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Shephard 1  

Katie Shephard English 285-11 Final Portfolio


Shephard 2  

Table of Contents 3………… Portfolio Introduction 6………… Creative Non Fiction First Draft 8………… Creative Non Fiction Response Essay 10………… Creative Non Fiction Final Draft 13.…………Poetry First Draft 16………… Poetry Response Essay 18………… Poetry Final Draft 21………… Creative Fiction First Draft 26………… Creative Fiction Revision Essay 28……….. Creative Fiction Final Draft 36……….. Creative Nonfiction Part 2 45……….. Journal Entry


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An Introduction to My Final Portfolio I never thought in just one semester—especially one that consisted of more up’s and down’s than a Disney World roller coaster—that I would grow so much as a writer. I have learned so much and have traveled wildly outside of my comfort zone throughout this past semester, and my writing has definitely improved because of it. Writing has always been a passion of mine. There’s nothing I love more than losing myself in the world, characters and storyline my imagination was able to create. I’ve written stories for as long as I can remember, but it wasn’t until I entered high school that it became my creative outlet. I used creative writing as a way to express myself and let my pent up feelings out. Nothing, not even my journal was a secretive as the made up scenarios flowing straight from my mind to the keyboard. My writing was so personal to me that I would’ve rather walked across broken glass with my bare feet than let anyone sneak a peek! I knew that if I really wanted to achieve my lifelong dream of getting a book published that I would have to let others read my work eventually, but I decided I would just cross that bridge when I came to it. Well, second semester my sophomore year of college, I came to it. In the beginning, I was petrified to share my work, but I opened up little by little as the semester rolled on. And now that we’re at the end, I’ve done a complete 180! I’m emailing finished chapters to my friends, shoving my laptop at my roommate, asking anyone and everyone to revise my work. I’m a new woman! And believe it or not, after a full 20 years spent disliking poetry, I’m finding myself—thanks to the past semester spent in this class—scribbling down poems anywhere there’s space.


Shephard 4   When I begin a new project, I don’t always follow an exact game plan. If I don’t already have a predetermined writing topic, a random idea will usually just pop into my head. I’ll toss the idea around in my mind a little bit, and if I like it, I’ll go with it. It takes me a really long time to finish writing up a draft because I continually make changes and corrections as I go. I’ve tried to just throw down a mess of a first draft and revise in a second, then third, and maybe even a fourth before polishing my final draft, but I can’t resist making improvements to the draft right then and there. That system of making every draft your final draft works just fine if it’s on something personal, but it can make projects like the three we were assigned rather difficult. When I put together my portfolio, I wanted to come up with an arrangement that was creative and personal to both me and my work. It took a lot of brainstorming, but I finally decided to arrange my writing in order of how much the final copy had been revised from the original, starting with the least amount of revisions and progressing up to the piece with the most. In all three genres, the theme I mainly focus on is overcoming obstacles. A topic that’s new and original—not so much, but a topic that’s relatable to every single person on this planet—you better believe it. My purpose behind focusing the majority of my writing on overcoming obstacles it’s something everyone has to deal with in life. I want readers to feel a connection to my writing. I want a random line from a dialogue to hit someone right in the heart because they’re feeling that way too, and suddenly they realize they’re not alone. No matter how big or small of a mountain they’re facing, I want people to read my writing and feel encouraged, that they’re not alone, that things could be


Shephard 5   worse… anything that will pull at their heartstrings and cause them to make an emotional connection with my words—just like I have with so many others. All in all, I’m very excited about how this portfolio has turned out. I have progressed in so many different ways this semester and I’m left feeling inspired to apply what I’ve learned, and see how much more I can grow as I writer.

     


Shephard 6   Katie  Shephard     Creative  Non  Fiction     The  plastic  card  sat  perfectly  placed  in  my  wallet,  burning  a  hole  in  my   pocket.  My  heart  pounded.  This  was  it.     My  eye  makeup  was  dark  and  mysterious,  my  hair  was  curled,  my  clothes   were  tight  and  my  boobs  were  hiked  up  to  my  chin.  I  definitely  looked  the  part…   right?   I  wiped  my  sweaty  palms  on  my  shorts  one  last  time  and  took  a  deep  breath,   my  nerves  skyrocketing  and  my  thoughts  racing  a  mile  a  minute.  With  fake   confidence  I  pulled  open  the  glass  door  and  stepped  into  the  store.     At  the  sound  of  the  door  chimes,  a  bored-­‐looking,  overweight  cashier  turned   his  head  and  glanced  over  my  way.     I  tried  to  control  my  breathing.  My  face  and  chest  were  slowly  going  numb.   My  hands  were  shaking.  Did  he  know?  He  couldn’t  know.  Wait,  could  he?  I  shot  him   a  small  smile  and  strutted  toward  one  of  the  aisles.   The  amount  of  glass  bottles  racking  the  shelves  was  overwhelming.  How   could  this  much  liquor  possibly  exist?  I  tried  to  clear  my  brain  of  everything  except   for  what  alcohol  everyone  I  was  buying  for  wanted.   Cinnamon  Burnett’s.   Malibu  Coconut  Rum.   Green  Apple  Smirnoff.   Still  trying  to  pretend  like  I  actually  knew  what  I  was  doing,  I  scanned  the   aisle  for  any  of  the  three  bottles.   Nothing.   But  the  next  aisle  over,  a  white  bottle  on  top  of  the  shelf  caught  my  eye.   Malibu  Coconut  Rum,  the  label  read.  Trying  not  to  smile  like  an  idiot,  I  shuffled  over.   My  hands  still  shaking,  I  slowly  grabbed  the  bottle  and  tucked  it  under  my  elbow.   One  down,  two  to  go.    This  wasn’t  so  bad.  Was  it?  


Shephard 7   A  couple  aisles  down,  I  spotted  rows  of  glass  bottles  full  of  clear  liquid.  That   had  to  be  the  vodka.  Please  be  the  vodka.  And  sure  enough,  it  was!  I  scanned  the   labels  and  after  what  felt  like  an  hour  at  least,  I  found  both  the  Smirnoff  and   Burnett’s.     Cradling  the  three  bottles  in  my  small  arms,  I  stepped  up  to  the  counter.  My   arms  began  to  tingle  with  nerves,  my  stomach  twisted  into  a  pretzel,  my  head  began   to  pulse,  my  heart  began  to  race.  I  was  30  seconds  away  from  having  a  full-­‐on   anxiety  attack.   “Hi,”  I  chirped,  gently  placing  the  bottles  next  to  the  register.   The  cashier  looked  at  me  squarely.  “Find  everything  okay?”  His  voice  was   gruff  and  terrifying.   “I  did,  thanks.”  I  smiled.   Breathe,  Katie!  In  through  your  nose,  out  through  your  mouth.  You’re  fine!    I   scolded  myself.   He  began  scanning  my  items  and  I  pulled  my  pink  Vera  Bradley  wallet  out  of   my  back  pocket.     “42  dollars  even,”  he  huffed.  “Can  I  see  your  ID?”   In  what  felt  like  slow  motion  I  unzipped  my  wallet,  pulled  out  the  cash  and   removed  the  fake  ID.  Trying  to  be  calm,  I  placed  the  money  on  the  counter  and   handed  him  the  plastic  card.   He  examined  it  and  my  stomach  felt  like  it  was  going  to  explode  with  panic.   Finally,  he  slid  his  big  hand  across  the  counter,  grabbing  the  money.  “Would   you  like  a  receipt?”  He  handed  back  my  ID.   “No…no  I’m  good,”  I  stammered,  completely  flabbergasted.  “Have  a  good   day,”  I  said,  clasping  the  brown  bag  and  walking  out  of  the  store.     It  worked.  My  fake  ID  actually  worked!  I  couldn’t  believe  it.  Thank  God!  Nice   job,  boobs.  You  served  me  well  today.  


