Tuesday, December 12, 2017

2017 New Releases Showcase {Facebook Event}







What: 
2017 New Releases Showcase - an event to promote and showcase books released in 2017.

When:
Thursday, December 14th
Friday, December 15th

Where:
Wherever you are! This event is hosted on Facebook. (Facebook does not sponsor this event or any of the giveaways.)

Who:
Most importantly: YOU! We won't have much of a party without the guests.

The featured authors are:

Why: 
My personal favorite: Why not? I can't share hot chocolate and cookies, but I can assure you that it's going to be a ton of fun. You'll get a chance to talk with each of the authors, enter some giveaways, and just chill. The best part? You can do it in your pajamas!












Sunday, November 26, 2017

Cyber Monday Special!




Cyber Monday is November 27th! Take advantage of my free shipping code and combine it with my holiday shopping code to get some pretty good discounts on my books. Don't forget to leave a note if you want it personalized! 

They're available as supplies last, so be sure to act quickly!









Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Thursday, November 16, 2017

No Dragons, Please! {live on Amazon}

Popping in again real quick to say that No Dragons, Please! is now live on Amazon in paperback!

Here's the link: No Dragons, Please!



This will also be on my website for sale, but -- I have limited copies at home and I have two events coming up locally, so it's not available yet as I need stock for those and am short on money. Buying books directly from me means two things: I get a little more money from the sale, and you can have them autographed however you want. But it also means I have to have the books on hand to sell to you. I'll try hard to have copies available to order in time for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, be on the look out for some special stuff coming in December!

I won't promise to be back with a blog post before the end of November and the end of NaNoWriMo 2017, but I shall try.

~AnnieLou

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

November {news and chatter}



First things first:

My favorite small person turns 12 at the end of the month!


Secondly: 

I've been sick most of this week, and got a little behind on my NaNoWriMo project. I'm not worried about it though. It's not slow writing, it's only a question of whether I can write or not. I'll catch up this week and the beginning of next, and I should be ahead enough that I don't have to write over Thanksgiving if I don't want to. (I'll be cooking dinner this year.)

Thirdly: 

I have book number five out this weekend! No Dragons, Please! was written for my favorite small person's birthday two years ago. I pulled it out again this summer and got it rewritten, edited, and done up in a proper paperback in time for his birthday again. That's the cover shown above. I'll have the Amazon link as soon as it's available. 


Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Consumed {poem}

I wasn't going to share this one at all, but it scared me so much that I sent it to one of my writing groups, and Miss Rebekah {Rebekah DeVall} said "oooooooooooooooooh I like that", or something like that, so... here it is.




Consumed
Annie Louise Twitchell


Don’t let me fall,
please.
Grab my hand and draw me back.
I’m too small.

Don’t let me fade,
please.
Bring your crayons and color the lines of me.
I’m so afraid.

My heart pounds,
seeking escape from hollowed-out ribs.
My heart likes to believe it is a butterfly,
but butterflies are not only lovely things.
Butterflies consume flesh and flowers alike
the same way my heart consumes me, flesh and flower alike.

Don’t let me slip,
please.
Steady my wobbling mind and keep me from insanity.
I am a sinking ship.

Don’t let me fall,
please.


Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

News: October 2017





As October marches onward and it finally starts behaving like autumn here, I have a few things to share: first of all, my new storefront at AnnieLouiseTwitchell.com is running a coupon for the rest of the month. I have limited copies available, so if you're interested in a personalized, autographed copy of one of my books, head on over there and check it out!

I'm starting preparations for my second NaNoWriMo. Mostly that involves sitting on the ground in a quiet corner and thinking very hard of nothing much at all; I'm very industriously working on that.

Also, I'm working on rewrites for No Dragons, Please! which will hopefully be coming out sometime in November. I'm also illustrating this kid's story, and I'm mostly done with those.

And for people in my local area: be watching my Facebook page for news about the craft fairs I'll be attending during the holiday season with my books and other related things.

Now, for the boring stuff: I'm hiking a mountain this weekend, I have been walking miles a day because I'm slightly bored and also rather antsy, and I did a photo shoot with Elli and Cricket this last weekend.







Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Aveza of the Ercanhelm {Review}




{Author Bio}

Rebekah DeVall is the author of "When Your Melody Fades" and many more upcoming Christian fantasy books. Find her on Facebook or her blog.



