you may have missed erica's "grains of sand" post.  to recap, we're on a mission:


the past few months i've been racking up my own list of YA reads, especially realistic YA reads. (i'll be honest, many titles are still on my TBR list.  i can't wait to devour them though!)   i'll share my list with you!


*note:  if the spacing is all wonky on this post, i tried to fix it at least half a dozen + 2 times.

  • Meg Cabot — She has many titles you will enjoy, especially The Princess Diaries series.

  • All-American Girl (All-America...

  • Sarah Dessen — Read everything she's published.  You'll especially love The Truth About Forever, This Lullaby, Keeping the Moon.

  • This Lullaby
    • Maureen Johnson — Read all her titles.  Definitely read Suite Scarlett and Girl at Sea.
    Suite Scarlett (Scarlett, #1)

  • Don't msis Gingerbread, Shrimp, and Cupcake by Rachel Cohn

  • Gingerbread (Cyd Charisse, #1)

  • Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and  David Levithan

  • Nick & Norah's Infinite Playli...

  • North of Beautiful by Justina Chen

  • North of Beautiful

  • Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway

  • Audrey, Wait!

  • Into the Wild Nerd Yonder by Julie Halpern

  • Into the Wild Nerd Yonder

  • Dream Factory and Scrambled Eggs at Midnight by Brad Barkley & Heather Hepler

  • Dream Factory

  • The Liar Society by Lisa and Laura Roecker

  • The Liar Society (The Liar Soc... 

  • Anna and The French Kiss and Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

  • Anna and the French Kiss

  •  The Summer of Skinny Dipping by Amanda Howells

  • The Summer of Skinny Dipping (...

  • Rich Boys by Jenny O'Connel 

  • Rich Boys: A Martha's Vineyard...

    • Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr

    Story of a Girl

    •  Mandy Hubbard --Ripple and Pride and Prejudice and You Wish


  • (Mandy Hubbard as) Amanda Grace-- Getting Caught and But I Love Him written with Cyn Balog

  • Getting Caught

  • Jandy Nelson--The Sky is Everywhere

  •  The Sky Is Everywhere

    • Sarah Darer Littman's Confessions of a Closet Catholic, Purge, Want to go Private, and Life, After
    Confessions of a Closet Cathol...


    campaigner challenge number 2: LAYERS OF IMAGO

    The second campaigner challenge starts September 22 and ends October 3. 

    Mine is #158:  LAYERS OF IMAGO
    The Challenge is:
    Write a blog post in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, whether flash fiction, non-fiction, humorous blog musings, poem, etc. The blog post should:
    • include the word "imago" in the title
    • include the following 4 random words: "miasma," "lacuna," "oscitate," "synchronicity,"
    If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional and included in the word count), make reference to a mirror in your post.
    For those who want an even greater challenge (optional), make your post 200 words EXACTLY!
    The very first Campaigner's blog I visited had this:

    Imago: Insect in its sexually mature adult stage after metamorphosis.
    Miasma: Noxious atmosphere.
    Lacuna: A gap or space.
    Oscitate: Gape or Yawn.
    Synchronicity: Events that happen together by chance


    Here's Christy's Entry:



    The miasma leaves billions of imago dead. The ground looks snow-covered. I’ve seen pictures of the last snowfall, The Blizzard of 2015, so I can say for certain. The one box I have from the Old Life holds a few of those, kept carefully hidden in the lacuna of my hillside home. If any of the Units found out I hadn’t handed the pictures, mirrors and other mementos over to be burned, I’d be thrown into the Lake of the Dead. I figure the day that happens will be the day of the Trials anyway. 
    I believe wholly in synchronicity. Isn’t that what happened the day the Old Life ended? Newspaper clippings in my box tell all about the volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, and fires. Articles tell all about when they obliterated three-fourths of the world, leaving only the Few. 
    It’s too bad Judgment hadn’t had more common sense on who made up the Few. In my opinion, the majority of us are the most ruthless, barbaric, and greedy of all Livingkind. We adapt to our environment, sure, but what good is that when we kill each other off at a faster rate than the miasma or oscitated earth ever could?


    A cute kid story, a thought about princesses, and a status update

    What does the fourth day of fall have to do with music? Absolutely nothing. Neither does this next story, except I think it's funny. And so you get a cute kid story with your music. Do with them as you will. (just don't leave us for long.)

    And yes, there's a status update at the end. And no, it's not "we did nothing."