Shephard 8   Creative Nonfiction Revision Response Essay I have never gone through such an extensive workshop process as the one we did in class. In previous classes, I would receive feedback from two, maybe three students. I was not used to having so many different classmates critique my work. Throughout this revision process, I have learned a lot about my writing style, how it comes across to the audience and what some of my strengths are. I was very happy with the responses my classmates had to my essay. Each person reported that they really enjoyed the piece and gave specific examples to what they liked. For instance, one reader commented, “I like that you’re sure to emphasize her nerves throughout the story. You do it using different images as well, which is good.” When writing this essay one thing I really strived to do was to make sure the audience knew just how nervous I was to be buying the alcohol, and ample amounts of responses confirmed that I had succeeded. I was quite surprised with how many people had a reaction to the lines that mentioned boobs! I did not think the readers would find it as funny and like it as much as they did. The comments definitely confirmed to me that even the smallest of details can make a world of difference and really stick out in an audience member’s mind. I was really excited to realize that! It meant a lot to me to learn that every precious touch I put on a piece of writing—even if it’s a tiny description that I don’t really even think much of, like, ‘…my boobs were hiked up to my chin’—it is noticed and appreciated. The only real changes I made to my essay were adding a title and fixing a few grammatical errors. I would have more revisions into the piece but I did not really receive any negative comments or suggestions of things to change. I read through the essay


Shephard 9   multiple times in search of any more small details that could have been missed, but eventually decided to keep everything as it was. I figured; if my readers liked the story as it was, why try to mess with it? Things could always be done to make something better, but in this case I was worried that adding more might change readers’ view of the story, be too overwhelming, or take away from the story as a whole. I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop process. Sometimes I can’t help but doubt myself as a writer, and the responses I received during this workshop definitely gave me the small confidence boost I needed. Seeing how well the audience responded to my story, reading specific examples of things they liked in my writing, learning how they felt as they were reading, and being told how well of a job they thought I did made me feel incredibly proud. Knowing that my writing connected with my readers, made them laugh, made them feel what the character was feeling and transported them into the story itself brings me so much joy and gives me some affirmation that the years of persistent hard work, learning and practicing that I’ve put into writing has truly made a difference. This workshop process was very successful for me and it is something I would love to continue doing in the future.


Shephard 10   Mission: Impossible The plastic card sat perfectly placed in my wallet, burning a hole in my pocket. My heart pounded. This was it. My eye makeup was dark and mysterious, my hair was curled, my clothes were tight and my boobs were hiked up to my chin. I definitely looked the part… right? I wiped my sweaty palms on my shorts one last time and took a deep breath, my nerves skyrocketing and my thoughts racing a mile a minute. With fake confidence I pulled open the glass door and stepped into the store. At the sound of the door chimes, a bored-looking, overweight cashier turned his head and glanced over my way. I tried to control my breathing. My face and chest were slowly going numb. My hands were shaking. Did he know? He couldn’t know. Wait, could he? I shot him a small smile and strutted toward one of the aisles. The amount of glass bottles racking the shelves was overwhelming. How could this much liquor possibly exist? I tried to clear my brain of everything except for what alcohol everyone I was buying for wanted. Cinnamon Burnett’s… Malibu Coconut Rum… Green Apple Smirnoff... Still trying to pretend like I actually knew what I was doing, I scanned the aisle for any of the three bottles. Nothing.


Shephard 11   But the next aisle over, a white bottle on top of the shelf caught my eye. Malibu Coconut Rum, the label read. Trying not to smile like an idiot, I shuffled over. My hands still shaking, I slowly grabbed the bottle and tucked it under my elbow. One down, two to go. This wasn’t so bad. Was it? A couple aisles down, I spotted rows of glass bottles full of clear liquid. That had to be the vodka. Please be the vodka. And sure enough, it was! I scanned the labels and after what felt like an hour at least, I found both the Smirnoff and Burnett’s. Cradling the three bottles in my small arms, I stepped up to the counter. My arms began to tingle with nerves, my stomach twisted into a pretzel, my head began to pulse, my heart began to race. I was 30 seconds away from having a full-on anxiety attack. “Hi,” I chirped, gently placing the bottles next to the register. The cashier looked at me squarely. “Find everything okay?” His voice was gruff and terrifying. “I did, thanks.” I smiled. Breathe, Katie! In through your nose, out through your mouth. You’re fine! I scolded myself. He began scanning my items and I pulled my pink Vera Bradley wallet out of my back pocket. “Forty-two dollars even,” he huffed. “Can I see your ID?” In what felt like slow motion I unzipped my wallet, pulled out the cash and removed the fake ID. Trying to be calm, I placed the money on the counter and handed him the plastic card. He examined it and my stomach felt like it was going to explode with panic.


Shephard 12   Finally, he slid his big hand across the counter, grabbing the money. “Would you like a receipt?” He handed back my ID. “No…no I’m good,” I stammered, completely flabbergasted. “Have a good day,” I said, clasping the brown bag and walking out of the store. It worked. My fake ID actually worked! I couldn’t believe it. Thank God! Nice job, boobs. You served me well today.


Shephard 13   1.  I  heard  the  words  but  I  couldn’t  feel   I  thought  you’d  always  be  here,  wasn’t  that  the  deal?   The  news  hit  me  like  a  cement  brick   It  couldn’t  be  true…  I  think  I  might  be  sick.   My  legs  gave  out  and  I  sunk  into  my  chair   But  shed  a  tear  I  wouldn’t  dare.   Uncle  Bruce,  I’m  not  sure  what  we’re  going  to  do  without  you   We  miss  you  so  much  and  I  know  you  miss  us  too.   Your  passing  left  a  hole  in  my  heart  that  anyone  could  see,   But  now  I  have  a  guardian  angel  watching  over  me.         2.  Snakes  wrap  around  me  and  squeeze  until  I  can’t  breathe,  dragging  me  down.   I’m  drowning  in  my  own  thoughts  and  fears.   I’m  lost,  struggling  in  the  unknown,   But  I’m  failing.   No  matter  how  much  I  lose,  it’s  never  enough.   It  never  will  be  enough.           3.  Taking  a  Risk  for  Forever     1.  Couch  2.  Breath  3.  Forever  4.  Safe  5.  Laugh  6.  Hand     There’s  something  perfect  in  just  lying  together  like  this  on  the  couch.   Nothing  here  but  the  two  of  us  and  the  heat  of  love’s  breath   As  it  whispers  blissfully  into  our  ears.  I  could  stay  here  forever,  