{Book Blurb}

Aveza Kenlin is no classic princess. A harsh childhood leads her to join the Ercanhelm, the underground religious organization dedicated to removing her stepfather, Hagan, from the throne. Though she hides her identity from the Ercanhelm for ten years, her missions take her closer to the palace. Rumors of her true identity spread. If the Ercanhelm discover the truth, they will kill her. If Hagan discovers her, living within his city, allied with the Ercanhelm, he will kill them all. Both paths lead to death, yet Aveza cannot speak the truth, plead shelter from one or the other. How much is she willing to give for the cause? Can the truth set her free?




{Review}

I've known Rebekah's work tends towards heart-wrenching, throw-the-book-at-the-wall-and-curl-up-in-a-corner-and-cry, so I was prepared for Aveza of the Ercanhelm.

Or so I thought.

I wasn't prepared for the ending, let's put it that way. No spoilers.

I haven't found many Christian-fantasy books that deal with what-happens-after. So many of them deal with the redemption arc, and with salvation and grace. Aveza of the Ercanhelm is a what-happens-after book. Because yes, a perfect grace saved us. But we are still humans and sh*t still happens. Aveza of the Ercanhelm presented a view on it that I haven't met very many places, where sometimes the happily ever after isn't what we wanted, where sometimes you do the hard thing because it is the only thing. Where sometimes an all loving God loves you enough to ask you to give it up for him.

Aveza of the Ercanhelm was vivid, strong, and painfully real.

(Aveza of the Ercanhelm contains threads of abuse, that while not detailed, are definitely suggested. Recommended for 16+.)

Friday, October 6, 2017

Aveza of the Ercanhelm {Character Interview}




{Author Bio} Rebekah DeVall is the author of "When Your Melody Fades" and many more upcoming Christian fantasy books. Find her on Facebook or her blog.






I've had the pleasure of working with Rebekah for some time now, although we can be pretty good at distracting each other rather than working. (I am NOT an angry kitten!) She's a talented lady who, I have high hopes, will go far with her writing.






Aveza of the Ercanhelm

{Interview with Hagan}


Hagan Kenlin is king of Korbin. All other information is classified.

(Note from the author: He’s a surly fellow, man of few words, and INTJ.)




ALT: What is your full name?
Hagan Kenlin.

ALT: What was/is your relationship with your father?
He always preferred my brother. Can I blame him? No.

ALT: Siblings?
I had one brother, Othmar, king of Allod. He was born to rule Allod—I made myself able to rule Korbin. Opposing countries, yet we brothers came to rule the greatest kingdoms of the world, at least for some time.

ALT: How do you fall in love? At first sight? Over a long period of time?
Love is a thing for peasants. Marriage is an arrangement for mutual benefit, or at least for my benefit. It served me well, first with Brunhild, now with Johanna.

ALT: If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?
  1. The throne of Korbin, unquestioned, in my hands.
  2. A son, to take over the throne after my death… and only one. I need no civil war.
  3. Prosperity never kills.

ALT: How do you decide if you can trust someone? Experience with others? With this person? First impressions? Intuition? Do you test the person somehow? Or are you just generally disposed to trust or not to trust?
I do not trust until my trust is earned, and even then… only time can tell. Brunhild proved me wrong there.

ALT: Did you turn out the way you expected you would? The way your parents expected?
My parents expected me to be a failure. They were wrong with that, as they were with so much else.

ALT: What are you most proud of in your life?
The youngest prince of Allod, the failure, now king of Korbin? I should think that quite an accomplishment.

ALT: Have you ever been arrested? What for?
I do the arresting.

ALT: How would you, if you could, choose to die?
Of old age, having a son to rule my throne and make it greater than even I could.

ALT: If you could do one thing and succeed at it, what would it would be?
I succeed at all I put my mind to do.

ALT: You're the kind of person who:
Makes my own way in life. Station and laws will not hold me back, nor will the opposition of small organizations such as the Ercanhelm. Nothing will stop me from my destiny, nothing at all.



You can pick up a copy of Rebekah's book on Amazon, HERE.

Rebekah and Hope Ann are having a release party on Facebook, on October 7th - click {here} to join in the fun!