    My (erica) son Jacob is five and a total social butterfly. When he turned 2, he could only say 8 words and we had him evaluated for special needs (which is really, really heartwrenching when you're an early childhood special education teacher, let me tell you!). He still doesn't have all his sounds and his memory for words is a little, well, short [i.e. almost nonexistent] - it takes him awhile to learn new vocabulary words, his articulation is a bit muffled, and names don't like to stick. He calls one girl in his class "the naughty girl with polka-dots on her face).

    But man, he loves people. And he loves to talk (when he can get his point across). And, um, well, he loves girls most of all. Case in point:

    Last Friday, his kindergarten teacher was talking about things that grow up. People, plants, animals - everything gets big eventually. So she asked them individually about what it means to get big. Which invariably led to answers of what they wanted to be when they grew up. Here were their answers (my classroom is across the hall, so I got to see where she wrote them down, so these are roughly correct):

    Boy #1: Baseball player
    Boy #2: Football player
    Girl #1: Princess
    Girl #2: God's Princess
    Boy #3: Cop
    Girl #3: Princess
    Boy #4 (aka erica's son): Well, I guess if there are gonna' be this many princesses, I'd better be a prince!

    So many to choose from...

    So, seriously, what is it with the princesses? Is this what our girls are aspiring to? Because as a preschool teacher, yes, it's what every girl wants to be. No public service message here, necessarily. But why are so many beautiful girls becoming princesses by seemingly chance? Kiss a frog, sure, here's your crown. Take care of short men, sure, here's your crown. Fall asleep for years, sure, here's your crown. Also, your beautiful dresses, mani/pedi, flowers galore, and an adoring nation. Congratulations, you're perfect.

    Okay, maybe a tiny public service message. But, um, no preaching. (erica takes a deep breath and moves on) (mostly because she's the one with the son who now wants to be a prince)

    What else was I going to say today? Oh, yeah, statuses. Stati. What we did this week.

    erica: I loaded my ms onto my Kindle. Heck, I critique everyone else's books on it, why not my own? And you know what - it totally worked. This rocks. I am having more fun editing now than I had. .  . well, ever. And that's saying a lot, because I really like to edit. (and I reserve the right to start most of my blog sentences with the word And. You know, to get it out of my system). I'm on chapter 8 of a 17 chapter ms. yes, it's the same one I've worked on for 2 years, but now I love it again. It even reads like a book. So exciting.

    christy: Finished another full edit of her ms and is ready for round 2 of crit partners. Hopes to query soon. (she probably has more to say about this, so I'll let her. for now, let me say, she's really excited. she emailed me late last night to brag let me know!)

    How about you? Any cute kid stories? Princess stories and/or bashing? (okay, I can't be the only princess basher out there, can I???) Status updates?

    Check out these other members of WS4U! 


    writing vs. running

    Why writing is better than running.

    I can listen to music without earphones.
    Sometimes they hurt. Or fall out.  (I have small ears.)

    The mood for writing is perfectly set in overcast, stormy, sunny, or windy weather.
    I only enjoy running on still, sunny days.

    I can eat and drink while writing without getting a sideache.
    I hate carrying a water bottle or wearing one of those water belts while running. I tend to stop at hospitals to use the bubbler (aka water fountain).

    I don't have to stretch before or after writing.
    Yeah, sometimes I skip that after my runs, too.  But it causes stiffness and pain.

    I can write AND watch my kids at the same time. 
    I don't have to sneak out before the crack of dawn to get my run in before the rest of the household is up and needing breakfast and clothing and to be driven somewhere.  Or in need of constant supervision.  You know, from my couch, with laptop close at hand.
    For Christmas, I'm asking for a jogging stroller.  So there goes this excuse.

    I can write throughout my pregnancy without asking my doctor's permission or worrying about my heart rate.
    I bought a heart monitor during my first pregnancy.  I couldn't even walk without my heart rate going too high.  And I was in pretty good shape in those days.  (Today I can't even walk up stairs without losing my breath. So I don't bother trying to do more.  Although I did 15 plies in second position while waiting for my toast to pop up this morning.)

    And I got a full ms written and edited and revised much more quickly since running disappeared from my life. 

    I suppose I'd better get another ms done before February when I start training for a half-marathon.

    Because even though writing is WAY better than running, I miss putting on my tennis shoes and ear phones and getting out in the cool fall air for miles of exercise. 

    I also miss wine.  Oops.  Off-topic.

    That's my cue to end this post.