Shephard 14   Tangled  up  in  you,  knowing  that  in  your  strong  arms  I’m  safe.   We  act  like  fools,  crack  jokes,  swap  stories  and  make  each  other  laugh,   And  you  can  make  me  feel  love  just  by  holding  my  hand.     You  kiss  me  sweetly  on  the  forehead,  cupping  my  cheek  with  your  hand.   There’s  nowhere  I’d  rather  be  than  here  with  you  on  this  ratty  college-­‐kid  couch,   And  for  some  reason  I  can’t  help  but  interrupt  our  silence  with  a  small  laugh.   “What?”  You  ask  after  another  kiss,  my  forehead  warm  from  your  breath.   I  fear  to  tell  you  how  I  feel,  to  let  my  guard  down,  to  hope  you’ll  keep  my  heart  safe.   I’ve  been  hurt  so  many  times  before,  and  I  don’t  want  to  be  brokenhearted  forever.     But  there’s  still  a  lot  of  time  between  now  and  forever…   “What?”  You  whisper  again,  touching  my  knee  with  your  rough  hand.   Do  I  take  a  risk  and  be  vulnerable,  or  do  I  put  up  my  walls  and  keep  my  heart  safe?   Avoiding  your  gaze,  I  turn  away  shyly,  putting  my  focus  on  the  couch.   Deciding  you  just  might  be  worth  the  risk,  I  grinned  and  took  a  deep  breath.   You  smiled  at  my  answer  and  quietly  slipping  from  your  lips  came  a  laugh.     Softly  slamming  my  tiny  fist  into  your  rock  hard  bicep  I  said,  ‘don’t  you  dare  laugh!”    “I’m  laughing  because  I,  too,  could  lay  here  with  you  for  forever.”   I  froze,  unable  to  move,  forgetting  how  to  take  in  a  breath,   Not  snapping  back  to  reality  until  you  took  hold  of  my  shaky  hand.   How  could  it  be?  How  could  I  want  to  spend  forever  here  on  this  gross  couch?   Because  here  with  you,  even  on  this  gross  couch,  I  am  safe.     There  is  nothing  else  in  this  world  but  us.  From  everything,  together  we’re  safe.   Your  goofy  facial  expression  makes  me  laugh,   And  you  get  revenge  by  picking  me  up  and  play  body-­‐slamming  me  onto  the  couch.   After  wrestling  for  what  felt  like  forever,   I  surrendered,  banging  the  carpet  with  my  small  hand   And  giggling  as  I  tried  to  catch  my  breath.     As  we  kissed,  I  took  in  the  minty  on  your  breath,   Grateful  you  also  popped  a  stick  of  gum  just  to  be  safe.   My  long,  messy  hair  covered  my  face,  and  you  swept  it  away  gently  with  your  hand.   My  hair’s  always  in  the  way,  and  at  the  normalcy  of  the  gesture  we  had  to  laugh.   We  still  always  laugh  at  my  wild  hair  getting  in  my  face,  and  I  know  we  will  forever.   Just  like  I  know  that  even  when  our  two  kids  are  grown,  we’ll  still  have  that  couch.     4. In  an  Instant   You  never  think  it  could  happen  to  you,   That  is,  until  it  does.  


Shephard 15   We  just  rolled  our  eyes  when  your  mom  pleaded:   Please  wear  your  seatbelts,  please  drive  slowly,  please  be  careful.   Fighting  to  get  out  the  door,  we  simply  wrote  off  your  dad’s  warning:   The  roads  are  slick  with  ice.  Be  aware.   As  we  drove  through  the  snow,  everything  was  fine,   Not  a  slip  of  a  tire,  not  a  jerk  of  the  wheel.   We  didn’t  think  anything  would  happen  to  us,   That  is,  until  it  did.   The  SUV  came  out  of  nowhere,  slipping  and  sliding  into  our  lane.   The  headlights  were  blinding  as  they  flew  into  our  car     The  collision  was  jolting  as  the  SUV  crashed  into  ours.   It  only  took  an  instant.   Only  an  instant,  and  our  whole  life  was  changed.     5.  One  More  Time   I  promised  myself  that  would  be  the  last  time.   But  here  I  am  again,   unable  to  help  myself  from   Falling  back  for  you.   Crawling  back  to  you.   Going  back  to  you.   Why  not  try  just  one  more  time?    


Shephard 16   Poetry Revision Response Essay Poetry has never, ever been one of my strong suits. It’s just never clicked with me and usually I avoid it like the plague. And if I did ever venture out and write a poem, no way was I going to let someone else read it! But, with this workshop process I had no choice but to step out of my comfort zone and put my work out on the table for my classmates to see. And the responses I received definitely weren’t what I was expecting. Overall, I was quite happy with the responses my classmates had to my poems. Although I don’t mind my work being critiqued, I was really worried my poems would get nothing but negative feedback. I was surprised to hear exactly the opposite, though. The students work-shopping my poems said that they really enjoyed them and gave me specific examples as to what they liked. For example, after reading ‘Not  Ready  for   Goodbye’  aloud,  Katherine  Johnson  said,  “I love your use of rhyming in this poem! I normally don’t really like rhyming because I think it is often times very cliché and comes off sounding childish. But your words flowed together so nicely and the rhyming really made the poem stand out.” I could not have been happier to hear that from her. ‘Not Ready for Goodbye’ is very personal to me. It’s about my Uncle Bruce who passed away last summer unexpectedly from a massive heart attack. Because of how special this poem is to me, getting such good feedback was such a great feeling! It made me proud of my work, and filled me with the hope that even up in heaven, Uncle Bruce is proud of me too.

When writing, I did my best to make the poems relatable. I’ve always struggled

with deciphering poems that hide a secret message, and so often I cannot connect with what the poem is saying in any way. I didn’t want that for my readers and I was happy to learn that they were able to relate to and understand each poem thoroughly. One student


Shephard 17   said about my poem, ‘Fear,’ “I love the images you create here! I can see every single thing as it happens and I think anyone reading this can easily relate to at least one, if not more, of these fears.” It was a good feeling to know that the hard work I put into making these poems enjoyable and understandable was worth it. I made a pretty good amount of changes to my poems. Some were small, like taking out the words ‘Uncle Bruce’ in ‘Not Ready for Goodbye.’ Some were a little larger, like the switch of the last three lines in ‘Fear’ from ‘But  I’m  failing.  No  matter   how  much  I  lose,  it’s  never  enough.  It  never  will  be  enough’  to,  ‘I’m  failing.  No  matter   how  much  far  I  come,  it’s  never  enough.  It  never  will  be  enough.‘  And  some  changes,   like  the  ending  of  my  sestina,  were  much,  much  larger  and  made  a  substantial   impact  on  the  poem  as  a  whole.   As with the others, I thoroughly enjoyed this workshop process. Going into this workshop feeling rather timid and nervous because of my struggles with poetry, I was definitely not expecting to come out with a feeling of such self-accomplishment and confidence. The responses I received during this workshop definitely made me feel more confident in writing poetry and gave me the nudge I needed to step outside of my comfort zone and experiment. This workshop process was very successful for me and it is something I would love to continue doing in the future.  


Shephard 18   Not  Ready  for  Goodbye   I  heard  the  words  but  I  couldn’t  feel   I  thought  you’d  always  be  here,  wasn’t  that  the  deal?   The  news  hit  me  like  a  cement  brick   It  couldn’t  be  true…  I  think  I  might  be  sick.   My  legs  gave  out  and  I  sunk  into  my  chair   But  shed  a  tear  I  wouldn’t  dare.   Uncle  Bruce,  I’m  not  sure  what  we’re  going  to  do  without  you   We  miss  you  so  much  and  I  know  you  miss  us  too.   Your  passing  left  a  hole  in  my  heart  that  anyone  could  see,   But  now  I  have  a  guardian  angel  watching  over  me.       One  More  Time   I  promised  myself  that  would  be  the  last  time.   But  here  I  am  again,   unable  to  help  myself  from   Falling  back  for  you.   Crawling  back  to  you.   Going  back  to  you.   Why  not  try  just  one  more  time?            


