Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I Love Reading

July 31st I set a goal for myself to read every fiction book in our local library. I have not set a  time limit as of yet and I may not. Nine of these are my own personal copies and one belonged to my sister. As far as the rest I have just randomly selected books from the shelves of our library. I have found some amazing, funny and stories that really make me want to learn even more about history. 


Reading List as of July 31, 2016
Latest update 12/7/2016

  1.       Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
  2. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum Series)
  3.     Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  4.      Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  5.     Four to Score (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  6.      High Five (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  7.      Hot Six (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  8.     Seven Up (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  9.       Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  10.    Visions of Sugar Plums (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  11.    To The Nines (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  12.    Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  13.    Eleven On Top (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  14.    Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  15.    Plum Lovin’ (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  16.    Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  17.   Plum Lucky (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  18.    Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  19.    Plum Spooky  (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  20. )Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  21.    Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  22.    Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  23.    Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  24.    Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  25. Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  26. Top Secret Twetny-One (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  27.  Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  28.  Back in the Bedroom by Janet Evanovich
  29. A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White
  30.    Craving By Helen Hardt
  31.    Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel Series) by Janet Evanovich
  32.    Wicked Business (Lizzy & Diesel Series) by Janet Evanovich
  33.   The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz
  34. The Discovery of Witches by  Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy)
  35.  The Witch With Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
  36. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  37. Hope Prevails by Michelle Bengston
  38. Uninvited by Lysa Terkuerst
  39. You Are Forgiven By Love God Greatly Bible Studies
  40. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  41. Shadow of the Night By Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy) (9/21)
  42. The Book of Life By Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy)
  43.  Obsession by Helen Hardt (9/30)
  44.  Seduction by M.J. Rose
  45. The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose
  46. The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
  47.  Beyond Codependency By Melody Beattie  
  48. The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose
  49. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  50. Wait and See by Wendy Pope (study in progress)
  51. Sarah's Song by Karen Kinsbury
  52. The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs

Do you have any suggestions for me? 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Luna's Story Part 4

Gasping for air and for something to hang on to. All around her darkness and the evil was so thick she could almost taste it. "Where am I," she thought to herself. "I don't remember how I got here." She was panicking and she just knew something bad was going to happen. Someone was after her, maybe to kill her or worse. Maybe she would be stuck here forever in this dark abyss of evil stench. She tried to calm her breathing to focus on something solid. She searched with her hands but could feel nothing. "Help!" she yelled. "Would someone hear here, would they even find her if they did?" With a gasp she opened her eyes and found herself thrashing around in her bed. She froze. "Am I home?" "Was that a dream or was it real?"

Luna looked over at her husband and he was sleeping peacefully. She didn't want to wake him so instead she got up hoping he wouldn't hear here and went into the kitchen. With a glass of water in her trembling hands she sat on the chair hoping this would pass quickly. This wasn't the first time she had these dreams and these panicky feelings upon waking up. She just didn't know what to do about it. She prayed and waited for answers. But maybe she couldn't hear God anymore or maybe she was beyond His help. She knew in her mind He would always be there but maybe this was a battle she had to fight on her own. She had read and heard so many testimonies of people who had gone through terrible things and illnesses and were healed. They were set free from whatever was terrorizing them. Why was she pulled back into this darkness over and over again. Was she just a bad person? Was she fighting God and not realizing it.

Luna always felt guilt and shame for as long as she could remember. As a child she was afraid of just about everything. She didn't want to play the games the other children were paying for fear of embarrassing herself. She wanted to be strong so nothing would hurt her. She wasn't sure how to do that but she sure was going to try. "Did I hear it somewhere or did I make it all up in my head?" Luna asked herself. "Being strong meant no emotion. Absolutely NO crying! Absolutely NO angry outbursts! Just be nice." Luna began to associate being nice with pleasing everyone. Keeping others from getting mad. Just saying, "yes," to what ever was asked of her. At first it seemed okay. Then when she wanted and sometimes needed to speak up for herself she couldn't. This need for people pleasing had her by the throat. It began chocking the life out of before she even stepped foot into junior high school.