Thanks for interviewing, Rebekah, and congratulations on the new release!

Be looking for my review of Aveza of the Ercanhelm in the next few days!


All characters belong to their author. Used with permission. Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell and Rebekah DeVall.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

The Ocean And I {Release Party}




Here is the link to the Facebook event: {party!}

I got my order of ten of these beauties this week! You can order one from Amazon, or...
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
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ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 8TH, YOU CAN ORDER AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OFF MY WEBSITE.

THAT'S RIGHT, DARLINGS.

annielouisetwitchell.com


In fact, my three paperback books are all available there. I do have limited stock, but THERE THEY ARE.

I've spent a lot of time over the past few weeks working on getting it set up, and I'm proud to announce it's almost ready! Don't worry, I'll still be blogging here - so if you're subscribed to my emails, you're all good. If you're not, maybe you should be, so you can be overwhelmed with a lot of bubbly Annie talk almost every week. Totally up to you, though.

Hey, so I'll be running some giveaways and games at my event. What would you like to see? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Where Dandelions Grow {review}




{New Release}
September 26th, 2017



Cousins are forever, or at least they’re supposed to be. 

What happens when your world falls apart and your dreams are mocked by those closest to you? 

Destiny’s idyllic childhood full of laughter and cousins abruptly ended when her mom uprooted the family to move them across the country with strict instructions to never talk about Swallow Ridge again. Eleven years later Destiny moves back to her hometown, determined to find her cousins… and answers. 

Plagued by generations of bitterness and manipulation, Destiny hides her life-long goal - unwilling to let anyone else trample her fragile dreams. But life in the cozy town full of dandelions teaches Destiny there’s more to life than what she’s been taught. 

Is it possible Swallow Ridge not only holds the answers Destiny so intensely searches for, but also the hope?


Amazon: Where Dandelions Grow



{About the Author}

Lydia Howe (aka Aidyl Ewoh) is a twenty-something adventurous author who is partial to hiking in the mountains of Asia and South America, building life-size models of dinosaurs, taking road trips across Europe, visiting friends in Africa, growing up in a barn and everything in-between. She was trained as a John Maxwell coach and her passions include self-development and Christian apologetics. One of her life-long dreams was realized when her first book, “Cave Secrets of the Pterodactyl”, was published by Answers in Genesis in 2013. Find her online at her BlogFacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Google+



{4.5 stars.}

Where Dandelions Grow was a sweet, easy read. This is romantic in the sense that coffee shops and pastries and books are romantic. Family, love, and faith blend together nicely in a pint-sized package that would go well with a cup of tea and one of Mrs. Reed's pastries. 

There wasn't much suspense or action, other than the reunions between the cousins, but after all the action and fantasy books I've been reading, I didn't mind a quieter one. I feel like quiet is the best word for this story, but don't worry - it didn't put me to sleep. The thread of dandelions throughout was nice, especially since dandelions are some of my favorite flowers. And that cover... swoons


I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review. I was not required in any way to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.

{Giveaway and Quotes}


{Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway}






Monday, August 28, 2017

Jump: The Things I Remind Myself

Jump: The Things I Remind Myself is here! Order your copy on Amazon, in paperback or Kindle format (or both!)







Here's some of my posts from the Facebook launch party:



So the title of the book is Jump: The Things I Remind Myself

I picked this title because of one of the poems in the book, the only one of my own that I have actually memorized. It's called Jump:
All she wanted
was a hand to holdas she jumped off the cliffuntil she learned that maybejumping off the cliff was really justthe metaphor for taking a stepall by herselfwithout a hand to hold.


As some of you may know, I have anxiety, and I go between being super excited about all this adult stuff and doing my writing and presenting it to the world, and completely losing my mind in endless worries and meltdowns over it. I wrote the poem Jump almost a year ago. Actually, it sort of wrote itself. I looked down at my paper and there it was. I have always remembered it since then, without really sitting down to memorize it.

As some of my brothers can tell you, we used to go jumping off this little cliff at my aunt's house when we were little. (That was one of the things my dad wished I hadn't told him, about twelve years after the fact.) It wasn't a cliff, exactly, it was this steep bank in a gravel pit. We would jump out, and about three feet down we'd hit the bank and slide down the rest of the way. Those few seconds in midair were heaven. I felt like a butterfly, like I could just drift off on a passing breeze.