Shephard 19   In  an  Instant   You  never  think  it  could  happen  to  you,   That  is,  until  it  does.   We  just  rolled  our  eyes  when  your  mom  pleaded:   Please  wear  your  seatbelts,  please  drive  slowly,  please  be  careful.   Fighting  to  get  out  the  door,  we  simply  wrote  off  your  dad’s  warning:   The  roads  are  slick  with  ice.  Be  aware.   As  we  drove  through  the  snow,  everything  was  fine,   Not  a  slip  of  a  tire,  not  a  jerk  of  the  wheel.   We  didn’t  think  anything  would  happen  to  us,   That  is,  until  it  did.   The  SUV  came  out  of  nowhere,  slipping  and  sliding  into  our  lane.   The  headlights  were  blinding  as  they  flew  into  our  car     The  collision  was  jolting  as  the  SUV  crashed  into  ours.   It  only  took  an  instant.   Only  an  instant,  and  our  whole  life  was  changed.     Fear   Snakes  wrap  around  me  and  squeeze  until  I  can’t  breathe,  dragging  me  down.   I’m  drowning  in  my  own  thoughts  and  fears.   I’m  lost,  struggling  in  the  unknown,   I’m  failing.   No  matter  how  much  far  I  come,  it’s  never  enough.   It  never  will  be  enough.  


Shephard 20   Taking  a  Risk  for  Forever     1.  Couch  2.  Breath  3.  Forever  4.  Safe  5.  Laugh  6.  Hand     There’s  something  perfect  in  just  lying  together  like  this  on  the  couch.   Nothing  here  but  the  two  of  us  and  the  heat  of  love’s  breath   As  it  whispers  blissfully  into  our  ears.  I  could  stay  here  forever,   Tangled  up  in  you,  knowing  that  in  your  strong  arms  I’m  safe.   We  act  like  fools,  crack  jokes,  swap  stories  and  make  each  other  laugh,   And  you  can  make  me  feel  love  just  by  holding  my  hand.     You  kiss  me  sweetly  on  the  forehead,  cupping  my  cheek  with  your  hand.   There’s  nowhere  I’d  rather  be  than  here  with  you  on  this  ratty  college-­‐kid  couch,   And  for  some  reason  I  can’t  help  but  interrupt  our  silence  with  a  small  laugh.   “What?”  You  ask  after  another  kiss,  my  forehead  warm  from  your  breath.   I  fear  to  tell  you  how  I  feel,  to  let  my  guard  down,  to  hope  you’ll  keep  my  heart  safe.   I’ve  been  hurt  so  many  times  before,  and  I  don’t  want  to  be  brokenhearted  forever.     But  there’s  still  a  lot  of  time  between  now  and  forever…   “What?”  You  whisper  again,  touching  my  knee  with  your  rough  hand.   Do  I  take  a  risk  and  be  vulnerable,  or  do  I  put  up  my  walls  and  keep  my  heart  safe?   Avoiding  your  gaze,  I  turn  away  shyly,  putting  my  focus  on  the  couch.   Deciding  you  just  might  be  worth  the  risk,  I  grinned  and  took  a  deep  breath.   You  smiled  at  my  answer  and  quietly  slipping  from  your  lips  came  a  laugh.     Softly  slamming  my  tiny  fist  into  your  rock  hard  bicep  I  said,  ‘don’t  you  dare  laugh!”    “I’m  laughing  because  I,  too,  could  lay  here  with  you  for  forever.”   I  froze,  unable  to  move,  forgetting  how  to  take  in  a  breath,   Not  snapping  back  to  reality  until  you  took  hold  of  my  shaky  hand.   How  could  it  be?  How  could  I  want  to  spend  forever  here  on  this  gross  couch?   Because  here  with  you,  even  on  this  gross  couch,  I  am  safe.     There  is  nothing  else  in  this  world  but  us.  From  everything,  together  we’re  safe.   Your  goofy  facial  expression  makes  me  laugh,   And  you  get  revenge  by  picking  me  up  and  play  body-­‐slamming  me  onto  the  couch.   After  wrestling  for  what  felt  like  forever,   I  surrendered,  banging  the  carpet  with  my  small  hand   And  giggling  as  I  tried  to  catch  my  breath.     As  we  kissed,  I  took  in  the  minty  smell  on  your  breath,   Grateful  you  also  popped  a  stick  of  gum  just  to  be  safe.   My  long,  messy  hair  covered  my  face,  and  you  swept  it  away  gently  with  your  hand.   My  hair  is  always  in  the  way.  And  as  always,  we  couldn’t  help  but  laugh.   Now,  10  years  later  we  still  laugh  at  my  wild  hair,  and  I  know  that  we  will  forever…   Just  like  I  know  that  even  after  our  two  kids  are  grown,  we’ll  still  have  that  couch.  


Shephard 21   Strength The hot sun crept into the office through the slits of the blinds and warmed my face as I considered my therapist’s question. My mind was staggering for an answer, and the heat was beginning to make my forehead sweat. “Amanda?” Dr. Vitello asked, shaking me out of my thoughts. “Yeah…” “So start from the beginning of the night…before things turned bad.” She grabbed the box of Kleenex tissues from her desk and put it on the mahogany coffee table in front of me. I started at them, willing myself not to seize one. I would not cry. “Well…” I started, searching for the words to begin my story. But then in a flash I was brought right back to that night with Gabe. The memories started to play like a movie in a dark theatre, and I was watching. “This is a safe place Amanda. You can tell me.” My voice caught in my throat as I spoke. “It was after Gabe’s football game. He fumbled what would have been the winning touchdown so he wasn’t in too good a mood. I told him I would skip going to B Dubs with everyone else and go back to his house with him. It was such an important game, and he felt like the loss was his fault. When we got back to his house his parents weren’t home. They had gone to Ohio State to visit Gabe’s sister, Kelsey, for the weekend. He pulled his truck into the garage, and I parked my little Mazda in the driveway. When we got inside, I followed him down to the basement and when he plopped down on the couch I took hold of his hand and sat with him. ‘Tell me what’s bothering you,’ I said.


Shephard 22   ‘Amanda are you that dumb?!’ He boomed. ‘Because of me, we lost the state semi-finals. That’s what’s bothering me… and the fact that I have such a dumbass girlfriend.’ ‘Gabe, I know you’re upset but please don’t take this out on me.’ I said to him. ‘I just want to help you…’ ‘I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP.’ He yelled. All I could say back was ‘okay…’ After a minute or two, my iPhone beeped, breaking the silence. Gabe looked down at the screen and picked up the phone, infuriated. ‘Amanda why the hell is Jake texting you asking what you’re doing tonight?’ ‘I…I don’t know…’ “Now who’s Jake?” Dr. Vitello interrupted. “My ex boyfriend. We had dated for almost a year and Gabe was pretty jealous of him. Jake had been trying to get me back for months, and he ignored Gabe’s warning to back off.” Dr. Vitello wrote something down on her pad of yellow office paper. “Okay, go on.” “He started typing a reply furiously, and when I tried to snatch my phone back he pushed me away…hard. My whole body shot backwards into the arm of the old couch and my spine took the brunt of it. ‘Gabe please don’t say anything mean.’ I knew he was mad. And I knew what he did to me when he was mad. So attempting to calm him down I said, ‘this is the first time he’s texted me in weeks.’ Wrong choice. Before I knew it, I was on the carpet and he was looming over me, pinning my arms down.


