around. It never stops and it's never completely silent. It has a beat - like that of the heart - constantly pounding and pumping. I breathe in and I breathe out. I'm a part of it, but I'm also something more. I open my eyes to the new day - not sure what it holds, but filled with hope knowing that I'm blessed and highly favored. I offer a thanks to my God in heaven, Creator of all things. "Good morning to you."

Now, to the coffee pot I go.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

The Year of the Unicorn - Update

I've written two more chapters on this second novel and am coming really close to the end of it. I have another chapter in queue this week and hopefully I'll be through with this novel, including crits and all, by the end of the year.

It's good sometimes to step back from a story for a while and then come back, refreshed with brighter ideas. I thought I'd be tired of this story by now, but find that I fall more in love with it everyday.

I feel like a proud parent. I suppose, in a way, these are my babies.

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray

Monday, August 07, 2006

Disturbing Dream

As I've mentioned before, I'm a dreamer. I probably have a dozen dreams a night. It's like I get to watch a plethora of movies every night while I sleep. While many are comical, some are a panacea.

This weekend I had a disturbing dream that left me so tired when I woke, I didn't want to stretch the muscles in my ankles, it hurt to raise my eyelids and I felt exhausted, hungry and weak. My head felt like an icy dagger had been rammed through it and my entrails pulled from my nose. I felt beaten and battered, yet I don't remember doing any fighting in my dream.

The dream: My seventeen-year old daughter had a small fender bender in the Wendy's parking lot. She wasn't hurt and there was no damage to her car or the other car, which seemed to pull out in front of her from nowhere. The police arrived and began taking notes of the accident when they cuffed and arrested my daughter. I tried to get to her before they whisked her away, but was too late.

I followed them to the police station and then demanded that someone tell me what happened and the location of my daughter. The police chief appeared through a double-paned window and he smiled at me. Behind him, I saw my daughter sitting in the interrogation room, afraid.

I argued with the police chief about releasing my daughter, but he laughed at me. This made me angry. I felt my heart pound in my chest, each thump sending a violent rush of blood to my head. I yelled through the window, "You have no right to keep her."

A sly grin formed on his face and he stepped through the door. I could see behind him a large opening filled with girls walking around in what looked like a stupor. They held no emotion on their faces and no life in their eyes. Around this square arena, a fenced walkway filled with girls being led down long corridors.

I saw my daughter pulled by this tall, lanky boy. She didn't hesitate and the fear she once held on her face, disappeared. The boy turned and grinned at me, taunting me as if to say, "Look who has her now."

I felt every muscle in my body tense and the hair on the back of my neck prickled as a rush of hot air blew around me. I followed the police chief to a small room at the end of the corridor. My daughter sat with this boy, who’s beady, onyx eyes narrowed at me. He tried to act tough, but I saw a glint of fear in his eyes. He grinned and then shouted, "She wants to be with me!"

I glared at him and said, "She’s already spoken for, you've no claim to her."

He stroked her hair as she gazed groggily into his eyes, "But, she wants to be with me and it's her choice."

I looked up to the chief who stood in the corner and shouted, "You only have the right to hold her for 36 hours. After that - you HAVE to let her go."

His face scrunched and he arched his eyebrows. "You need to calm down, Ma'am."

I balled my fists and through clenched teeth replied, "I will not calm down. You have taken what does not belong to you and I want her back! You have no idea who you’re messing with."

The police chief pulled out a syringe filled with a green-yellow liquid that seemed to almost glow. He snickered and said, "Ma'am, you need to calm down or else I'll have to take measures to calm you down. We cannot have irate, irrational parents losing their tempers in this facility. It is a danger to our health and yours as well."

I took a step toward him. "Are you threatening me?"

The chief took the cap off of the syringe and took a step back. "I'm warning you." He acted like he was going to take another step backward, but then leaped forward and jabbed the syringe into my hip.

I didn't feel the jab of the needle, but I felt a burning sensation begin to course through my veins. I felt the room around me spin and everything went silent, except for the sound a rustling wind. I stumbled back toward the wall and looked down at the spinning vision of my daughter, the boy who held her captive and the police chief. Their faces swam before me, contorting into melting images.

I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and breathed deeply and then slowly exhaled. When I opened my eyes, the room stood perfectly clear. The boy gasped and the chief stumbled back against the wall. I felt power course through my veins. It felt like warm, rushing water pumped through my body with every forceful heartbeat. I began speaking in tongues. At the sound of the angelic language, my daughter's head lifted up in acknowledgement and her eyes focused. She looked around and became afraid.

The boy jumped from his chair and hid beneath the desk, but the police chief narrowed his eyes and scowled, "You cannot take her. She must choose for herself."

I begin to rise in the air, feeling the wind whip around me, howling through the room as it rustled paper and pushed the chief against the wall. I looked up toward the ceiling and saw a white ball of power blow a hole through the roof, revealing the bright stars in the night sky. I looked down toward my daughter and stretched out my hand. "I can't make you come with me, you must choose for yourself. The only power they have over you is by what you give them. I can take you with me or you can stay in this bondage."

She looks around the room and hesitates. I felt myself being pulled upwards toward the opening in the ceiling, feeling my heart break with every inch I rose. Just as I was about to reach the ceiling, I felt a hand grab my foot. I looked down into the sorrowful eyes of my daughter. I reached down and grabbed her by the hand and we both flew out of the hole at the top of the roof.

The police chief screamed and swore; his voice bouncing off the walls of the tiny interrogation room until his curses were silenced as the hole sealed itself.

A few seconds later, our feet touched the ground and we took off running. We met up with the rest of my family, waiting in our mini-van. With my husband driving, we sped out of sight, leaving nothing but a trail of dust in our wake.

I woke up, tired, exhausted and drained of all energy, but that dream remained vivid in my mind. I've thought about that disturbing dream several times over the weekend. I know in my heart that it was much more than just a dream, but unfortunately, I do not have the gift to interpret dreams. However, that doesn't mean I won't.

Till next time, ~T.L. Gray

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Milledgeville Misfit - A Critic Coverted

It's official!

I'm really, really proud of Milledgeville Misfit. Not because 'I' think it's great, but because it excited someone (who no matter how hard I've tried to encourage to read, wouldn't) actually read it, liked it and is now demanding that I write a sequel (which at this time I don't even want to think about).

This, of course, is my eleven-year old daughter, Kelly. She took after father and has never been an advid reader. I've tried to get her to read everything. She made it only to the fourth chapter of Harry Potter before she laid it down. She actually made it through eleven chapters of my Necromancer series, Orientation - yet she hasn't touched The Year of the Unicorn. I've tried to get her to read Chronicles of Narnia, Keys to the Kingdom, Eragon, The Wizard of Earthsea and so on and so forth - but, she wasn't interested. She'd rather see the movie than read the book.

This behavior of not desiring to read is something that I personally cannot understand. I've been reading for as long as I can remember. My two oldest children are advid readers and started reading at an early age, but my baby... she doesn't like to read - yet. At least, she DIDN'T like to read until Milledgeville Misfit.

Whether anything ever comes of this story or not, it's already fulfilled the deepest desire of my heart - to inspire and introduce a child to the wonderful world of reading. To have someone open a book and step into a different world, take an adventure and in the end, desire for more. That's what it's all about. That's why I write. I'm just honored that it was my daughter that got inspired this time.

So, I thank God for Milledgeville Misfit. It was worth it!

Till next time,
~T.L. Gray