It was 3:30 am and she didn't want to go back to sleep. She didn't want to have that dream again. "I better make some coffee and get comfy on the couch to read another book." Luna hoped she wouldn't wake Jon up. She tried concentrating on the book in front of her but she couldn't stop thinking about that disturbing dream. She wondered, "Am I drowning myself in worry, stress and the need to be "nice?" Something told her this was definitely part of her problem. She pulled out her journal and wrote out a prayer, this always made her feel better. Before she even drank her first cup of coffee or even finish writing she fell asleep on the couch.

Something was tickling her face. She tried swatting it away but it just kept coming back. She opened her eyes and laughed. He cat's face was right in hers. He was purring and tickling Luna with his long whiskers. Jon was standing at the other end of the couch with a guilty smile on his face. "What is that all about?" Luna asked him. "Oh, nothing. You just looked so comfy there on the couch and Salem was content tickling your face. I couldn't deprive him of that." Jon said with a laugh. Luna laughed along with him It was so good to laugh.

"Are you ready?" Jon asked her. "For what?" Luna asked as if she didn't already know. "Our amazing bike ride!" Jon said as he smiled. "Oh, yeah." Luna said reluctantly. "Don't think about all the bad things that could happen. Just think about all your photo opportunities. Besides how can you resist going with me." Jon said with a wink. He was right about that. Even after all these years their love had only gotten stronger. Most days Luna couldn't believe that so much time had passed. It seemed like only yesterday that they met and three months later they were married. People thought they were crazy. Here they were seventeen years later and still even more in love as they were that first day.

"Okay. I am ready." Luna said as she walked out the front door. Jon shook his head and smiled. She was carrying her "small" backpack and no doubt it was filled with books, pens, her camera and who knows what else.  "Did you pack water in there too?" He asked knowing full well she probably didn't. "Oh! No, I forgot." Luna said as she blushed. She knew he thought she was crazy to take her backpack will all her essentials as she called them. She ran inside and grabbed their waters. "Do you want me to pack a lunch too?" Luna shouted so Jon would hear her from outside. "Sure, if you want to." he answered. Luna search for her lunch bag and made a couple of sandwiches. Threw in a couple of apples, a bag of chips and their waters. Now she was ready. At least she hoped she was ready for this.

"We are going to take our time and take breaks. Don't keep going just because you think I don't want to stop," Jon told her. "If you need to stop please say something." "Okay," Luna said. Even though she probably wouldn't say anything. Jon already knew that and he had stops planned out in spots where she could take photos and they could rest in the shade. All packed and on their bikes they headed out to the river.

"This is great," Luna told Jon at their first stop as they sat underneath and apple tree that hung over from someones property. "I didn't think I would make it this far."Jon was just as excited as Luna was. He knew if he could just get her to come out one time on a bike ride she would love it and want to do it again. He knew that she panicked when she was away from home but he also knew that she was usually okay when he was with her. He wanted to help her overcome her fears. He saw in here all those things she wanted for herself. He knew she could accomplish her dreams, she just needed a little push. He just had to be careful not to push to hard because she would resist him then. He wanted her to want it for herself and to believe she was able to do it. Whatever "it" was for her. She was finally letting him into her world of secrets. It was hard for him to take it all in at first. He wanted to fix it for her immediately and hurt those who had hurt her. He also knew that would never work it would just make things harder. So he waited for her to ask for help. He waited a long time but he knew when she was ready it would all be worth it. For both of them. As he helped her heal she would do the same for him.

They were off again to their picnic spot by the river. They made with only a few rest stops for Luna. "My legs are jelly," she said as she tried to get off her bike. "I have no clue how I will make it home." "Don't worry, we will rest her as long as you need to. We have nowhere else to be but here together." Jon reassured her. She smiled and hugged him. "I sure am a lucky lady to have you in my corner. I have no clue where I would be without you." Luna told Jon. "Well you know I am one lucky man to have you in mine!" He hugged her again and whispered, "I will never let you go."