    Do you write and run?  When's your ideal time/weather for each? Does your running soundtrack differ from your writing soundtrack?

     Have a fantastic day, Friends!  Thanks for stopping by. 



    What We Did on Summer Vacation


    Before you read this, you should know three things: 1. erica is responsible for this post. 2. erica generally writes, blogs, and edits while her kids watch cartoons in the same room. 3. erica has never met a blogfest whose rules she has been able to follow. (sorry, Michael, but you know me. plus, all our pictures had our kids in them and our husbands are NOT okay with us posting them. so you get a goofy song)

    Um, this post is way funnier if you watch Phineas and Ferb and know the theme song. If not, watch this video and remember the tune (or open it in another tab and listen while reading our lyrics). Or, you know, pretend this is some really weird poetry. Your choice. :)  (is my word count ALREADY over? oops.)

    Erica and Christy Almost Forgot To Do It All

    There's 104 days of summer vacation
    And school comes along just to end it
    So the annual problem for all sorts of teachers
    Is finding a good way to spend it.


    Raising four boys and
    Incubating another
    And making lots and lots of food!

    Discovering writing that kinda' sucks (HEY!)
    While hoping our "voices" are good!

    Going camping and
    Creating lots of words
    While locating internet domains! (they're over here!)

    Catching butterflies
    Attending Writeoncon
    While trying not to go insane! (christy!)

    As you can see
    There's a whole lot of stuff we did
    Before school started this fall (Come on kids)

    So stick with us 'cause erica and christy
    Are trying to do it all!
    So stick with us 'cause erica and christy are
    Gonna do it all!

    (Bloggers! erica and christy almost forgot to visit you!) (oops!)

    (Michael, I tried to work in your visit with christy this summer, but 300 words isn't a lot and I'm already over by like 200%)


    teen eyes blogfest

    To learn more about brenda drake's blogfest and/or to participate yourself, go HERE!

    If you're visiting today, I've posted the first page of my ms.  Feel free to read it and critique it (help it to improve) before it tries to hook a teen!

    YA Contemporary
    52,000 words

    Here's the first 249 words:

                  “Seriously, Shelby Honey, you could put on a little more make-up.  You look pale.”  Mom held the steering wheel with one hand and grabbed her purse with the other.  She plopped the large leather bag on my lap. “I know I have several shades of blush in there.  Help yourself.” 

                    I glared at the purse for a moment before setting it at my feet.  I’d rather be home cleaning the toilet bowl with my toothbrush or ripping out my fingernails than primping in the car on the way to a basketball game.  “You didn’t have to drive me, Mom.  You’ll be late.”

                    She glanced at the clock.  “It’s only two minutes out of my way.  Besides, it was nice of Ashleigh to call and invite you.”

                    I rolled my eyes.  Yes, how nice of Ashleigh to call me at the last minute. 

                    “You should be a little more grateful.”

                    Whatever.  Ashleigh knew I wouldn’t want to go.  She should have realized my mom would jump at the chance for me to be social.  Of course, that would have required Ash to put more than one thought together at a time.  A little too complicated for my “best” friend. 

                    “I don’t know why you gave her such a hard time about going.”

                    I sighed and tapped my fingers on the door handle. “I don’t know, either, Mom.”

                    “You’ll have a blast, I’m sure.”

                     “Yeah.”  I counted the houses that passed outside my window.  Mom had gushed over Ashleigh for years. 


    tuesday status update #2 (totally interrupted)

    well, as promised, here's our weekly progress report:

    We, erica and christy, interrupt our regularly scheduled post to say we mostly edited and outlined. We also:

    Lived life. Celebrated birthdays. Cheered at soccer games. Nursed sick family memebers. Taught children. Took dead cars to the mechanic. Washed laundry. Washed dishes. Washed children. Taught chilren...oops.

    Have we used these excuses before?


    But success is not always measured in word counts. And everything - EVERYTHING - I mentioned will help us reach our goal. Even *shudder* cleaning after sick people (trust us, it motivates you to work!).

    Hey - you guys have been here for awhile. Just for fun - who wrote this post? erica or christy?? And what's your progress this week?


