Marked Series

Marked — 6

It took some time after we moved in with Frances for me to get used to being watched. When school started back up, I was dropped off and picked up, often by Frances’ teenage daughter. On occasions when I couldn’t be picked up right away, arrangements were made for me to stay at a friend’s house with her and her parents until Dad or Frances could get me. And my evenings on the roof were replaced by Frances turning off my bedroom light, telling me to sleep tight, and closing my bedroom door. It was strange and made me feel like running.

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Marked Series

Marked — 5

The first house we moved into together was at the end of a red clay road. When it rained, as it did every summer afternoon, the clay became slick and fast and far more fun than a slip and slide. Frances, who I would be calling mom soon, made it clear that girls didn’t get dirty. But that glorious clay was irresistible, and I knew I wasn’t meant to be categorized as a girl. So I learned how to hose off after practicing my best slide moves and hearing that imaginary crowd roar as the also imaginary ump yelled, “safe!” Technically, I wasn’t dirty. For whatever reason, Frances didn’t push the issue and that clay became my haven.

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Marked Series

Marked — 4

From the moment my father returned from his trip and discovered that I had been abandoned, I was shuffled from family member to family member like a hot potato with everyone praying that the music did not stop. It was clear that I was different from my family, although I did not yet know why. With my freckled skin and hair that fell somewhere from reddish blonde to chlorinated-pool blonde, I stood out among my…

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Marked Series

Marked — 2

A year before the house with the animated inanimate objects, I’m on the jet-way in Orlando, excitedly nervous for my first flight. It’s summertime, the plane is stuffy, and despite the adventure of flying, I’m fighting tears. The stewardess checks on me, bringing an unnecessary blanket, as I stare out the tiny window towards the terminal at the hazy silhouette of my father waving a white handkerchief. He has made arrangements for me to stay with an aunt on the island. For my own safety, he is sending me away.

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Marked Series

Marked — 1

The first time the toilet flushes on its own, I dismiss it as an issue with the plumbing in the new-to-us house. I have other things on my mind:  navigating our newly integrated family, figuring out what to call the woman who is not yet legally my mother but who doesn’t get hung up on such technicalities as she lays down rules and seems to be aware of my every move. I’m leery not only because I don’t want to lose my freedom but also because some of the rules — such as being in the house by sunset — are contrary to my survival instincts. 

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Leap Series

Leap: A tale of faith and failure (part 3)

It is our failure to become our perceived ideal that ultimately defines us and makes us unique. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Klein Of course, this is not THE thing that defines us and makes us unique. But it is ONE of the experiences of what it means to be human. We each fail uniquely (ala The Anna Karenina Principle). Perhaps it isn’t how we fail but how we respond to the failure that…

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Leap Series

Leap: A tale of faith and failure (part 1)

For the past seven years, I’ve had a file dedicated to a series of writing workshops that I’ve dreamt of facilitating. The first workshop in the series is a prompt-based generative writing event called Leap! The idea is to do a series of timed prompts with a focus on creating new ideas and rough starts of works during the session. For the next workshop, each participant would pull together a more focused piece and create…

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