Author's Note: Tune in next time for more. I hope you are enjoying this story. I have always wanted to write a book and this is my practice. Have a great day!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Luna's Story: Third Installment

“Held captive,” kept popping up in Luna’s mind as she sat near her living room window in the quiet of the early morning sipping on her coffee. “I know I should be grateful that my eyes opened up and I am able to get out of bed today but I am just not feeling it,” she thought to herself. What an awful way to feel. She constantly blamed herself for how others perceived her and for not measuring up to their standards. Every time she looked in the mirror she frowned at the ugliness she saw. Jon had walked in on her on several occasions and noticed her scowl and asked, “Why are you looking at yourself like that?” “I don’t like what I see,” she said. “Oh,” he said with sadness in his voice. She knew she had hurt him with her words but she couldn’t help how she felt. “Luna, you must think I am a liar,” Jon said as he stood behind her. “Why would you say that?” she asked him. “Because I have told you many times how beautiful you are and yet you stand here and call yourself ugly. Do you think I have bad taste?” he walked out of the room. He didn’t want to hear her answer because he knew right now she would not believe him at least she wouldn’t believe it of herself. These chains that held her were almost a comfort now. She wasn’t sure how she would feel if she were set free from them. Although she knew this negative painful thoughts only hurt her more every day she didn’t know how to be any other way. She had made them a part of who she was and began to believe many years ago that she was meant to be sad and hide from the world. She wasn’t worthy of being happy, loved by other or herself, or worthy of doing things she loved. Somewhere along the way she believed her role was to make sure others were happy and that she had to say, “Yes,” to whatever it is they wanted even though she didn’t want to do it. All this had done was make her feel exhausted, irritated, and used.

As she got ready for her weekly “meeting” with her closest friend, Sarah, she was reminded of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”  “Had I really given other people permission to hurt me all these years? Did I have that much power over my thoughts and feelings?” It was hard to believe; most days Luna felt completely powerless. She tried to shove the thoughts aside it was too early to deal with this type of emotional introspection.

It’s strange how no matter where she turned she was reminded of this message. The music she listened to and even in the conversation she overheard from the ladies sitting next to her in the restaurant as she sat waiting for Sarah. “You need to stop letting people’s ideas what they think you should do make you feel bad. You are good enough and smart enough to make your own decisions. It’s time for you to be happy and be yourself,” said the lady in the green. Luna about choked on her drink of water when she heard these words. She turned slightly just to make sure the lady wasn’t talking to her.  When she turned back around she stared into her coffee cup and wondered if the lady in the grey was ready to make those changes or did she feel like her, ready to bolt out of her chair and run home. She didn’t want to turn around again to look. So instead she told herself, “Breathe, Luna. Sarah will be here soon.” Breathing didn’t always work so she pulled out her phone, stuck her headphones in her ears and turned on her music.

As she waited for Sarah to arrive she thought about the day they met. Today was their twenty second friend-anniversary. They always brought along gifts for each other. One gift to represent their friendship throughout the years and one gift that represented the person giving it. Today. Luna brought a framed copy of her first quiz in her first math class in college. Sarah was the teaching assistant in Luna’s math class that year. “I can’t do this. I really don’t want to be here,” Luna thought as she sat in the back row of the classroom that first day. She never liked math and never seemed to be able to concentrate well enough to understand it. Just before the end of the class the professor introduced his teaching assistant who was also a tutor, Sarah. She was in her third year as a math major. Luna knew she would need tutoring in order to pass this class but she was so afraid to ask. As the students filed out of class Sarah handed each of them a schedule of her available hours to tutor and her contact information. As Luna approached Sarah she noticed she had kind eyes and a genuine smile. Luna was relieved and she felt she would be able to ask for help without feeling like a failure. A couple of weeks later Luna emailed Sarah to set up a tutoring appointment. Almost immediately they became friends. Sarah was easy to talk to and made math just a bit easier for Luna to understand.
Sarah was outgoing and wasn’t afraid to try new things. Luna loved that about her but it also scared her because Sarah was always trying to get Luna out of her shell. Every once in a while it worked.  At the end of the semester they made a promise to get together at least once a week to have breakfast at one of their favorite local restaurants.