    Let's Buy Some Books

    First, some non-book business? Aren't they cool? They're grains of sand under a microscope. See more microscopic pictures at: http://sandgrains.com/index.html

    Sand grains under the microscope microscopic sand photography art photo microscopy artwork

    Sand grains under the microscope microscopic sand photography art photo microscopy artwork

    Okay, back to book stuff. Recently I've read from authors that they're being rejected because their book isn't currently marketable. I mean, we heard this stuff back during the vampire craze and anyone who wrote realistic fiction received eyerolls and head shaking as if they were trying to sell aspirin to a group of people who only wanted cocaine. (sorry about the analogy. my entire family has been sick and I'm exhausted and it's the only one I could come up with.) But it's still there - the "great book, but I'm not sure it's marketable enough to sell).

    SO - my hope is that if we really dedicate ourselves to buying in the genre we write in (or borrowing from the library, but let's put our money into it if we have any - remember, books make great Christmas presents!), maybe the agents and editors and publishers will be forced to see there's a market out there that wants it. I mean, sure, I do enjoy the occasional memoir or adult fiction or YA fantasy. But for awhile, it will contemporary YA for me. And fantasy/paranormal MG for my son.

    I know, I know, alone we like - well, grains of sand on an ocean floor. But together, we can be something bigger. What genre do you write? Have you bought any books in that genre lately?

    I'll start: Within the last couple of weeks, I bought The Liar Society, Anna and the French Kiss, The Summer of Skinny Dipping, Rich Boys (technically, that one I won), Story of a Girl.


    another season slips away

    though the calender reports another week of summer, the coolness of fall has swept into wisconsin.  and i must say, i love it.  however, i don't want the temperatures to drop any lower.  60s=perfection.  (okay, okay, i'm a 70s lover, but the 90s we endured this summer was too hot for me.)

    two days ago, i debated turning on the air conditioning. it was 88 and humid in the house.  i talked myself out of it knowing it would most likely be the last hot day of this season.

    this afternoon i had a fire going.


    but i love the color-changing leaves and the blooming flowers of the fall.  the crisp, cool air does something to my spirit. somehow i'm more awake, even if my nights of sleeplessness continue. 

    one downfall of the cooler weather is that my showers take a bit longer.  in the dark morning hours, it's hard to enjoy the chill in the air and stepping out from under the steamy water takes some coaxing.  well, not coaxing exactly.  more like knowing the consequences of running late push me toward the towel.

    consequences=stress!  panic!  and one crabby mommy.

    speaking of running late, i've been doing that a whole lot lately.  getting into a new routine is hard.  but not as hard for me as it is for my new kindergartener and preschooler.  earlier to bed, earlier to rise.  so true.  unfortunately, this truth does not speak convincingly enough to two little ones who like to stay up and sleep in. ( well, sleeping in for them is 7, but that's at least 30 minutes too late when being clothed, fed, and buckled in the car by 7 is a necessity!)  yeah, i've been late. nearly every. single. day.  grrr.

    ***********on a writing note************************

    my manuscripts tend to always take off in the fall.  i suppose it's not as odd as it seems. it's a likely setting considering my characters are in high school.  then the story can span a school year if it needs to.  not that i couldn't carry on a summertime plot, but so far my imagination has only conjured up the problems my girls need to face in a school setting.  i guess shelby would be able to too easily avoid those snotty girls in the summer.  her school is just not large enough!  

    ***********end of writing note********************

    are you sad to see the summer go?  (for those of you in a different hemisphere, how is the weather treating you?) 

    as i talk about the joys weather can bring (and the minor irritations), i haven't forgotten the tragedies that can be a consequence of nature as well.  and i hope you are all safe from storms and winds and wildfires.  i've kept all of my blog friends in my prayers these past weeks and months since disasters of all kinds have struck around the globe. 



    we'd like to "tweet" you to some retweets


    we retweet to remember.  retweeting is like bookmarking to christy.  and also to share the goodies with tweeting followers.

    in case you missed these tweets, we've also decided to blog-tweet them.  enjoy and look up these brilliant tweeters.  they're all mega followable!

    (sorry. sick of the word tweet yet?) (and i'm hoping these links are clickable for you...)

    Elizabeth S Craig

    When you want to change agents:
    Wendy Lawton
    Want to know what constitutes good book sales? I tell all today.
    Jamie McHenry
    Writing for teens? Here's a contest hosted by that could be perfect for you:
    Matthew MacNish
    Get your networking on: drop some knowledge on The Follower Project:
    Cynthia LeitichSmith
    An interview with -author Ammi-Joan Paquette of Erin Murphy Literary from ARA Carmen Oliver:
    time to make a list of possible nano novels, yay
    12 Sep

    SHOULD I OR SHOULDN'T I NANO...i'll be eight months pregnant and preparing for christmas with two little ones.  but i have 8 pages of notes all typed up and ready for my next ms....
    Heather McCorkle
    Stakes: what does the character personally have to lose? Conflict: what is in the way of your character.
    Jody Hedlund
    Learning how to use the right imagery to evoke feelings in our writing: (via )
    Catherine Johnson

    RT : Has anyone seen what the ground zero site looked like this evening in New York?
    Maria Smith
    Ten Random Things About Me I got tagged!


