Just the Beginning

My story is finished. I wrote the final chapter two evenings ago and couldn’t sleep for a full two hours afterwards due to the giddy excitement that overwhelmed me. I kept running through parts of the story in my head, mostly happy with what I had come up with but also knowing that there was a lot to fix. I’ve since printed it and have been reading it aloud to myself with red pen in hand and, oh my I’ve made so many markings! There are so many choppy sentences and grammatical errors. But I am not discouraged. I knew I just needed to get the story out and fine tune it after.

I sat and revised the first chapter last night, adding to it and rewording things to make the dialogue flow more smoothly. After reading it this morning I am much more satisfied with it in general and now I’m near ready to move on to the second chapter. Of course after revisions are made I’ll have some of my family members read it and who knows what edits they’ll find or changes they’ll recommend. I know I’m really just starting into this process and it may be a while before I see my dream of being published come to fruition. But I am closer than I’ve ever been before to fulfilling that dream and am quite determined to make it happen.

Surprises in Writing

For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamt of being an author. I’ve had story ideas and characters loping through my brain at all stages of life. I remember sitting on a swing in my neighbors backyard, looking at the billowing white clouds above me when I was about eight. I imagined an entire city sitting on top of them, a city in trouble somehow that needed a special little girl to help them out. I fancied a crystal staircase descending from the sky and messengers coming for to tell me I was the one they needed. In my head a novel, Secret in the Clouds was born. It would be touching, thrilling, an utterly amazing work of art that astonished people around the globe because it came from the mind of an eight year old.

Did it ever happen? No, but I did write a poem that year. My very first official work, entitled Sweets. Yeah, I was eight, what else do eight year olds really think about? I still have that poem and I treasure it.

Throughout the years after that I came up with plenty of ideas but I rarely tried putting them on paper and the ones I did were in the form of short stories or poetry. That childhood dream of being published was pushed to the back of my head because I was waiting for the perfect story. I didn’t want to publish just anything, I wanted to publish something best selling! I didn’t want to write a simple story, I wanted to write something deep and awe inspiring.

I think if I’d kept that lofty goal I might have lived out the rest of my days with not even an attempt at a novel. It didn’t help that for a long time I was very shy and the thought of taking my work to a publisher was in my mind, out of the question. If I thought there was a chance of failure, then I wouldn’t even try. Then a fateful event ocurred (and I promise soon I’ll finish writing about it on this blog) and it was so public and so out of my control that my shell shattered and all my inhibitions scattered and were lost! But it was not something to be lamented.

It freed me in many ways and among those, I now knew that I would have no problem taking my work somewhere. But still there was the problem of what to write. I started a couple of stories but soon lost interest. I had no connections with the situations or characters and I still really wanted to write something meaningful. I also assumed that because I liked reading Fantasy and Science Fiction best, that I ought to write something within those genres. I signed up for NaNoWriMo this last year, came up with a story idea and set out to write it but again I faltered. I decided that I needed to stop writing what I thought I should and write what I wanted too. So from November of ‘08 to March ‘09 I wrote nothing. I had no inspiration, no ideas.

Then March 5th of this month came. I remember I was hand washing some dishes while sassypants played by herself. It may strike you as odd when I say that my story ideas come most frequently when I am cleaning or organizing but it’s true. As I stood there I suddenly imagined a little town in the countryside and then I thought of a passerby staying at an Inn there. A passerby who was absolutely perplexed that all of the townspeople seemed so sad about the passing of an evil witch. More and more ideas flowed in connection with that one and as soon as I finished the dishes I sat down to write knowing that though it might be simple, I ought to write it down. I wrote the first three chapters that afternoon and the story has been tumbling out ever since.

The twist is that I’ve found morals and lessons being woven in as I write. I didn’t intend that and I’m not saying they are by any means great or deep, but as I’ve been writing, the character motivations have naturally presented themselves as part of the story. A bit about their lives and why they are making the choices they are, have had to come into play and with it have come questions of right and wrong, accountability and the like. But I think the main surprise for me, is that I am intensely devoted to this story. The characters are dear to me. I told my husband just last night I had written a part in the story that made me nearly cry. I felt bad for writing a certain character into a certain situation but it was the only logical course for her.

Above all though, I am having an absolute blast with it! I can’t wait to further the story each day. I’ve been going at it like a mad woman without burning out. I’ve written nearly 40,000 words in 26 days and have only a few chapters left to write. I know that is only the beginning of course as there will be many edits and many rewrites but I am determined to get this story published. I don’t care if it sells just one copy, I love the story and the characters and I want to share them with whoever wants to read it.

Am I a nutter or what?