Sarah strolled in wearing her favorite “October” outfit, an orange blouse and a brown pencil skirt with cute flats. Sarah rarely wore heels because she felt they made her too tall. She always looked put together and professional. Luna looked down at herself. She was wearing her purple “hippie” skirt as Sarah called it and a black V-necked t-shirt.  Luna claimed she dressed for comfort but sometimes she wondered if it was just lack of motivation. She loved her flowy skirts but sometimes she felt as if they were too “happy” of an outfit for her to wear. “Hello, my little dark cloud awaiting the light to seep through,” Sarah said with a smile. For the last twenty-two years Sarah had referred to Luna as a “little dark” something or other because the majority of the time she wore black. She always made sure to let Luna know that someday the light would force her to let it out if only she stopped fighting. “Hi, Professor,” Luna said with a smile. After they ordered their food they got to talking about the projects they were working on and about Sarah’s classes. “I am putting together a few photos to print out calendars for next year,” Luna said. “I have so many I just don’t know which ones to choose.” “What is your theme for this one?” Sarah asked. “I am stuck between flowers, country scenes or photos of animals. I am going to make one of each for myself but I am not sure what to do about the other twenty five I am making for the Craft Fair next month. “Luna said. “How are your classes going?” “Oh, well, let me tell you! These freshmen are intense. Half of them are picking everything up quickly and the other half is either having a hard time because they just don’t understand it very well yet or they are just clowns.” Sarah said with a sigh. “I am so happy I will be teaching upper level classes next semester. That is where I shine,” She said with a goofy grin. Lune couldn’t understand how Sarah could love math this much.

Their dishes had been cleared from the table and their coffee mugs and water glasses refilled. It was time for the twenty second anniversary of their friendship gift exchange! This was always exciting and sometimes hilarious. “You go first this time, Sarah,” Luna said. “Okay!” Sarah exclaimed. “Let’s see what is inside this lovely orange bag.” Sarah took out the tissue paper and set it on the table and pulled out the framed quiz. Her eyes about popped out of her head! She was so surprised that after all this time Luna had saved it. She laughed with tears in her eyes. Luna knew why. Sarah would be moving back to New York at the end of the year. She wanted to be closer to her parent’s and had been hired to teach at NYU. “Your first quiz!” Sarah about yelled. “I can’t believe you still have this. I will treasure this for sure.” I remember how much you hated math and how you never thought you would pass that class. But you did.” “I know. It is kind of funny thinking about it now,” Luna said. “I wish I could go back in time and finish college.” “Why didn’t you finish anyway,” Sarah asked. “You always said you enjoyed your classes and were looking forward to finishing.” Luna had kept the story of what forced her to drop out of college three times. The first time was mostly due to lack of motivation and lack of direction. She was young and was unsure if college was for her and if her chosen major was really what she wanted. The last two times were not too long after she met Jon. It was hard keeping her problems from him as well. “Well, I was having a hard time making it to classes. I was having panic attacks and some days couldn’t even leave the apartment. The days I was able to drive to class were hit or miss. Sometimes I couldn’t get out of the car especially if I was late.” Luna’s words just tumbled out of her mouth. She was surprised she told Sarah about this after all these years. “I am so sorry you dealt with that,” Sarah said. “Luna, why didn’t you ever tell me what was going on?” “I wasn’t even sure what was happening.” Luna said looking down at the table. “I thought I was sick, that something was wrong with my heart or mind. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was scared. I didn’t even tell Jon. I just made it out that I didn’t like my major and wanted to change it.” “Luna, I can’t believe I never saw this happening,” Sarah said with a shocked expression. “Sarah, no one knew. I kept on smiling and learned how to pretend everything was okay.” Luna told her. Luna wasn’t going to tell her that she was going through it all again now. The last four years had been so hard. She lost her job and now she was losing the only friend she really had. Thank God she still had Jon. She just hated to burden him with all this. He would want to fix it and make things better and Luna didn’t know if that was even possible. Plus, she knew healing would only come if she allowed it and took the necessary steps to.