    Laura Moss

    Where to find photos for your blog — that won't get you into legal trouble:
    Tahereh Mafi
    writing one book is more like writing the same exact book 147 times. so really, it's like you've written 147 books! but 146 of them were eh.
    Elizabeth S Craig

    Need help with pacing?


    status update tuesday #WS4U

    erica and christy joined a facebook writing support group (can be found on twitter #WS4U).  a recent suggestion suggested (lovely writing skills) we do weekly status updates each tuesday.  we loved the idea, so here we are posting our very first.

    but before we get to that, we'd like to extend a HUGE bouquet of thank yous (thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, etc) to all of our followers and commenters.  we say that way too infrequently. but hope very much you know how much we appreciate your visits, whether they're frequent or not.

    we'd also like to welcome all new followers we've met recently through the Campaign.  thank you thank you to you also.

    we appreciate the support ALL of the above mentioned people have given us in the distant and recent past.  writing would be way more difficult without each of you. 

    and now for our status updates.

    before school started i was editing hard-core to prep for WOC.  (the wip i'm working on is a ya contemporary entitled FIXING SHELBY.) editing has added 2k so far.  based on cp comments and inklings of my own, i needed to add in more backstory explaining my protag's resentment toward her "best" friend.

    since WOC?  standstill.  my status update includes editing three more chapters, critiquing a few chapters for friends, bloghopping (still way less than I need to), camping and doing laundry.

    goals for the week:  edit 7 more chapters.  send ten more chapters to cps.  critique more chaptes for cps.

    i'll let you know next tuesday how i do with that!

    um, well. *whistles* *shuffles feet* *does laundry and dishes, feeds and bathes children, mops floors, mows lawn, watches sick hubby who insists his cold is somehow leading to bubonic plague which will kill him and I'll feel so bad after he's dead that all I did was give him DayQuil and a box of Kleenixes while I went to work*  um, yeah, that.


    Iiiiiittttt'sssss MONDAY!!!

    It's the first Monday of the school year. Wisconsin actually has a law that school cannot start before September 1st (unless your district is granted a waiver, and they're hard to get), so we started on a Thursday and then last week was of course Labor Day. So here we are. Let's hope the kids got some rest this weekend (although I doubt it since we had beautiful summer-like weather and everywhere I went, I saw kids running around outside, including my own!).

    And, well, teachers need their rest, too. So that's all I got for you (because I was busy this weekend, too). Well, here, have a recipe, um, make that two (we made both last night and they were very good!). (although we used freshwater salmon - my sister from Alaska tells me you don't need the oil for ocean salmon) Oh, and I finished reading Anna and the French Kiss today. What are you reading?

    Grilled Salmon
    Recipe I: Rinse fish and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. There is a muddy, fatty part underneath the skin side you should cut out with a fillet knife (it tastes like dirt if you eat it). Mix together the juice from at least 1 lemon and a couple tablespoons of olive (or canola) oil. Add dill (fresh is best, but dried will work, too) and a chopped up onion. add fish and let marinade for at least 2 hours. Pour into a foil packet and grill over moderate to high heat for 10 minutes per side. fyi: I always marinade in a ziploc bag and then just toss the bag when I'm done for easy cleanup!

    Recipe II: (start same as above, also sprinkle with garlic powder). Mix lemon juice, 1/3 cup of soy sauce, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/3 cup water, and 1/4 cup olive (or canola) oil. Proceed as above. (the original recipe I had said to broil it right on top of the grill, but I like it better with the marinade in the foil pack. Yum!)


    i can't believe i wrote that (part II)

    recently a few friends told me they reread all emails and fb posts to me (you know, since they know i'm a WRITER).  HA!  have they never noticed i email, tweet and fb all in lower case letters?  even the letters that are supposed to be caps?  i punctuate the way i speak, not the way it's supposed to be written?  goodness, that's HILARIOUS!  (is that spelled wrong?) yeah, why spell check this post, right?

    even so, i've learned LOADS of great writing stuff (that apparently i refuse to prove in this post) over the past two years since i've been "writing" (you know, as a SERIOUS WRITER).  and even if my writing for this post may be lacking, i can prove it by sharing lines from my first drafts from "way back when".  (well, i guess it's not actually proven unless i share the startlingly brilliant lines from current manuscripts, but ah well.  #notgonnahappentoday)

    holy cats, in looking through the 1.5 year ooooold "manuscript" (can it even be called that?) eee gad.  i can't even get past the first page.  really?  with a page and a half long query and a first page like this (see below) can you believe i received five form rejections?  (CAN YOU BELIEVE I QUERIED IT?) all before i met erica or any of you, obvs.