At some point I got scared of jumping. I got scared of testing things. I got scared of trying out new things and exploring and poking at things with a stick (or my bare hands) and just generally being curious. And while I'm working over that, and I'll tell you about the adventure I had yesterday when I temporarily misplaced myself, I'm still can be nervous about people. I'm not nearly as bad as I was about Spinner of Secrets, but it is still a process.

This book has been a stretch. It's been pushing myself. To do Spinner of Secrets, I had to learn to let other people help me. To do Jump, I had to do it myself. I had to just sit down and do it. It was hard. It's been so incredibly worth it, and this is the first day the book is public.

Anyway. Here's a pair of butterflies. (I did take this one myself.)





What's up next?

The Ocean And I is a short scrapbook type collection of poetry, prose, and photos. Not 100% sure when that will be coming out, but it should be in the next few weeks.

No Dragons, Please! is a children's short story I wrote for my youngest brother a couple years ago, that I'm revising for publication in November. Here's my absolute favorite line from that one:

"I told you, I don't know how to fight a dragon! The last thing I want to do is get killed!"

"If you're avoiding death, maybe you should have considered an occupation other than a knight,” Ninnia muttered.



Amazon - Jump: The Things I Remind Myself

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Liebster Award 2017

The Liebster Award is spread from blogger to blogger to give smaller blogs some extra love!
Right after my second book release, I got this news: I got nominated for the Liebster Award!
I was nominated by my sweet friend Rebekah DeVall, over at Rebekah DeVall Wordpress Thank you, Bekah!
Here's her nomination post: Liebster Award Nominations
Rebekah is such a gifted writer and beautiful person in general, go check her work out. I'm over the moon excited for her book Aveza of the Ercanhelm that comes out in October 2017.



Here are the rules for the nomination:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, and post a link to their blog on your blog. Try to include a little promotion for the person who nominated you. They will thank you for it and those who you nominate will also help you out as well.
  2. Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”.
  3. Write a 150-300 word post about your favorite blog that is not your own. Explain why you like the blog, provide links.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award, who have a less than 200 followers.
  5. List these rules in your post
  6. Inform the people/blogs that you nominated that they have been nominated for the Liebster award and provide a link for them to your post. (They might not have ever heard of it!)
  7. Post a comment in the comments of –> the award post <– so your post and blog can be viewed.
(Why do they always need favorites?!)

One of my most frequently visited blogs is Hannah Heath, Writer 

She puts out great articles and content about writing, character development, and more. She was one of my first introductions into the blogging world, and her thoughtful responses to my comments and excitement about my book launches, were a huge encouragement. When I find myself wanting more details about a character, I go check her blog. Her information is sound and easy to process and utilize. 



1: Gabriella Slade This girl is so sweet and such a talented writer. I'm looking forward to her book Show Me.

2: The Fandom Studio My friend Kylie Gregory blogs here.

3: Abigayle Ellison @ The Left Handed Typist Abi's book Martin Hospitality is a really sweet story and I keep stalking her updates on the sequel. 

4: Castin Camberlain Cas's blog! She did up a bit of the graphic work for Jump: The Things I Remind Myself launch party.

5: Petra Grace Petra does photography AND writing, and she's very good at both. 

6: Writer's Corner This blog is just starting up, but she's got some cool prompts and writing-related posts. And her poetry! 



Friday, August 11, 2017

Jump: Release Party!



Jump: The Things I Remind Myself releases on August 20th (assuming the last bug with the cover format works out - cross your fingers!)

I'll be posting videos, answers questions, and running a giveaway, over on my Facebook page. The event runs from 7pm to 8pm EDT, but I will probably leave the giveaway open for a couple days for those who can't make it.




Jump: The Things I Remind Myself also includes ten pencil sketches! I'm so happy with the quality of the printing job, and excited to share them with you!


This event is all online, so if you mark that you're attending the party, you'll get notified when I make a post in the discussion for you to interact with. 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stuff and Things

I've been loudly absent this month, which is interesting because it was July last year that I was pretty absent too. Maybe I should just take July off.