I’ve dreamt of publishing a novel since I was, well, ever since I can remember. But of course to do that I would have to actually write something. A complete something. A complete good something.

I’ve started plenty of stories but I’ve never actually completed anything other than poems, essays and very short stories. So what did I go and do? I went and signed up for NaNoWriMo of course. I figured maybe it would give me the push I need.

I went into my files, pulled up the many stories I’ve started, read through each and then picked one. Now I’m writing. I have no idea where it’s going to go from one paragraph to the next. It started out young adult and last night it became Young adult/Fantasy. And I’m not going to edit any of it. I’m letting my thoughts spew out onto the computer screen and it’s kinda ugly. A garbled mess in fact. But I’m having fun.

Come visit my profile and add me as a buddy if you’re participating.

Twas the Day after Halloween

Originally published on Nov. 1, 2007

Twas the day after Halloween and all through the place
Goofy grins were plastered on every kids face.

The sweet smell of candy pervaded the air
Wrappers lay strewn through the house everywhere.

The kids flew from room to room bouncing and twirling
While mom in her jammies, thought about hurling.

She held her poor head, tried to block out the light
She should not have snuck so much candy last night.

But the Runts and the Nerds and the Smarties so yummy!
Stop after just one? Not so said her tummy.

She ate then she slept and when first light, it came
She found herself hearing her kids yell her name.

“Momma I’m hungry for candy,” one said
While the other did cartwheels atop of her bed.

She looked at the clock and then let out a moan
“It’s 5 in the morning! Please, leave me alone!”

But the sugar that still buzzed through each kiddos brain
Gave them energy they found they just could not contain.

The day came too early, the mamma too tired
The house all a clutter and kids super wired.

Mamma’s grumpy and sleepy and feeling quite green
Maybe she will be smarter the next Halloween.

© Summer Owens 2007-2008

(but probably not)

A First

My glances at his face were brief. I tried to focus on anything but him, which was difficult to do considering that he was talking to me. His voice sounded so quiet and distant compared to the thrum of blood sounding in my ears. At the same time I ached with anticipation I trembled with fear. He knew I’d never been kissed by another boy in all my 17 years. He respected that and had told me he wouldn’t dream of kissing me without my permission. That was when I wasn’t sure I wanted to be kissed yet. When I wasn’t sure if things would continue to progress.

Now they had and my feelings for him had deepened immensely. He was my close friend and I was insanely attracted to him. I had to kiss him! But I had no experience. What would he think?

He paused from whatever it was he had been saying and asked if I was ok. My anxiety must have been showing on my face.

“Yeah,” I reassured him and then I hugged him close. As we held each other tight I quietly said the words I had been thinking all night, “I really want to kiss you, bad.” Then I squeezed him tighter hoping maybe he hadn’t heard me, or that maybe I could stay in his embrace forever and not have him look at me with my face red enough to notice even in the moonlight.

But I felt his arms slacken, and then his hands gripping my biceps as he pushed me strongly away from him. I had no choice but to look into his eyes as he held me there. And then his lips warm and gentle were molding into mine. It was brief but sweet and it sent tingles all through me. He pulled away looking at me with that gorgeous smile and I knew he had loved it as much as I had.

This post has been entered into Scribbits August Write-Away Contest

Scared for my Daughter

I’ve been watching, So You Think You Can Dance, this season. I think the way people can move their bodies is amazing. However, last week during the results show they had a performance from an evidently well known musical group, the Pussy Cat Dolls.

Just upon hearing that name, I knew I would be disgusted with them but disgust doesn’t adequately describe my opinion of that raunchy group of women.

So many women, liberated by the feminist rights movement, have chosen to become sex objects, figuring that the fact that they could choose it, makes it ok. It’s sick, it’s frustrating and I am so afraid my daughter will adopt role models like that. Blatant sexualization of women is everywhere, and even mothers seem to be encouraging it. Do you think the skanky high selling Bratz dolls would still be on the market if mothers weren’t buying them?

What about the example they see every day? When your daughter sees you looking in the mirror does she hear comments about your weight, your figure, your boobs? They learn from the earliest days that appearance is what matters. Even I am guilty of it. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to be clean and presentable and to keep our bodies healthy but somehow we’ve got to get the message through to our girls, that being fit or skinny or pretty, while fine, is not where true value lies.

Recipe For A Beautiful Woman

Kindness in the eyes
Modesty of tongue
An empathetic heart
A smile for everyone
These small but beautiful things you do
Will radiate in your appearance too

By Summer Owens

Fast Changes

I had never been on a plane before. I was anxious. Not for fear of flying, but about what I would do to keep busy in cramped quarters for 14 hours. My eyes focused on my worn sandals. I stared at them with what I knew was an empty look, but all around me I processed the sounds. The chatter, the laughter, the squeaking wheels of luggage being pulled past.