The green bag held a new messenger bag for Sarah’s new journey in New York. Luna filled it with some of Sarah’s favorite snacks, pens, lip gloss and a new journal. Sarah wasn’t much of a writer, she would solve math problems. But she had mentioned last time they had breakfast that she wanted to start writing her story and lists of her favorite quotes, things she wanted to share with her daughter. Sarah had a 10 year old daughter who was so much like her. Same color of hair, eyes and the love of math. She was still friends with her ex-boyfriend, Julie’s dad, but they just didn’t work out. However, Sarah was no longer single as she assumed she would be forever.  On her last trip to New York she met another professor at NYU, he taught Chemistry. He was new in town and Sarah’s friend Maggie’s husband had met him at the gym. They became friends and the two played a sneaky trick on Sarah to get them together. Pizza and bowling was the start of a lifetime kind of love. It had been 3 years since then and just this July they were married. Luna was so happy for her. Sarah deserved to be loved completely and be in love completely.

Luna opened the purple box that Sarah brought for her. “Wow!” Luna exclaimed. A box filled with pen of all colors, new notebooks, sharpies, and a couple of Luna’s favorite movies and a cd of songs they used to play during their traveling to the country adventures. “This is perfect, Sarah,” Luna said with a smile, “I love it all!! Thank you!” “Open the other box,” Sarah said. Luna picked up the yellow box and opened it to find an NYU sweater, t-shirt, and a messenger bag.” Luna laughed. “Are you hinting at something, Sarah?” She asked. “I know how much you want to go back to school and finish your degree and of course write that novel. This is just a little reminder of where I will be and where I hope you will visit and possible take classes. Getting out of this town might do you some good.” She told Luna.

Luna had always wanted to visit New York and so many other places. It just seemed like time had flown by so fast and here she was turning forty in a week and she was nowhere closer to checking anything off of her bucket list. Sarah and Luna went their separate ways. Sarah to teach her first class of the day and Luna home to do laundry and hopefully get her photos picked out and some more purses made for the craft fair.

“Hi sweet stuff,” Jon said as Luna walked in. “Hi hot stuff,” Luna told him with a wink. “How did your breakfast “meeting” with the Professor?” Jon asked. “It was great, we laughed and I got some nice pens,” Luna waited for Jon’s reaction to that. “More pens! You two are too much!” He laughed. “I am glad you had a good time. I got your bike fixed and put a basket on it so you can carry your books, pens, camera and whatever else you deem necessary.” He winked at her. She went to punch him on the arm but he got away. “You are a brat!” She yelled. She was excited about the idea of a bike ride with Jon it had been way too long since they had ventured out on their bikes. Mostly because she made excuses, too busy, not feeling well, the bike isn’t working well. Anything that would keep her in her safe place at home. But she hoped that tomorrow she would have the courage to step out and ride alongside her handsome husband and not worry about what other people may say or think about her riding a bike. She had a hard time looking at herself and seeing a worthwhile human being who should enjoy life. She was determined to believe in herself someday. Maybe tomorrow would be her someday.