A large factor in my absence has been my emotions and mental state. I've been swirling from anxious to depressed to hyper-actively happy and right back around again. It's been hard. While I've been safe the whole time, interacting with people has been a struggle, and most days it's been as much as I can do to get out of bed and do my normal daily chores. Sitting down to write has been difficult, because by the time I've trudged through the day and have time, all I want to do is sleep. I've lost count of how many meltdowns I've had, one of them at 3am and a girl online talked me through it so I could go back to sleep. It's been okay, the stuff I've been anxious about has been able to be resolved, and my family has been really great. But even though it's been okay, it's been hard. Tiring. I want to just sleep for three days straight (except I tried that once and I lasted three hours.)

It feels like years since I published Spinner, not two and a half months. It was six weeks ago that I talked to the classrooms - what? No, I'm 98% sure that was two years ago. I'm disoriented by how time is passing, probably because I've been doing so much more on a daily basis since April 1st than I have my entire life. Every day is twice or three times longer and busier than they ever have been, and I've been having a hard time finding my balance. In addition, I have another part job. That comes with its own stresses, especially trying to find my balance with my boss. The last time I worked under someone, it went downhill fast and I ended up badly burned. So I'm trying to figure out how to keep my boss happy while still doing the best job I can do while still staying sane. If I can't stay sane, it's not worth it, even though the money is good. It's complicated.

Life's complicated.

But, I'm feeling like I'm over the worst of this period, and will be able to start August on a better foot. Here's hoping.



NEWS:



I have a poetry book coming out! I'm planning a Facebook party on August 20th.



Copyright 2017 by Annie Louise Twitchell

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

What The Sirens Say (Video)







Finally made a video for this poem. 



Sorry it's been so long since I posted! Life kind of exploded, mostly in a good way, and I've been wicked busy.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

I'm Not Always Brave




So remember how I did that giveaway for my birthday, where I had both my Kindle e-books available for free on the 13th? I ended up giving away 253 e-book copies of my books, mostly Spinner of Secrets, but a few The Christmas Ladder as well.

That almost didn't happen.





Tuesday, June 13th.

I was going with my dad to one of the elementary schools in his district. I was going to speak to the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms, about writing. My alarm was set to go off at 5:45 AM so I would have plenty of time to get ready, and also plenty of time to get on my computer and check to make sure my blog post I had scheduled with all the information about the giveaway had posted, and share it to my social media platforms.

I woke up at 4:30 AM in traditional Annie fashion when she's nervous, and after a few minutes, decided I could go back to sleep. I turned on my Pandora station (I sometimes have a hard time going to sleep, and music helps) and went back to sleep. Dad heard music playing in my room when he was up at 6:00, so assumed I was up. At 6:40 am I was woken by Dad knocking on my door and asking if I was ready to go.

I jumped out of bed, jumped into my clothes, grabbed my tote bag, my crate of materials, wiggled my shoes on, bolted downstairs, mixed up my iced Chai tea I had started the night before, and dashed out the door, yelling to Mom that I messed up and was super late and AHHHHHH.

The books were still available for free, I just had no way for anyone to know that unless that happened to be the day they happened to look it up. My phone doesn't have the Facebook app, that's on my tablet, with no mobile data connection. But I managed to get Chrome open, find Amazon, SCREENSHOT the Amazon page showing my book was free, grab the link, and use Chrome to make a Facebook post saying it was my birthday and my books were for free and so on and so forth. Shared it to my groups and pages and so on, and started to get responses coming in.

Once we got to school and I had some down time before the classes, I was able to get on a laptop and onto my blog, publish the post, and share it on my Twitter and Pinterest.

I talked to the three classrooms, which I was crazy nervous about right when I started, but I did settle down about ten minutes into the first one. I did 4th grade first, then 3rd, then 5th - 4th sang Happy Birthday to me and I got a photo with the whole class. 3rd was a little harder, they weren't as sure what to do with me and how to interact with me, and I was expecting more response from them, so I didn't do as much talking as I could have. 5th was an absolute dream. They were interested, they were engaged - I got a question from EVERY SINGLE KID in the class, including the one I was pretty sure wouldn't say anything. They were all super excited about Spinner of Secrets, but because I wrote it for upper grades, I told them to talk to their parents. I ended up giving out business cards to everyone in the class, because they were so interested in reading it. It was super convenient that it was free, because then the parents would be more likely to pick it up for them. Some of them told me about the stories they are writing, we talked about that - they all got wide eyed when I told them I have written over a million words in the past ten years - they thought five brothers was A LOT...