Shephard 23   ‘What do you mean first time in weeks? I told him to back off two months ago. You’ve still been talking to him all this time?’ ‘Gabe…you’re hurting me.’ I coughed. He was sitting on my stomach, making it hard for me to breathe. ‘You told me you two weren’t texting anymore! You’re a liar!’ He gritted his teeth together and threw his fist down onto my left eye. The pain was unbearable. It was a mixture of throbbing and stinging all at once. I let out a screech and did my best to get out of his arms. I wriggled all over, crying and pleading him to stop, but that only made him angrier. ‘What’s wrong Amanda?’ He asked, pinning my arms to the ground again. ‘Can’t take a little pain?’ ‘Gabe please…’ I whimpered. My left eye had already swollen shut, so I could only see him out of my right, and he looked even worse than before. ‘I was just trying to make you feel better.’ His grip on my arms tightened so firmly that I thought my bones would break. He opened his mouth to say something else when his cell phone rang. Then just like that, it was like he was…back. The anger in his eyes vanished, and he looked down at my bruised, terrified face lovingly. The phone continued to ring as we stared at each other. He paused, and picked it up. ‘Dude, I can’t talk right now.’ There was a voice at the other end of the line speaking quickly. ‘I don’t care. Not now.’ He snapped the phone shut and threw it onto the couch. As he slowly stood up, my lungs filled with much needed air. I breathed in and out rapidly, trying to catch my breath again. All I could do was lay on the scratchy carpet.


Shephard 24   I felt like I was dying. My head, face and arms throbbed. I looked at my left calf and saw blood trickling down. In the midst of the chaos I hadn’t even noticed that I had cut it on the glass coffee table. I let out a gurgley cough and did my best to stand up. ‘Baby…’ Gabe crouched down next to my head and lifted me into his arms as I sobbed. ‘I…I can’t believe I did this to you.’ I couldn’t speak. ‘Baby please forgive me. I love you so much. I just don’t want Jake taking you away from me, that’s why I get mad when he talks to you, that’s all. Amanda, please don’t be mad at me.’ His voice cracked, as if he was about to cry as well. I reached up and grabbed my keys and phone off of the coffee table. And with all of my strength, I got up and ran up the stairs of the basement and out of the house. I could hear Gabe behind me calling, ‘Amanda! Amanda, PLEASE!’ But my adrenaline was pumping through my veins. I couldn’t stop. I got into my car and zoomed out of the driveway at full speed. I sped down the street and finally parked in the elementary school parking lot. I stopped my crying and pulled myself together before I continued home.” “Were your parents home?” Dr. Vitello asked. “No, they weren’t. They were out to dinner with their friends. So when I got home I took a scalding hot shower then went to bed. My parents didn’t even check on me…I guess they figured I was upset over the tough loss of the game. The next morning I woke up with a black eye, bruised arms a gashed calf, and thirty two missed calls from Gabe. He tried calling me again twenty minutes after I woke up, and hesitantly, I answered.


Shephard 25   ‘Amanda, I love you so much, and I know you love me. You mean the world to me. Please don’t let my little mistake ruin what we have.’ Tears formed in my eyes. This wasn’t the first time he had done this to me— hurting me then apologizing and saying he loved me the next day. But, it would be the last. ‘No.’ Was all I said back before hanging up and turning my phone off.” “What made you see the light, Amanda? Why did you change?” “I guess, I just found my inner strength…and used it. You know, people see strength as a physical thing. But I see it as a mental thing.


Shephard 26   Creative Fiction Revision Response Essay Looking back on my life, there’s only been one hobby that I’ve never grown out of. Out of the seemingly hundreds of activities I’ve done there’s just one thing I can remember always being interested in. My whole life, ever since I first learned to write, I’ve loved creating stories. As I’ve grown older I’ve grown more and more passionate about writing, and I aspire to publish a book one day. But as with the rest of my writing, I have a hard time sharing something so personal with others. But as with every workshop process, I had no choice but to throw my personal creations—my babies—out into the world for others to read. I was terrified of how people might respond, but curious at the same time as to what they though. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the feedback I received! As I touched on in my creative nonfiction response, hearing that people enjoyed my writing and that all the extra little touches I put in were actually noticed fills me with such a sense of pride and accomplishment! As silly as this may sound, it’s given me just the smallest, most diminutive taste of what actually getting a book published could feel like. As a reader, one thing a story must have in order for me to fall in love with it is the ability to not only grab my attention, but suck my A.D.D. mind deep into the story, and keep it there. As a writer, that’s one thing I strive to accomplish. I want my readers to be right there in the scene, living through each moment right next to the character. Because of how hard I work to create that, my favorite of all the comments said, “I really enjoyed reading this story! You were able to suck me right into the story from the very first sentence. I felt like I was there with Amanda in the office, Gabe’s basement, her car, her room… You really made it feel believable. I was kind of sad when it ended!” Reading that someone


Shephard 27   was sad the story was over couldn’t have made me any happier! Another aspect of the story I put major focus on was keeping the reader on the edge of their seat. Suspense can be difficult, and my goal was to overcome that challenge, leaving readers on their toes. I thought I’d done an all right job, but that was definitely my biggest worry. After going through my responses, though, I learned that I’d undoubtedly achieved my goal! One reader said, “You did a really good job keeping the readers in suspense. After each paragraph I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. As Amanda ran away from Gabe I was terrified waiting to find out if he would catch up to her. This was a really entertaining story!” Knowing that I reached my goal put me in such a positive mindset and left me inspired to go after another one. I made a massive amount of changes to my story. My original plan was to submit two separate works of creative fiction rather than dragging this one out another thousand words, but adding in more to make it longer was a common suggestion. I fixed some grammatical errors, polished what I’d already written, and extended the story anywhere and everywhere I possibly could. It was a long revision process, but in the end my story profited greatly from all the time spent.   This workshop was definitely beneficial for me. I was a bit nervous and reluctant to just hand out a piece of my imagination, but once again going outside of my comfort zone proved to be nothing but a positive experience. In following the suggestions of my responders, I managed to turn a little story I felt pretty good about of into a work of creative fiction I couldn’t have been more proud of. Although it scares me, I am going to try to continue getting my work revised by others.


Shephard 28   Strength The hot sun crept into the office through the slits of the blinds and warmed my face as I considered my therapist’s question. My mind was struggling for an answer, and the heat was beginning to make my forehead sweat. “Amanda?” Dr. Vitello probed, shaking me out of my thoughts. “Yeah…” “Do you feel comfortable picking up where we left off last session?” She adjusted her black-rimmed glasses and crossed her skinny legs. I looked past her and turned my focus back toward the beams of sunlight flooding the small office. Millions of tiny dust particles floated carelessly in the sunshine, absolutely nothing to do and nowhere to be until the end of time. I found myself envious of them. They had such a simplistic existence. There was nothing holding them back, forcing them forward, or hindering them to a standstill. They felt no pain, no guilt, no remorse, no sadness. Their only responsibility was to float in the sun, and to do so in whichever way they pleased. I longed so deeply to float carelessly through my existence like they did; free from life’s grueling weight bogging me down. I had that life at one point in time. It seems so long ago now that I can hardly even remember it, but I know that I used to be simply, blissfully happy. I had a life I loved before Gabe, and for the first six months or so of our relationship I didn’t think it was possible for life to get any better. I took up permanent residence on cloud 9, uncontrollably losing myself in the depths of his love. My everyday life was the classic teenage dream most people only get to see in movies. …Well, that is until Gabe changed everything.


