Writing Competition Hosted By Gracie and Gracie: The RESULTS

The time has come to announce the winners of the writing contest hosted by my friend Gracie Marchiani and myself. I won’t keep you in suspense for too long, but before you become tempted to scroll down and skip this part of the post, I must stress that it is very important, okay?

Right, firstly Gracie and I would like to thank every one of you who entered this competition and contributed a story of your own crafting. You guys are AMAZING writers and we had such a hard time choosing between all of your entries. So, you may all take a bow. *applause*

Originally, we had planned on picking just one overall winner, but a number of factors made us decide to change our minds and award 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Reason #1. We couldn’t choose just one winner. Reason #2. We know how busy everyone is and we thought that one winner critiquing everyone’s entries would be a liiiiittle overwhelming. So now each winner gets a few stories to give feedback on. Okay?

If you are a winner – I know, I know, the suspense is killing me too – pleaseemailusstraightawaytocollectyourprize,okay?

Phewf, let’s get on with it.

Third prize goes to……

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Emmie from Pheonix American Girl World with her story Ghosts At Sunset Lake!!!

Emmie, we loved your story so much. It was beautifully written and you weaved the prompts insanely well. Congratulations! Please get in touch with us to recieve your prize. Your story ill be posted on both mine and Gracie’s blog within the next few days.

Second Prize is for….

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Emily from The Island Of Me with her story ‘Gone’!!!

Emily, your piece was hauntingly beautiful and deeply thought-provoking. Congrats, girl! You totally deserve your prize, get in touch to claim it. ‘Gone’ will be posted on both Through The Eyes Of Gracie and A Light In The Darkness within the next few days.

And finally, the prestigious prize for first place will be awarded to…..

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Andrea from Spaceships, Vampires and Very Secret Agents with her story ‘Flames’!

ASDFGHJKL, Andrea, we looooooooved your story sooooooo much. It was absolutely amazingly written, your descriptions were beautiful, the drama was intense and you wove the prompts wonderfully. Congratulations! Go get your prize, my friend! Flames will be posted on mine and Gracie’s blog within the next few days.

Massive well done to everyone who won and everyone who entered and YOU, for reading this!

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Light – A Prose-y Thing That I’m Particularly Proud Of + A Reflection Of Society

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Sooooo, I haven’t shared any of my poetry in ages and so today I’ve decided to share a sort of prose-y piece that could be classed as a very long poem or a very short story written in stanzas (sorry, I’m indecisive) that I’m particularly proud of. As always, all feedback appreciated. I love to hear from fellow poets, writers or even just people who enjoy to listen and read. Oh, and while I remember, you have until the 27th of Feb to enter Gracie M and I’s writing contest. Click HERE to read all about it!

Writing this poem was a bit of an exploratory journey for me. It took into a world of metaphors and philosophy. It taught me to travel beyond the surface. I hope it takes you guys on the same journey. Loads of love to ya all as always!

Light by Gracie Chick 

Light.

On or off? I caress the switch with my fingertips, my mind racing, my head feeling like it’s about to explode, my thoughts and insecurities chasing each other in a fast-paced, never-ending, time-bomb ticking circle. On and on and on. All night. I can’t sleep.

Light.

“Please keep burning, please don’t go out. You are my only hope…” I murmur into the candle flame, my fingers hovered over its warmth. “….for I am so afraid of what the darkness holds.” I can’t sleep for I am too scared. And cold.

Light.

The only light I know is the one that shines from my iphone screen. The only beauty I know is the one that proclaims and aims for perfection, perfect body, perfect, perfect, perfect. #perfect. I must be perfect.

 

Light.

The only light I know is the one that keeps me warm at night and drives the dark away. The only beauty I know is the dance within its flames.

Light.

I switch you on. You hurt my eyes. You do nothing to soothe my pain.

Light.

I rely on you. You are my saviour in the darkest times.

 

Light.

What are you? I learned all about you in science class and then again in RE. Two very different definitions. The light of the sun or the light of Christ?  Do you go deeper than that? Do you fill the cracks of the earth? Pierce the surface? Reach the most remote parts? Could you penetrate my life?

 

Light.

You are the only thing that keeps me going. I am grateful for your presence. I don’t know what it is about you, but I’ve sworn never to question you. So you are here and I am happy.

 

Light.