    • Prologue
      I watched her and wondered how long it would have taken her to learn the truth, or if she ever would have. 
    • Chapter 1 Awakening


    • I awoke as I did every morning for the past 15 ½ years and wished I could linger under the warm sheets for hours longer than I was able.  Instead, I flung my legs quickly over the side of the twin bed into the cool air, like, as with a band-aid, getting it over with quickly would make it better.  If only my dad would let us turn the heater up once the autumn air cooled our house over night.  I stumbled, chilled, to my bathroom to a warm shower where I could wake up and really think about the day ahead.  It was in the shower that, not the planned events of the upcoming day, but the memory of the dream from the night before washed over me. 
    • I swiped at the sweaty mirror with the bathroom towel and worked at my heavy, straight brown hair.  This morning, mousse as opposed to gel was to be the miracle product.  Each morning I imagined my hair looking bouncy and full of life, thinner, wavy, blonder.
      Instead, staring back at me were my plain features, my nose, too bulbous in the middle of my narrow face, my high cheekbones cutting down to my too-sharp, dimpled chin.  My dark brown eyes were framed by my too sparse eyebrows that I had colored in with an chocolate colored eyebrow pencil since I was in sixth grade, the grade my mother coaxed me into wearing make-up. 


    • Recently I traded in foundation for tinted moisturizer except for the places where acne spoiled my still tanned complexion, and kept my eye makeup light.  I added a little pale pink blush to my already rosy cheeks and a little brown shadow to my lids.  Brown eyeliner and a swipe of mascara completed my faux natural look.  Once dressed in my most comfortable pair of jeans and favorite brown knit sweater, I opened the door to allow the cool air from the hall to dry the dampened bathroom.  I went to eat breakfast before trying to dry my hair in the humidity.

    • I washed the last few bites of cereal down the sink, swallowed my final swig of orange juice


    I Can't Believe I Wrote That (part I)

    So, the other day I (erica) opened up a short story that I wrote about a year and a half ago. I shared my gem of a first line with christy just to prove that I have indeed learned a lot in lo, these long months of editing (and researching about editing).

    Here it is. Brace yourself: My house was barely silhouetted in the distance as I walked down the long road towards it.

    WHOA! I know, I know, totally makes you want to read on. *ahem*

    Anyway, I thought, what the heck. If I'm going to publicly disgrace myself and my writing endeavors, I may as well go all-out. Feel free to (silently) think this as you read on:

    "She's a cool girl, I guess." Because every 10-year-old boy would say this to his best friend when asked if he has a crush on a girl from their baseball team.

    I got ten feet from my room before I realized that my backpack filled with a notebook, a couple pens, my dad's digital camera, a flashlight, some plant leaves Ahmik gave me, and different kinds of silver (I figured it couldn't hurt) was still in my room. Also, 13-year-old boys ALWAYS think in super-long run-on sentences that detail the contents of their own backpack.

    They ran ahead and I found myself walking alone, wondering just how other teenagers found it so easy to make friends. Apparently 17-year-old girls worry about "other teenagers". Geesh, erica, really?

    I hated the dark the instant I saw it. Okay, this one actually makes sense in context. But it probably isn't possible. (can you see dark?)

    I ran about two blocks before I realized it wasn’t better. Probably less before I really knew it, but two blocks before I realized it. (context: a girl just ran out of a store, upset with the cashier) Yes, I know. All the words are fine individually. It's just the way I put them together that makes no sense. . .

    Then my eyes fluttered to a pair of blue eyes looking contentedly up to mine.  Oh my God, they're getting worse. Who writes this crap? *sigh*

    I have a notebook in storage that has some short stories I wrote as a pre-teen. Oh, the horrors! I also have many faux-pas in email, FB, and forum postings, but I'm hoping they're buried and my name is generic enough that a google search will never, ever unearth them.

    Those are mine. Got any good ones of your own?