Shephard 29   “Amanda, I know this situation is incredibly difficult for you to revisit, but we made so much progress last session and I want to keep that momentum going so we can really dig down deep and work through the root of the issue.” I nodded. “Okay. So how about you start from the beginning of the night…before things turned bad.” Dr. Vitello grabbed the box of Kleenex tissues from her desk and placed it on the mahogany coffee table in front of me. I started at them, willing myself not to seize one. I would not cry. “Well…” I started, searching for the words to begin my story. But then in a flash I was brought right back to that night with Gabe. The memories started to play like a movie in a dark theatre, and I was stuck watching. “This is a safe place Amanda. You can tell me,” Dr. Vitello urged. She could always sense my fear. My voice caught in my throat as I began to speak. “It was after Gabe’s football game. He fumbled what would have been the winning touchdown, so he wasn’t in a good mood. I told him I would skip going to B Dubs with the rest of the cheerleaders, players and student fans and just go back to his house with him. It was such an important game, and he felt like the loss was all his fault. When we got back to his house his parents weren’t home; they had gone to Ohio State to visit Gabe’s sister, Kelsey, for the weekend. So, when we got there, he pulled his truck into the garage and I parked my little Mazda in the driveway. When we got inside, I followed him directly to the basement and when he plopped down on the couch I took hold of his big, gruff hand and sat with him. ‘Tell me what’s bothering you,’ I said.


Shephard 30   ‘Amanda are you that stupid?!’ He boomed, whipping his hand from mine so furiously that I nearly jumped. ‘Because of me, we lost the state semi-finals. That’s what’s bothering me… that and the fact that I have such a dumbass girlfriend.’ ‘Gabe, I know you’re upset but please don’t take this out on me.’ I pleaded, my voice meek and gentle. ‘I love you so much and I just want to help you…’ ‘I DON’T NEED YOUR HELP.’ He roared. He was starting to scare me, and all I could muster in response was a nearly silent, ‘okay…’ After a minute or two my iPhone beeped, breaking the silence. Gabe looked down at the screen and picked up the phone, immediately infuriated. ‘Amanda, why the hell is Jake texting you asking what you’re doing tonight?’ ‘I…I don’t know…’” “Now who’s Jake?” Dr. Vitello interrupted. “My ex boyfriend. We had dated for almost a year and Gabe was pretty jealous of him—even though he really didn’t need to be. Jake had been trying to get me back for months, and even though I made it clear that I wasn’t interested, he still ignored Gabe’s warning to back off and continued trying.” Dr. Vitello wrote something down on her pad of yellow office paper. “Okay, go on.” “Gabe started typing a reply furiously, and when I tried to snatch my phone back he pushed me away…hard. My whole body shot backward into the wooden arm of the old couch and my spine took the brunt of it. ‘Gabe please don’t say anything mean,’ I begged.


Shephard 31   I knew he was mad. And I knew what he did to me when he was mad. So attempting to calm him down I offered, ‘this is the first time he’s texted me in weeks!’ Wrong choice. Before I knew it I was lying on the carpet and he was looming over me, pinning down my arms. ‘What do you mean the first time in weeks? I told him to back off two months ago!” He shook me and continued to scream. “You’ve still been talking to him all this time?’ ‘Gabe…you’re hurting me.’ I coughed. He was straddling my stomach, making it hard for me to breathe. ‘You told me you two weren’t texting anymore!’ With each word he squeezed my tiny wrists harder and harder. ‘You’re a liar!’ Gritting his teeth together, he threw his fist violently down onto my left eye. The instant pain flooding my body was unbearable. The surge was a brutal mixture of throbbing, burning and stinging all at once. I let out an ear-piercing screech and did my best to get out from under his arms. I wriggled all over, crying and pleading for him to stop, but that only made him angrier. ‘What’s wrong, Amanda?’ He teased, pinning my arms to the ground yet again. ‘Can’t take a little pain?’ ‘Gabe please…’ I whimpered. My left eye had already swollen shut, but it only took one to see that he looked even worse than before. ‘I was just trying to make you feel better!’ His grip on my arms tightened so intensely that I thought both my bones were going to snap right there in his hands. He opened his mouth to say something else when


Shephard 32   his cell phone suddenly rang. Then just like that, it was like he was…back. The darkness and anger in his eyes vanished, his grip on my arms relaxed and he looked down at my bruised, terrified face with such tenderness. The phone continued to ring as we stared at each other in utter silence. He paused, and slowly picked it up. ‘Dude, I can’t talk right now.’ There was a voice at the other end of the line speaking quickly. ‘I don’t care. Not now.’ He snapped the phone shut and threw it carelessly onto the couch. He gazed down at me again in shock. Slowly he stood up and my lungs filled with much needed air. I huffed in and out rapidly, wheezing as I tried to catch my breath again. All I could do was lie there lifelessly on the scratchy carpet. I felt like I was dying. My head, face, back, chest and arms throbbed. I glanced toward my left calf and saw thick trails of blood trickling down toward my ankle. In the midst of the chaos I hadn’t even noticed that I had cut myself on the glass coffee table. I let out a gurgley cough and did my best to sit up. ‘Baby…’ Gabe crouched down next to my head and lifted me into his arms as I sobbed. ‘I…I can’t believe I did this to you.’ I couldn’t speak. ‘Baby please, please forgive me. I love you so much, you know that. I just don’t want Jake taking you away from me, that’s why I get angry when he talks to you, that’s all.’ His voice cracked as if he were about to cry as well. ‘Amanda, please don’t be mad at me.’


Shephard 33   Fighting through the pain with a shaky hand, I reached up and grabbed my keys and phone off of the coffee table. And then with every ounce of my strength, I shot up and ran as fast as I could up the basement stairs and out of the house. I could hear Gabe behind me calling, ‘Amanda! Amanda, PLEASE!’ But my adrenaline was pumping wildly through my veins. I couldn’t stop. I got into my car and zoomed out of the driveway at full speed, not even bothering to check if the road was clear. I sped down the street as fast as my car could go and finally parked in an elementary school parking lot once I was far enough away. Without the surge of adrenaline moving me forward, I didn’t have the strength to make it home before collapsing in tears. It took me close to 10 minutes of uncontrollable sobbing before I was finally able to stop my crying and pull myself together enough to drive the rest of the way home.” “Were your parents home when you got back?” Dr. Vitello asked. “No, they weren’t. They were out to dinner with their friends that night, and I was grateful to be alone in the silence. When I got home I took a scalding hot shower then went straight to bed. I was so exhausted after everything that had happened, I didn’t even have enough energy to take proper care of all my wounds.” “Were you awake when your mom and dad came home?” “Sort of… I was in a daze. I could hear my parents get back, but it felt like the noise was a million miles away. It felt almost as if they were in a far off dream. I was scared they would check on me, but neither one of them even poked their head in…I guess they figured I was upset over the tough loss of the game and didn’t want to disturb me.”