Author's Note:Come back to read about Jon and Sarah's bike riding adventure. Will she go or will she let her anxiety and fear hold her back once again? 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Luna: Second Installment

Thunder in the distance and the dark clouds rolling in the smell of rain surrounds Luna. “Oh, how I love the rain,” she thought to herself. It was time to pack up and head home. She had been lost in her journaling and thoughts for over two hours. I am sure Jon is wondering where she is at. He worries about her not quite sure how to let her go off on her own and not wonder if she will be okay. When they first met in their Philosophy class he never thought they would even date, they seemed to be from two different worlds. Luna didn’t party, didn’t play sports, and didn’t do much of anything it seemed but read and take pictures. She kept to herself but he did notice her smile at him every once in a while and it sure did warm his heart. This girl so unlike every girlfriend he ever had and every girl he ever had a crush on was smiling at him. He wasn’t sure if she would talk to him. He was a bit shy himself but he was determined to get to know her. Her eyes filled with mystery and something else he later learned was sadness.
He wasn’t a writer like Luna. He didn’t daydream with such ease as she did. He was practical and logical about life. He knew what he wanted and how to get it. He missed so much of life’s beauty growing up because he was so focused on getting the best grade and being the best athlete so he could leave that small town he grew up in. The people there were horrid, so full of hate and ignorance. Although, he did make some wonderful friends who he still held in his heart but rarely saw anymore. A few years before he met Luna he lost himself in a world filled with blurred faces and hazy memories. Jon thought he had his whole life planned out just the way it was meant to be but he soon realized he had chosen the wrong path. He longed for love, a real lasting love that would allow him to be the man he knew he was supposed to be. So he took a chance one afternoon after their philosophy class. “Hi, Luna how did you like today’s lesson?” He asked with palms sweaty and a slight shake in his voice. She was stunned. He was talking to her! Her words seemed like they would never come but she was finally able to answer. She smiled and said, “it’s was very interesting. I really enjoy this class. It’s one of my favorites.” “Mine too,” Jon said. Oh, her smile about floored him. It reached all the way to her beautiful brown eyes. His heart melted. This was it, he was just going to go for it and ask her to have lunch with him. “Luna, do you have plans right now?” he asked. “Ummm, no. This is my last class for the day.” She said. “Yes!” he thought to himself. “Would you like to have lunch with me?” he asked her while crossing his fingers behind his back. “Sure,” Luna said. “Oh my goodness! Did he just ask me out on a date!? No, it’s just lunch. He probably wants to study for our test or compare notes, why would he want to date me?” Luna’s thought race through her mind. She was so excited but so scared all at the same time. He was so handsome! She couldn’t help but stare into his sparkling blue eyes. She always wanted to have a different color of eyes. She thought her brown eyes were so plain.
Jon loved reliving that first lunch date they had. He thought he would be so nervous and not able to speak to her. As they walked over to the campus restaurant he asked her the basic get to know you question as a student. “What is your major?” Jon asked her. Luna answered, “English with a minor in Spanish. What is yours?” “Business, but I am really started to hate it. I am thinking about switching it to Sports Medicine.” Jon said. “I would hate business too,” Luna said then thought that sounded a bit rude. “I am sorry, I didn’t mean to put down your major I just dislike math.” she said. Jon liked math, it came to him so easily. “So English, what are your plans after you get your degree? Are you going to teach?” Jon asked her. “Oh goodness no, I would never make a good teacher. I freak out in front of people, even little people.” she told him wondering if she just freaked him out. He smiled at her not believing how she could be scared of speaking in front of people. She seemed so confident. They talked and laughed for hours. After they finished their lunch they walked to the park and say in the grass under the tree. “I never want to this to end,” they both thought. Neither spoke the words out loud but their hearts called to each other. They both felt the connection. Somehow they knew they had found the one, their soul mate, their perfect fit. Jon laughed out loud as he thought about that moment. They were in college and in their early twenties, I don’t think either of them thought it would really work but their hearts had a different idea.

