Author Archives: Britney King

I remember…that’s how you know. 

“Her heart was a secret garden and the walls were very high.” ― William GoldmanThe Princess Bride

More from a certain book this week...
That’s how you know. 

I remember it so clearly.

That night. 

With stars in your eyes

I remember.

The sound of your voice  

and the way it shook 

ever so slightly

as the words slipped off your tongue. 

“I’m nervous,” you whispered.

As I watched the moonlight dance across your skin. 

I remember.

That I knew I loved you then. 

I didn’t say so—

I simply smiled and said, 

“That’s how you know it matters.” 

And it was enough.

You sighed

looked up at the sky

then back at me. 

I knew the stars would keep our secrets. 

And they have. 

———

  

Birthdays, Anniversaries & THANK YOU.

“Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.” —Michael Jordan

First off, thank you guys for making the past two years pretty kick ass.

Dear God…I hate the new iMovie editing layout—not to mention I have no idea why small bits of audio are missing…but more importantly there’s the fact that I’m on deadline and shouldn’t even be worried about video to begin with. Story of my life. 😉

Anyway, I forced myself to work with what I’ve got even though the whole time I swore (literally too) that I’m Elancing the heck out of the next video. 😉

THEN, this came my way and granted it was the 80’s—Oprah gives me HOPE. :))

P.S. For a limited time, to celebrate its first birthday I’m giving away copies of Somewhere With You. And if my kids don’t stop shape up, they may be next. 😉 Kidding… Just kidding. 😏

 

Word Play.

“There is too little mystery in the world; too many people say exactly what they feel or want.” ― Robert GreeneThe Art of Seduction
A quote above from one of my favorite books…
And below a little something from the one I’m working on. 
Speaking of the writing process , I’m pretty sure the universe is testing me. 
If I had to guess, I’d say it’s asking how badly I want it—while simultaneously letting me know that some things take time. 
I know the muse will show. 
Eventually. 
This week, he remains a sneaky little bastard.
To which I say, no worries. I got this. ;)
 
 

To Capture A Mockingbird…

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” ― Harper LeeTo Kill a Mockingbird

 

I’m not sure how it works with other writers but I want to preface the story I’m about to tell by letting you know upfront that when I’m writing a character (or characters) I tend to take on a part of that persons persona for a bit. Take it with a grain of salt.

These days I happen to be writing a character who is completely and utterly NUTS. And it’s funny how my mind sometimes confuses my thoughts with the ways the various characters in the story think and that  can feel rather shocking when it catches me off guard and/or comes out of the blue.

Which is exactly what happened this morning on my run as I was running down the list of all the things I have to do today…

One of those things being helping my six-year-old print out pictures of Mockingbirds for her Texas project that is due at school tomorrow.

And then it happens…I actually see one. I know it’s a Mockingbird because now that I’ve assisted with the plethora of research a six-year-old must to do in order to give a five-minute presentation on said research, I’m well versed in Mockingbirds as of late. 

Anyway, so I see the Mockingbird and I think wait a minute… Hey! A) Who needs pictures when one could have the real thing? B) I pause and consider how crazy that sounds and C) I ponder just how much time and tears (hers, or mine I can’t be sure) it would save this evening.

And for a quick minute I stand there and seriously contemplate what it would take to capture the thing and haul it into their class all triumphant like … and all of a sudden there’s a movie running in my head (Christmas Story style) and I picture the kids faces, but mostly their teachers. ;)

I imagine myself looking at her, shaking my head, shrugging, and announcing, “This is what happens when you assign projects like these. It should be known that they induce unnecessary craziness upon parents forced to undergo the painstakingly slow torture of understanding how little the term research means to a six year old. I JUST WANTED TO MAKE IT FUN. SEE!”

But, no, I realize that sounds crazy and I snap out of it and consider that perhaps I’m standing in the street pondering what the best way to actually capture a bird would be because I’m writing a character who is crazy and tends to take things one step too far…and I think sure, that could be it…

OR it could be because I’ve considered all of the times in the future my daughter will try and one up me by telling me that so and so’s mom got them this and so and so’s mom got them that— and I know in that moment that so much of my work in the future could be satisfied now

For I would forever more be able to look her in the eye and say “Yeah, but did so and so’s mom ever get them a Mockingbird?!?”

And suddenly it doesn’t seem that crazy at all. ;)

Sometimes you forget…

“Through Compassion and Care we are compelled to random acts of kindness and demonstrations of love.” ― Jean Hamilton-FfordPlay.Create.Succeed.

I wrote this to a friend and thought I’d share the note here…

Hey you,

I was in a restaurant yesterday and an older woman was there with her adult son who was clearly mentally challenged as well as hearing impaired, I believe.