Shephard 34   “Then what?” She pressed. “Then before I knew it, it was the next morning and every inch of my body ached. It felt like a high-speed train had hit me, I was in so much pain. It took me what felt like forever to muster up enough strength to climb out of bed and check my damages in the mirror. That morning I woke up with a black eye still swollen shut, blue and purple splotches starting below my eye and tracing all the way down my jaw, bruised arms, a deeply gashed calf, and thirty-two missed calls from Gabe. He tried calling me again twenty minutes after I woke up, and reluctantly, I answered. ‘Amanda, I love you so much, and I know you love me. You mean the world to me, babe. Please don’t let my little mistake ruin what we have.’ I looked at my gruesome reflection in the mirror and hot tears formed in my eyes. This wasn’t the first time he had done this—hurting me then apologizing and saying how much he loved me the next day. But, it would be the last. ‘I love you more than you could ever know. Please give me another chance,’ he continued to beg. ‘No.’ Was all I spat back before hanging up and turning off my phone.” “What made you see the light, Amanda? What made you finally decide to walk away from him?” “I guess I just found my inner strength…and used it. Gabe was my first real love and aside from the abuse, he was wonderful to me. I guess I thought that maybe there was a chance he could go back to the Gabe he used to be and we could put everything behind us. But when I saw what he’d done to me something just clicked, and that was that. I’ve


Shephard 35   realized that no matter how amazing it is the majority of the time, no relationship is worth suffering abuse over. That’s not love. It may feel like it at times, but you don’t inflict pain on someone you love.” “That’s a very mature realization, Amanda—especially for someone of such a young age. Do you think you’ll ever be open to the possibility of falling in love again?” I took a deep breath, mulling over her question. “It’s definitely going to take some time before I’ll ever be able to trust a guy again, but who knows? Because of Gabe I now know how I deserve to be treated. If someday there’s a guy who treats me even better than that, then why not take the risk?” I chuckled. “Besides, it couldn’t get much worse than this! What do I have to lose?”


Shephard 36   Confessions of a High School Socialite August 24, 2010

Well, this is it… the end of summer vacation and the beginning of my senior year at North High School. I’m completely freaking out. I have so much to worry about this year. First quarter is, like, my last chance to get my GPA up before sending out college applications. Ball State University’s average GPA is 3.2… I have a 3.0. So that means going into things, I’m already .2 below where I should be. I really regret slacking off my junior year now. It’s causing me so much stress! Cheerleading has started up, and being one of the seniors was so worth the wait. I’m captain, so everyone listens to me and does what I say. I get to make the final decisions on absolutely everything—from the color and designs of our bows, to the choreography and formation in our hello cheer, to who is hosting each team dinner. SO fun! As much as I don’t want to, starting a new school year means giving up the summer. Which means giving up Mason. It’s really about time for me to get over him. I really don’t understand how I could possibly still be so into him…he completely used me! God, why do I always go for the douche bags? I guess I was just so blinded by the fact that he was Mason Flannigan—South High School’s sexy star soccer player. He was so good looking, a senior, and had the most amazing car (black Mustang GT). I was so unbelievably surprised that he was into me. ME! Of all people! He could have any girl he wanted, but he was taking me out on the weekends and bringing me with him to each Reds game he had tickets to. I was so stunned that I saw right through him. And here I


Shephard 37   am, a month after finding out the truth, still completely smitten with the kid. I should have listed to Sean—he warned me about Mason and I didn’t listen. Awesome. And not only do I have that to deal with, but also I still miss Erik Junan, the local I met in Hawaii last spring break. He was so perfect for me. Blonde, tan, muscular, tatted, and he was a surfer! I’d never clicked with a guy like that before. I wanted to spend every single second with him. For the first time in my life, I felt completely myself with a guy. And the best part? He actually liked me. We kept in contact for a while, but talking was just so hard because we both knew us as a couple would never work out. I mean, Hawaii’s a bit far from Ohio… neither one of us would have been able to do it. Maybe that’s the reason I jumped into Mason’s arms so willingly… I needed someone to fill the void that Erik left in my heart. I miss him. So much.

August 25, 2010

Day one of my senior year—total success! Now that we’re back it kind of feels like summer vacation never even happened. It feels like we just got back from a three-day weekend of something like that. Being a senior is pretty cool though. I feel older and more mature. It’s awesome! I’m really excited to see what this year has in store for me. Who will I hang out with now since last May my girlfriends completely betrayed me? Who will I fight with? Who will I be happy I met? Who will I wish I never met at all? There are so many other questions I have too about graduation, college, and all of that craziness. It’s so weird to think that in just nine short months I will be an official high school graduate. I’ll be done


Shephard 38   with this place that I’ve so desperately wanted to escape from. But when the time comes, will I actually be ready? SENIOR 2011! J

September 2, 2010

Focusing on school is the hardest thing in the entire world. I have a mean case of senioritis ALREADY! All I can think about is the fact that I’m a senior, and I seriously don’t give a shit. It’s so bad. Ball State truly depends on this year. It’s crunch time… yet I still can’t work hard! This isn’t good. I bring my homework home every single night, and tell myself that tonight will be the night. I will actually complete it…until I get distracted and tired and then decide to do it before class. Ugh. :/ Kyle Smith asked me to go to Karson Whitten’s (Callie’s boyfriend) limo birthday party thing! I’m so excited! Karson told Kyle, Cameron, and Jason to each bring a date, and Kyle chose me! Him and I have always had a little thing for each other, but we’ve always been close friends. I wonder if this party will change things at all. It’s going to be SO MUCH FUN!

September 4, 2010

Tonight was SO awesome! The limo was the sickest thing ever! It was bright red, had blue low lights and even butterfly doors! I felt so VIP; like it was insane. At one point, on the way home, each couple—Karson and Callie, Jason and Evie, and Cameron


Shephard 39   and Raina were all making out. So…Kyle and I joined in :/. We were both so curious to see if anything would be there between us, and it just kind of happened. Hopefully he didn’t feel anything because personally, I was a little grossed out. It just felt so…weird kissing such a close friend. I really hope he doesn’t think we’re talking now or something…because we’re definitely not. I mean, I’m still not totally over Matt! I’m about 87% of the way there…but he’s still in the back of my mind. I can’t jump into a relationship when I still have feelings for someone else. It wouldn’t be fair to me or Kyle. I need to be good and single for a while and really figure things out. The Sam Adams concert is in just TWO days! I can’t wait! He’s my favorite rapper in the entire world, and thanks to my family friend, Martin Wines, I’m going to get to hang out with him beforehand and then go watch him perform! Sean is coming with me. I just had to invite him; after all, he’s the one that got me hooked on Sammy in the first place!

September 7, 2010

The concert was last night. One word: AMAZING! Okay, here’s the whole story: When Sean and I finally get to Black Street Bar (the bar/concert venue that Martin owns on Miami University’s campus), Sammy’s doing sound check. I was BEYOND excited! He’s even hotter in person—I didn’t think that was possible, but what do you know? He is. Anyway, when Martin introduced us he gave me ‘the look’ and, I don’t know…all my nerves just went away! He did the man-hand-shake-back-hit-thing that


