Monday, September 30, 2013

Month of Thanks Day #1

One of my new, but incredibly awesome friends, Starla Huchton, posted on her blog about doing what she called The Month of Thanks. Simply put, she's going to post a letter of gratitude every day for the month of October and she invited people to join her. So I figured, why the hell not? I have a lot of people I am grateful for, so here's my chance.  

Dear Jennifer Denney, 

You may not remember me, but I was that shy blonde eighteen-year-old who walked into your class in 2007. I admit, I wasn't happy about having to start off at the very bottom level math course offered at Grossmont College, but I stalked you on ratemyprofessors and everything on there was positive about you(including that you were hot. But hey, I wasn't there for that!), so I decided to talk your class. That day was the day that changed my relationship with college for the better.

I was never a great student, but I was a particularly horrible math student. So horrible, in fact, that my husband has memories of me having to leave class and cry outside the room because I just didn't get it. Everything I learned made sense, but when I was expected to replicate the formulas, nothing would come. It was just not clicking. 

And I began to despise math. I was that student that HATED math and everything it had to offer. Until your class. You showed up to our class and even though we were the rock bottom math students, you embraces us. You didn't once make me feel like I was in a remedial class. Instead, you smiled, you laughed, you pulled out fifteen different colored white board markers, and you taught us how to change our thinking. I say that, because you didn't teach us math. We already knew how to do math. You taught up that numbers weren't scary. And that fractions....were....fun.

I began to get 100% on tests. Things clicked and I noticed how I my whole attitude with school changed. I copied your notes exactly how you wrote them, even with all the different colors. Do you know to this day, when I do math, I still use the things you taught me? 

I had the pleasure to follow you for two more semesters in different math classes. But I wasn't alone. Many other students did the same. And you were so positive. People were actually disappointed the few times a sub was sent in your place. We didn't want anyone else. We wanted you to teach us. How often does that happen? 

I went on to take more math classes at Grossmont and eventually transferred to Austin Peay in Tennessee. I even changed my speculation TO MATH so that I could share that passion that you instilled in my that math wasn't supposed to be scary. That we could change that negative math stigma. I continued to score above 98% in every math class. And even showed up with my many colored pens to take notes, despite the fact that none of my other professors ever used anything other than blue, red, or black. 

Something special happened in your classes. It wasn't just about teaching us math with you. It was about teaching us how to overcome challenges. I hope you continue to spread your brilliant love of life with the world, especially to those who are struggling in college right now. Change how you think. Change who you are. You taught me that. 

Thank you,
Sarah Jones (Taylor)


A PICTURE FROM MY NOTES THAT I STILL KEEP. JUST IN CASE.

Monday, September 23, 2013

1,000 Facebook Fans!!


Wow. That's a whole lot of you! Some of you have been there from the very beginning and some of you are brand new. And you know what? I love each one of you. Truly, I do. I know I have been slacking in the blogging department, but I have been VERY busy! Some of you may not know this, but I work a day job in addition to writing, and I also manage our house(and dogs!) alone while my hubby is away in a different state. BUT, I am working on a lot of different things for you guys, like Promise Me Forever AND Echo of Silence(Changers #1), but also some projects on different platforms as well. WHEW. Busy, busy!

But that being said, I promised you guys a special Jhett scene when I hit 1K likes! And I have that to share with you tonight. I had so much fun writing this, and I thought about continuing more of this scene. So if you guys enjoy it, maybe I will add the rest of their night together from his POV in. I love letting him tell his own side of the story to things. He's such a great character to write.

Anyway, before I let you feast your eyes on some #Jharlie, I just want to say thank you one more time. Thank you to each one of you for not just liking my page, but for being a fan. I love when you guys comment or send me messages - heck even tweet me at all hours of the night. You keep me going when I think that no one out there is listening. I don't think you guys realize how essential you are to me. I feel like this is very much a team effort, and I appreciate all your love and support and will try and continue to make you guys happy with not only more words, but more conversations, too!

Now, the moment you guys have been waiting for...The meeting of Charlie and Jhett from Mr. Hudson's point of view.