He was having a rather loud “outburst” and you could tell the woman was embarrassed—at the very least aware that her normal was not the majority of the other patrons. People were staring. 

I felt for her and I wanted to say something— to tell her it was ok, to ask others to stop staring—to go and sit with her. At the same time, I also didn’t want to intrude not call more attention to the situation. 

And then a lady wearing an APD Search and Rescue jacket got up from the booth next to mine and went and sat down with her. Suddenly the old woman was smiling and I was teary—and it was just a really beautiful, kind thing to see. 

And it made me think of you and I knew this is a story you would want to hear. 

Mostly, I was glad to witness the goodness of people. 

Because sometimes you forget, you know?

I guess it matters where you look.

Also, I wished I’d been as brave as that woman. 

The both of them. 

B

The pursuit of things and why I write…

 
 
This is a story I didn’t want to, want to tell. Pushing publish on this one feels a little iffy… 
 
And yet…here we go. :) 
 
My early 20’s were what I like to call “the gathering years.” So much time was spent gathering, rushing about. I wanted the house, the furniture, the cars…ALL the things.
 
You’re always in such a hurry my Grandma used to say. A forewarning, if only I’d listened. 
 
By 25 or so I’d finally come to the conclusion that none of those things were really all that important. At least not to the extent that I was trading my life just to have them. 
 
I hadn’t understood this up to that point because as a kid we never had “all the things,” or at times even some of the things, and at others not even a few of the things. 
 
At six, I understood what it was like to sit on a curb at 2 AM wondering exactly where home was now that we no longer had one— the only belongings to call my own being one distraught mother, one sleepy, scared, and equally pissed off little brother, one too wise for her age girl, with just the clothes on their backs, and a bird in a cage.
 
By the age of seven I knew what it was like to sleep in a car—and not for fun— even though I liked to pretend.
 
I knew what it was like to pack up—or not pack up when there wasn’t time— and say goodbye (or not say goodbye, time, again) to everyone and everything you loved with only the belongings which would fit in a tiny hatchback Honda— cramped with sadness, too small for four people, and the few contents of a past life which remained. 
 
I knew what starting over meant. Again and again. I knew what it felt like to have not one but both parents disappear—and in my mind it was because there were never enough of the things. 
 
Later, I would come understand—it was a different sort of thing they were chasing. 
 
But back then I thought that in order never to be in that little girl’s shoes again, well, one had to work hard. And that if you worked hard then  you’d have the things and then people stayed— and that is just what needed to be done. 
 
I thought once you got the things then you’d get to be happy. Just like the families the younger version of myself always wished I’d belonged to. Families that had a home—not a place they’d set up, only to later to flee from. My wannabe families had things and never had to say goodbye. They had enough food, and toys, and pets they’d get to keep long enough to see them to get old. They were the kind of people who didn’t disappear into the night. 
 
Only that wasn’t it…I would later learn. The things weren’t the magic that made it right. I was surprised to find that once I had the things, well, they didn’t bring happiness at all. They were just things.
 
Then I was thirty and that brother who’d always sat next to me on the curb, the one who sometimes took beatings so I didn’t have to, died and I decided I no longer wanted to own (any) of the things—if it meant being owned by them.
 
 A bigger house, newer cars, and so on suddenly became a whole lot less important. Because even as a six year old, with little to my name, there on that curb, at two in the morning, I knew I still had him—and, I realize now, that was what mattered.
 
It wasn’t until I’d planned the funeral, wrote the obit, cleaned out his apartment, disassembled the contents of his life— sorted all of the things that he’d worked really fucking hard for—which sadly turned out not to be a lot that the weight of it sunk in. As I carried the boxes down three flights of stairs and loaded the truck I thought about the unfairness of it all and how much mattered so little if you go to sleep and never wake up. 
 
It was then that I finally understood that having more in actuality often means having less—that is if more comes at the expense of ones freedom. 
 
I realized that I wanted to work for the love of doing so—not for the having of any thing—I wanted the act of the work itself to be the dream—versus working simply for the dream.
 
So I put my two weeks in—and my nose to the grind— and I wrote. 
 
Has that decision, for sure, meant not having all the things I might have had otherwise?
 
Yes. 
 
But it took the deaths of my family members, over the course of a decade, one by one—pretty much everyone lost who knew me for me—for who I was back then—that six year old sitting on the curb clinging to a little boy and a bird cage. 
 
Most now, only see the girl I’ve worked hard to become.
 
It took all of this loss and all of the grief that accompanies it —for me to finally come to terms with the fact that less can be more.
 
Now I know
 
I know that it isn’t the things that matter. 
 
It’s the people. 
 
I know rushing isn’t where it’s at. 
 
And I know that six year olds can be braver and wiser than someone more than three times their age—which is really too bad.
 
Mostly though,  I know that eventually… it all evens out. 

 

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