Shephard 40   boys do with Sean, and then shook my hand said, ‘so nice to meet you,’ and looked me dead in the eyes. EEP! Then we all walked over to 45 East (the restaurant across the street that Martin also owns) and went into the downstairs private party room. Sean and I took a seat at the bar because we didn’t really know where to sit. Martin had to go handle something upstairs, and we didn’t know if we should just go sit over with the guys, or what. So, Sam sits down at a table in the corner and tells us to come over and sit with him. OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!! We talked for a little while, I introduced myself as Kaya and he told me he liked my name. Feeling confident, I asked for a picture, and he wrapped his arm so tightly around me and then said, “let’s take another…just in case.” After the picture we sat and talked a little longer, and at one point I broke up in conversation with Sean, and I overheard Sam say to the guy next to him, his DJ, “she’s cute, yeah?” I COULD HAVE DIED! SAM ADAMS THINKS I’M CUTE! Then, he got flirty. He says, “I read somewhere that Miami University has the country’s cutest girls…you go to Miami University don’t you?” I considered saying yes, but I knew that if I did that Sean wouldn’t be able to resist the opportunity to embarrass me and tell him I’m actually a senior at North. So I told him the truth, that I was still in high school, and he was like, “WHAT?! You are NOT in high school! Shit. I can’t believe this. No way. No way. No way.” That’s basically the whole story. Oh, except for after the concert, he gave me a huge, wonderful, sweaty hug! It was by far one of my top three best nights! Then today, when I got on Facebook, his status was ‘shouts to those who kicked it with us! Y’all are fly!” Hmm…I wonder who he was talking about…oh wait, I know! ME! J


Shephard 41   And more good news? Selena’s boyfriend, Andrew, goes to school with this kid named Jason Rundey. Jason is absolutely gorgeous—dark hair, dark skin, dark eyes, and AMAZING body…perfect! Selena gave him my number, and we’ve been talking literally non-stop for the past two weeks. I didn’t think anything would come from it because every time Selena or Andrew has tried to hook me up with someone it hasn’t worked out, but this time it actually might! YAY! J

September 20, 2010

Friday I went to the South game with Selena, (my friend for eight years, my best friend for six) and had so much fun! Being in the student section with so many of my friends instead of on the track cheering was awesome. I wish I could experience it at my actually school, though! I wish I could just go to South. My best friend goes there, and so many other amazing people do too! Plus, there’s a ton hotter guys there—like Selena’s homecoming partner, Josh Rader. I met him Friday at B-Dub’s after the game. He’s gorgeous and hilarious, but has a girlfriend. Oh well! I wonder how different my life would be if I went there. Oh my God, Chris Blevins asked me to South’s homecoming! Not in a cute way of course… I mean, it’s Chris after all, but still! Now Selena and I can go to the same high school dance for once! YAY!


Shephard 42   September 26, 2010

South’s homecoming was last night. It was pretty fun for the most part. Chris totally sucked as a date, though. It was so funny! When I was dancing with Chris, I heard someone go, “wait, who’s Chris’ date? Who is that? Wait…what? That’s KAYA _____?! Woah!” And guess who it was? None other than the one and only, Jalen Weston. He’s SO hot! I couldn’t believe it! I love my life J

October 1, 2010

Whenever I hear a sad song, my mind immediately jumps to Erik. There was just something about him. He made me feel so special and so beautiful. No guy has ever really made me feel that way before. Whenever I was with him I was the happiest girl in the world. People tell me I loved him. And maybe I did. Maybe I still do. It feels so weird to say that. My first love very well may be Erik Junan. It’s so sad to know that we could never make it work. He’s a lot older than me. He lives in Hawaii. I live in Ohio. And my family would never allow it. They’d have a heart attack if they knew how old he was. I don’t know what to do. I can be in a perfectly happy mood but then even the smallest thing will happen—he’ll pop up on my newsfeed or a sad song will come on the radio or I’ll see a picture of us—and I just lose it. And I’ll never see him again. Ever. I guess if by


Shephard 43   some crazy chance I do see him, I’ll know its fate. But if not, then life will just have to go on.

October 10, 2010

It’s 10/10/10. Haha, cool! Homecoming was awesome! It was a bit awkward with Nick as my date but I expected that. You can’t have a past like ours and not feel at least a little bit awkward around each other. The poor kid is still so in love with me—he admitted it to Callie! And I truly wish I could love him back, but I just can’t. I’ve tried, but there’s nothing there for me. But, there might be something there for Jason Rundey—the guy Selena and Andrew are trying to hook me up with. We’ve been texting all day everyday, and have Skyped a few times…but anyway, he was at North’s homecoming! Of course he was there with Jenna Williams because she couldn’t find a date and they’re friends, but he was still there! When we saw each other for the first time he smiled so big! Him picking me up and hugging me and spinning me around felt…right. It was the first time I had actually met him in person, but we talked like we’d known each other forever. He gives me butterflies. I haven’t had those since Mason and I ended things last July. What a great feeling! Hopefully he can help me completely get over my feelings for Erik…it’s getting ridiculous at this point!


Shephard 44   October 11, 2010

Erik has a girlfriend. I cried. That is all.

October 25, 2010

Clifton Saturday was crazy! Maggie, her roommate, Claire and I had tons of fun. I was getting hit on by so many guys that Maggie’s boyfriend, Derek (who’s been pretty much my big brother for the past five years they’ve been dating), had to step in and tell them to back off. Haha! I couldn’t believe it! Man, next year is gonna be a total blast! I’ll be living on my own, have new friends, and be in a new town… that sounds pretty perfect to me. My last high school football game EVER is this Friday. I can’t believe this chapter in my life is already coming to a close. Thank God I have one more season left in me, because I wouldn’t be able to take it if this was the last game I ever cheered at. I love cheerleading so much. I can’t believe I’m not doing it in college! I’m going to miss it so much. Cheer has basically run my life the past four years. It’s helped make me the person that I am. What am I going to do without it? Things are suddenly changing so quickly! In a matter of months my entire life will be flipped upside down. Am I ready for what’s next? Am I ready to go off and start this brand new life all on my own?


Shephard 45   Tinsley Baylor had always been incredibly beautiful. Not like your every-daypretty-girl beautiful, but like fresh out of a magazine flawless. She could brighten up an entire room with just a flash of her smile. She could bring a guy to his knees with just a glance in his direction. She had this way about her that people couldn’t resist. She was not just beautiful; she was enchanting. Her skin was smooth, naturally bronzed and near always acne free. She didn’t need to cake on pounds of makeup in order to look pretty like so many other girls did. In fact, she didn’t have to do anything at all. Her usual makeup routine was simply dusting her cheeks with peach colored blush and lightly coating her lashes with a deep blue mascara that made her bright, Caribbean-ocean-colored eyes even more vivid than usual. The ending result was a perfect example of the no-makeup, naturally beautiful, sun kissed look that was coveted by all, achieved by few. Her hair was blindingly shiny and incredibly soft, always prompting people to play with it. It was a stunning shade of black, and laced with the natural highlights she’d had all her life. The vibrant contrast between the black color of her hair and the brown color of her sporadically, yet perfectly placed streaks gave her hair a unique, two-toned, celebrity-like look, thought only to be attainable at a fancy salon. It dried in big beach curls, and that’s almost always how she wore it. People were constantly asking where she got her hair done, or how she got her curls so bouncy and free of frizz and heat damage, not believing Tinsley when she said all of it was natural, but throwing in an extra compliment anyway in hopes of earning a few brownie points. She was 5’3,” 107 pounds and despite being naturally tiny, she had the toned muscles, feminine curves and 32-D chest of a swimsuit model. She was a bombshell and


Shephard 46   everyone noticed. Without even trying she was able to fill guys with lust and girls with envy. Although deep down she knew she was at lest somewhat attractive, she by no means thought of herself as anything out of the ordinary. She just couldn’t see herself the way others saw her, and although most girls would love the constant attention, Tinsley didn’t. To be honest, everyone fawning over her like they did only made her feel uncomfortable. It always had, and it always would. She was not the girl people thought she was. Not at all.


Katie Shephard English 285-11 Final Portfolio