He heard the car pull up and Luna walked in. She looked at him and saw a smile on his face that lit up her heart. She could never resist that smile! She was feeling a little tired having poured out her pain on the pages of her journal. But she also felt a little lighter, a little more centered. She never understood why she thought throwing away her old journals and “packing up her journaling self” was a good idea. I guess we just have to learn from our mistakes and move on. “How was your writing time?” Jon asked.  “Good,” Luna answered. “I got zoned out for a long time,” she said with a laugh. “That’s good, I am glad you are writing again. It seems to help you,” he told her. “It does,” Luna answered. She still hadn’t shared much of what she wrote in her journal with him. She was always afraid he would think she was crazy. “One day,” she thought, “I will let him all the way into my world.” She did feel bad because she felt as if her secrets would someday come between them or make Jon feel as if she didn’t trust him. She trusted him since the day they first had lunch together, she just didn’t trust herself to share her sadness because she wanted everyone to think she was always happy, always ready to take on anything and rise above every challenge. Yes, those were the lies she told herself. The lies that had her so stressed out that her body was not happy with her. She knew she had to make changes. Big changes that she was told started with small steps. But those small steps were the hardest ones to take. She knew she should ask for help; reach out to Jon and maybe a therapist. Imagine that, a therapist, her family and friends would think she was crazy. After all, the sting of the first time she reached out for help and hearing those exact words, “are you crazy,” still held her captive. 

Author's Note: I hope you enjoy this second installment of Luna's story. Come back to find out how she freed herself from the captivity of negative words and learn more about her and Jon's journey together. 


As she stood next to the table counting papers feeling a little nostalgic, the lady standing in the corner looks at her then turns to  Abby and whispers, " Poor her, she has no identity." For a moment Luna was dumbstruck. Who was this person and what gave her the right to be so cruel! "Excuse me!" Luna almost shouted. "Yes, I do!" The lady turned to Luna, shocked that she was overhead but didn't deny the statement was about her, then turned and laughed. All Luna could think of was walking over to that lady and punching her square in the face. Instead she stomped up the stairs and out the door.

She sat in the passenger seat of her car seething with anger, her thoughts racing with all the words she wanted to say. Instead she sat there and did what she did best, swallowed her words. Jon knew something was wrong just by the look on her face and the way she slouched in the seat. He was afraid to ask, he wasn't sure how she would respond. 

These past few months his wife was either quiet and distant or irritated and loud. He didn't know how to help her.  He didn't know what was going on because her answer was always,  "I'm fine." Or, "I'm just tired." Before he could ask Luna said,  "that lady in  there said I had no identity. She laughed at me." He could hear the pain in her voice and his heart broke for her. "I want to punch her!" Luna said. "Maybe you should," he told her. She looked at him and burst out laughing. He smiled. "Well, some people need to get punched." Jon said, “by the way, she is a liar. You do have an identity."

She wanted to believe him but she wondered if that lady was right.  Something else was bothering her about this lady. She seemed so familiar but Luna couldn't place her.

Home. Safety from the outside world. The one time I go out in months and some woman decides it’s okay to insult me. Do I have a sign on my forehead saying, “please break me down?" No matter where I turn the compliments even sound like insults. It sounds good until the "but" rears its ugly head. "You’re pretty but if you lost weight you would be prettier." Or, "your smart but you should be living your life this way." No matter how good, nice, encouraging or happy I am I have to improve something to be accepted. 

"Jon I am going out to take some photos." Okay, Luna. Have fun." As she slid behind the wheel she took several deep breaths. It was a rare occasion that she went out on her own. Turning off the main road she slowed as she came to the dirt road that led to The White Rock Cemetery. She felt safe here. No one was around. The noise and energy from crowds of people made her sick. So she found places she could be alone in nature.  She drove to her favorite spot and parked her car. Popped open her trunk and pulled out her Craft Case, camera bag, and camping chair. Once she was settled in she pulled out her journal.


Maybe I have always been sad. I gravitate towards sad songs like they are medicine my body needs to survive. I and I act cheerful in public and most days even in private. I don't know how to explain the ache in my chest, the numbness, the emptiness that is so much a part of my life. I don't know how to say, "I am sad." I am scared to say it because then it becomes real. Then I become something that needs fixing or crazy. "Luna, you just need to get over it," I am told. For brief moments it seems like its working, maybe I am getting over it. For brief moments I seem to be okay, to be happy. Until that moment when my heart shatters and my mind begins to race again. That moment when panic sets in and the world goes black.

Author's Note: First installment of Luna's Story