Since I had a different school the following day, but the same ages of kids, I decided to set my books for free on the following day as well. I had over 50 copies distributed when I got on the computer around one to set that up.



Wednesday was similar, except that I didn't oversleep, and I took more business cards in with me. I did 5th, then 3rd, then 4th this time, and one of the things I talked to the 5th graders about was being scared.

I told them that I was nervous, even talking to them. I told them about the first time I did a public reading, and how I felt like jelly the whole time. I told them how I walked up to the front of the classroom and had to take a minute to collect myself before I could start talking to them. And I watched as those kids all lit up. I had six of them tell me that they have stage fright too, and they get nervous when they're in front of people. I told them how I scared myself when I finally published my room, because I hadn't thought I could do it, and then I did. I told them that I'm still learning how to do things like this.

And they got it. They understood. Somewhere, and maybe not all of them got it, but they understood that you still learn things even when you're an adult. They got it that sometimes adults get nervous or scared. And they were encouraged by that, that made them feel a little braver. They asked more questions, and I watched some of them start to dream. I could see them wandering as I was talking, starting to dream, starting to wonder, starting to think - maybe I really can do something big, even if I'm small and scared. Maybe messing up isn't the end of the world. I don't know how many times I crossed words when I was speaking to them - how many times I had "verbal autocorrect" kick in. I had things I had to go back and rephrase. I had to ask a couple different times if what I had said made sense (it did.) And I watched these kids. I watched them watch me. And I watched as what I had wanted, what I had been hoping for, happened. It connected.



And then on Thursday I had a reading and signing at the library in Carrabassett Valley. I was pretty tired out by then. I desperately wanted to cry but I couldn't even make myself. I made it through the session and apparently it wasn't evident that I was exhausted and had a headache, so that was good.









See, I had at least half a dozen meltdowns before this week. I was so scared about the two readings I had, the six classrooms I was speaking to... I was going to be interacting with a ton of people, and I was doing it professionally. I was going to stand there and call myself a writer and an author, over and over again. I was scared that I would mess up, scared that I was just being stupid to even try, scared that I would start crying in the middle of a reading. I was so scared. I had help though; my girls online helped, Missie helped, Hannah helped, my parents helped.

And then at the first reading, when I was answering questions, I was asked one that I hadn't thought of. One I hadn't even considered. Hadn't prepped for.

"How do you keep your joy?"

For a moment, my mind was a complete blank. I had no words. No answers. Nothing. I had nothing.

"How are you always so happy, and you don't get frustrated with your work, and you're always so excited?"

I managed to give an answer, one that was good - I give myself a lot of time and breathing space, and if I start to run into it being hard, I stop and go work on something else, and come back to it later when it's easier. And that is true.

How do I keep my joy?

I keep my joy because I learned that messing up is okay and that saying things backwards like "I'm wearing shirts and sleeveless shorts" is okay and that sometimes stuff happens like a blog post doesn't get scheduled and you sleep through your alarm. I keep my joy because I know that life throws curve balls, and I don't make that where my worth is, when my light is. I am light for so many reasons - I am joyful because I have been bought, saved, and I am loved by Someone bigger than the universe that dances in the sky overhead. I am joyful because grace is not a fragile thing. I am joyful because messing up is okay.

I am light because I learned to let myself be dark.

I am brave because I let myself be afraid.

I am strong because I let myself be weak.

I am joyful because I let myself be angry.

I am hopeful because I have been hopeless.

I have been, and am, and will be again, angry and bitter and sharp and scared and terrified and heartbroken and desperate.

And I know this.

I choose to let myself be what I need to be in order to best express who I am.

I keep my joy because that is part of me, I am daisies and sunshine and that soft golden rain you get when it's raining at sunset. And I'm bright and small and easily frightened by loud noises, and I get nervous when I talk to people because I'm afraid that I'll mess up or say the wrong thing. I'm scared I'm not good enough. I'm scared that I won't be enough.

And I'm learning to be me.

Learning that me is enough.

Of course I'll get better, and more confident, and so on and so forth - but for the moment I am here. And it's okay to be here. Here is not where I am staying, but here is where I am.