“Dude, you like, should totally do it dude,” Sandy was saying, “Dude, I dare you!”
“I’m not gonna moon somebody in the flippin’ airport,” Emily replied.
“But dude! It would so awesome!” Sandy retorted.

Sandy always used Dude, way too much.

“Hey, you want some of my Cinnabon?” Gail said to Lane. I saw the feet of the two girls sitting across the way from me. Gail had on dirty pink beach thongs and Lane had slipped her sandals off, preferring instead to sit wiggling her big toe as she sat. I wondered if she always did this. I heard the scraping of a plastic fork and knew that Lane was cutting into the cinnamon roll. With Gails fork. Taking a bite. With Gails fork. I couldn’t believe unrelated people would share germs like that.


Not four hours into the flight I was already severely annoyed by my classmates. The constant giggling and “Dudes” were taking their toll. I was trying to enjoy my book. Couldn’t they see that? Couldn’t they be a little more respectful? As I sat there fuming over their immature behavior I began to feel very uncomfortable. Had I spilled some water in my lap? I excused myself to the lavatory to discover that at age 14 and on my first flight, I had become more than a girl.

As I walked off of that plane, my underwear stuffed with toilet paper I prayed no one would notice and I thought kinder thoughts, perhaps in the hope that Karma wouldn’t come and reveal my plight. A brief layover offered enough time to grab some liners and then it was back onto the plane.


I had underestimated the amount of liners I would need for the duration of the flight and I walked into the airport at a semi-waddle, stuffed again with toilet paper. I tried to put on my best face for the host family who held a sign with my name scrawled on it. They each greeted me with an uncomfortable amount of hugging and kissing and I returned the favor holding back tears. Katja was especially excited to see me since she had stayed with my family as an exchange student the previous summer.

“Wie gehts Summer?” She asked cheerily
“Ich bin gut,” I lied.

I was mortified as Katja held up the liner and asked me if it was mine. I had replaced it with a new one and accidentally left it on the bathroom windowsill. I blubbered that it was mine and that I forgot it and that I was new to all of it and that I was so sorry. Katja hugged me and told me it was alright, and for the first time since leaving for the trip I relaxed. I had not anticipated her caring, understanding reaction. It meant so much to me, I decided I needed to be more kind and understanding.


I wiped the sweat from my forehead and trudged slowly up the hill.

“Summer, wait up!” Penny called.

I slowed my pace so Penny could catch up and she fell into step with me.

“Are you sure you know how to get back to Katarina’s house?” I questioned.
“Pretty sure,” Penny said. I raised my eyebrow at her.
“I sure could use a drink. Why didn’t I think to bring water?” I wondered out loud.

We turned a corner and as if in answer to my thirst, we suddenly saw it . A big black vending machine situated next to a lone bench, in what seemed the most isolated and strangest of places. We walked up to it eagerly, hoping for a bottle of cool normal water.

“Dang, only Mineral Wasser of course!” I said.
“Oh look,” Penny said excitedly, “Coke!”

We both stared with parched lips at the button with the bright red emblem of familiarity and started rummaging through our pockets.

“I only have a couple D-Marks,” I said sadly.
“Well, I have enough for one bottle,” Penny replied.

Penny inserted the marks and pulled the can out. She popped the metal fastener off and inhaled the sweet mist. Then she put her lips to the rim, tilted her head back and took a good long guzzle. She handed the can over to me and I didn’t hesitate to finish it off.

I reclined my chair and closed my eyes as I absorbed the music. Someone lifted the ear phone off of my left ear and asked, “Hey Summer, are you ever gonna give my walkman back?”

I chuckled and took off the headphones.

“Thanks Emily. I really like the Goo Goo Dolls.”
“I never figured you as the type that would,” she replied.
“Neither did I,” I said.


My mom hugged me tightly as soon as she could reach me. My bright blue sunglasses were perched lightly atop my sun drenched hair.

“I can’t wait to hear about and see pictures of all the places you went!” she said excitedly.

“We’ll have to get the film developed first,” I said, ” Oh, mom, wait.”

I jogged toward Sandy and her family.

“Dude, you almost forgot this,” I said, handing her a souvenir shot glass she had let me look at while on the plane.

I jogged back over to my mom and we walked arm in arm toward the parking garage.

“You know,” she commented, “I think you’ve changed a bit over this last month.”

“I have,” I replied smiling.

This post has been entered into Scribbit’s June Write Away Contest

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Summer Owens

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