There was something about playing music that made people dance that I just couldn’t get enough of.  It didn’t matter what I played; I enjoyed every chord and every note I created with my hands.  Music was my escape.  When I couldn’t deal with reality anymore, I lost myself in song.  It was easier to pretend to feel something else than deal with what was really going on. 
I let my fingers slide down the neck of my guitar as I finished the last few seconds of my solo.  My eyes opened while I plucked the last string and fell into the rhythm of the chorus Wes had already began to sing.  The lights were hotter than hell as they shone down on the four of us from above, but the feeling of my every move being watched with intense concentration made me sweat more than the heat from the lights.
I didn’t have to search the crowd long to find the prying pair of eyes that burned a hole right through me.  I could recognize her anywhere; the intense lights illuminated her every feature.  She was his mirror image and her broken blue eyes refused to leave mine. 
She looked away first, her head pointed towards the ground as she walked towards the bar, refusing to glance my way again.  It was my turn to watch her.  I couldn’t help myself.  With each moment that passed, the need to talk to her grew more and more severe.  I had to see if she was okay.  It’s what Cameron would have wanted.  Or that’s what I tried to convince myself in order to justify the pull I felt towards her.
My eyes narrowed as she spoke with Danny across the bar.  Her jeans and grey sweater made her an easy target in the sea of vintage clothes that surrounded her and that meant I wasn’t the only one who watched her from afar.  She pushed away from the counter and stood up as she threw her arms in the air, turning around unexpectedly and leaving a bewildered Danny behind the bar while she ran for the exit.  
I gave myself a five second countdown before I did something I’d never done before – left the stage in the middle of the song.  I flipped the strap off my body and practically threw the red guitar to the first person I saw as I calculated out my next move.  I was already pushing past the swarm of people who gathered around the side of the stage and jogging down the fire escape stairs before I could stop myself. 
As I rounded the front of the building, I had one goal in mind: make sure she was okay.  If I could find that out, maybe I could sleep at night.  She came through the double doors like a bat out of hell, leaving me no time to stop her as she tripped over the slight shift in the concrete and fell right in front of me. 
She laid still at my feet.  I wondered if she managed to be that clumsy all the time or if it was just something that happened when she was in a hurry to escape some place she shouldn’t have been in the first place.
“Did you have a nice trip?”  She continued to lay motionless except for her breathing.  “Here, give me your hand and I’ll help you up.”  I started to kneel down next to her, but she pushed up and righted herself before I could reach her.
“I don’t need your help.  I’m fine!”  She was painfully close to me as she sucked in a sharp breath, causing her to momentarily loose her balance.  On instinct, I reached out and grabbed her elbow to keep her from falling over yet again.  As soon as I made contact with her soft skin, her eyes shot up to mine.   I was uncharacteristically speechless as she looked up at me with those clouded blue eyes.
“Look – I told you I’m fine.”  She finally broke the intense stare and took a few steps back away from me.  “See, not even a scratch.”  I watched as she swept her hands over her body to prove she was okay.  She was okay.  I had my answer.  “I have to go.”  She eventually spit out and was walking away before I could say anything else.
I watched her carefuly as she continued down the sidewalk.  She made me feel conflicted about everything I thought I knew about her and Cam.  She was his twin, and yet, she was so different.  She was so…Charlie.  And she was going the wrong way.  One part of me wanted to tell her to stop and turn around, but the other part of me thorough enjoyed the view as she marched off in the wrong direction.
Finally, she slowed down to a slow creep.  “WHAT?”  She yelled at me from where she stood a few yards away, clearly annoyed.  Guess she didn’t like the way it felt to have someone mentally undress you when you weren’t looking.
I leaned against the brick wall that lined the alley to the fire escape of The Pointe and relaxed.  She was feisty now.  I wanted more.  I could feel the smile that came with those thoughts tug on the sides of my mouth.  “Oh, by all means, keep going.”
She huffed.  “Fine, I will.”  Once again, she graced me with the pleasure of watching her walk away, but this time, I followed a few steps behind her, until I couldn’t take it anymore.
“But if you’re going to walk the wrong way, at least let me follow you in case the Goblin King decides to come out and take you back to his Labyrinth.”  My comment made her pause, but only for a few seconds, proving she wasn’t easily thrown off.
“I’m pretty sure I’m going to right way.  I think I would know how to get back to my own house.”  She yelled to me while she walked further away from me.
It was as if she turned around and punched me right in the gut at the mention of her house.  I wasn’t a stranger to her story and I was going to call her bluff.  “Your house?  Don’t you mean Cameron’s?  Or did you finally grow some balls of your own and move out here?”
That did it.  It pushed her over the edge.  Her golden hair whipped around as she marched right up to me and accusingly pressed her finger into my chest.  “Look, you listen here…”
I chuckled to myself as she wavered in her hesitation.  “Jhett,” I answered for her.  I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of my name as it sat on the tip of her tongue.
“Alright, Jhett.  You don’t know anything about me.  I’ve never met you before in my life, and I highly doubt that Cameron would ever be caught dead around the likes of you.”  Her nostrils flared as she tried to control her rising temper.  Her thick drawl made me want to hear more.
I was sick.   She would’ve left without giving me a second glance, but now, now I was the only person she knew in San Diego, and I loved it.  But she was wrong.  I did know her, but I wanted more than to know her.  I wanted her to know me.
“Well, little do you know, Charlotte Jennings, that I do know you, although we’ve never had the pleasure of being introduced.  I actually know a lot about you.”  She squirmed as I inched closer to her and lowered my voice to a whisper.  “But most importantly, I know you’re going the wrong way home.  I figured your crazy twin scenes would’ve kicked in by now.” 
She stood completely still as shock washed over her.  “How did you…?”
It was my turn to strike.  “Know that you were twins?  You think Cameron went all this time down here without a best friend, did you?  Well he didn’t, and you’re looking at him.”  Her eyes fogged over, returning back to their broken state I originally found them in.  I sighed.  I didn’t want to hurt her.  “Now come on, let me take you home.  You can’t walk around here all by yourself when you obviously have no sense of direction.  And besides, Cameron would kick my ass from his grave if I let his sister walk around the streets on her own.”
“Fine.”  She took her hand off her hip.  “And its Charlie – not Charlotte…let’s go.”  Her shoulder hit mine with an unexpected force as she made her way back to The Pointe.  I shook my head as we effortlessly fell into step next to each other.  I knew she liked to go by Charlie, but pushing her buttons was becoming more and more enticing. 
“Wait here.  I’m going to go get my bike.”  I raised my eyebrows at her wide-eyed expression, making her visibly even more nervous.  I knew what she thought.  It was what every person assumed before they saw it for themselves.  But that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to stop her from panicking for a few more minutes while she waited.
I retrieved my bike from the darkness and walked it over to where she stood.  I watched her as she stood in front of me, her tiny body shaking from her fit of laughter.  She brought her hand up to cover her mouth, making me wonder if it was out of habit or self-consciousness.  Either way, I knew that I wanted to find out more about her. I thought it was odd to feel like I already knew her, but I was a stranger, and that didn’t sit well with me now that I finally got to meet her.  Cameron was smart when he decided to keep me away from her.
“Were you expecting something else?” I asked.  Charlie lost it again, her giggles high pitched and soft, all at the same time.  It was then that I knew I would do anything it took to keep hearing that sweet sound.

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