Could you touch me? Touch the darkest parts of my soul, the parts where the darkness flooded in and I tried to stop it, but it it filled the empty voids quicker than the speed of light, oozing in to suffocate my screams. So now I stay silent, drowning in sickly, sweet black, black treacle.

 

Light.

You are my halo. You are my security. You are the only thing keeping me afloat. Without you, I would burn into the ashes of hope, sink below any sort of horizon, redemption.

Light.

I’ve thought about it and I think maybe the grey is worse than the dark. The dark can be lit up with sunbeams, if you try hard enough, but the it’s the grey you really get lost in.

Light.

I’ve thought about it and maybe the reason why you and I go so well together is because both of our lives are battles. Mine a constant fight to stay above the surface, to float by with ease, staring at the sun in the sky, not looking down, ignoring my feet thrashing in the water, keeping myself afloat, keeping myself alive. Your’s is a simple fight, yet one that can never fully be won, you have one enemy and one enemy only….is the light afraid of the dark?

Light.

Greyness. It’s like paint, isn’t it? You hold a brush between your fingertips, trailing it alternately through white. Black. White. Black. White. You watch as the colours merge, your life becoming a blur between them.

Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Fine, grey. Light. Grey. Light. Grey. Light. Okay, okay, Light. Light. Light.

Light.

Please show us your triumph, your strength, please use us to change the world, despite our weaknesses.

Light.

So you have won this battle at least. You have drained the darkness from my heart, but your word is but a promise. Please keep it.

Yours truly,

Hope

Yours truly,

Modern Society.

 

An Honest Rant About My Future + Really Needing Your Help

First off I need to thank my AMAZING friends Liv and Bri for reading this post and giving me the most incredible support, encouragement and advice. Love you guys.

Okay, the rant begins:

Today I had to make a massive decision, one that will affect my future in a huge way.

When I tell you what the question I had to think about today was, it might seem a pretty obvious answer to you. Well, for me it was hard, really hard, and in this post I want to try and be as honest as I can about my struggle as well as asking your advice, even though I have already decided what to do and am happy with my conclusion.

Here goes….

I had to decide whether or not I want to choose to live a different life, a life searching for another way, a way to light a candle in this dark world and to learn the things that are important for my future, even though for my family at the moment that means leaving where we live and setting off to travel in our new home, a truck that my Dad has built.

I know, I know, I’m weird, who wouldn’t choose a life of unknown adventures and opportunities if they had the option!? You’d be crazy not to. Well, let me explain.


I’m not your typical teen, my family think differently than most, we don’t embrace the things that we feel are destroying our world, people’s lives, in fact we try to find ways to fight them. I’ve always been totally onboard with this, choosing to be a light in the darkness, that is, until I started comparing myself to others.

In the past few months I’ve become increasingly discontent and emotionally unstable, I’ve been looking around at everyone else and being extremely unhappy inside because I don’t have the same things as them, stupid things like my own bedroom and makeup (my collection doesn’t extend beyond a couple of lip balms, literally), but also some bigger things – most notably friends.

I look around me and see all these kids with tons of friends (or so I think), having sleepovers and lots of fun, growing up together, going out , experiencing all the things teens usually do and I get SO upset because I don’t have any of that. Apart from all my online friends (appreciate you guys sooooo much, btw) I can’t think of a single person who I can call a true friend. I don’t even really have anyone to hang out with.

I’m not a shy person or an anti-social one, I’m also not someone who’s just too lazy to even bother making friends, it’s just my circumstances that have made things difficult, we never really stay in one place for a long time, we’re constantly on a journey and we’re never very settled, I guess we’ve just never found the right place for us to be.

So this massive shadow of that possibility of friendship if we stay has hung over me recently, even to the point where I’ve doubted all of our grand plans.


So today I had to sit and think about this and I came to the following conclusion, a result of my thinking as well as several recent conversations with various people:

This thing that I desire so much that I burst into tears every time I try to talk about it, friendship, does it even exist? I look around me and all these people I know have experienced SO much pain because of that very thing, they don’t have any true friends and I’m basing my whole future on what they supposedly have when they don’t even have it? Okay, so that sounds crazy.

Secondly, it’s not like I have loads of amazing friends that I’m leaving, it’s only the possibility of it. It’s not guaranteed to happen and even it if did, is that really something I want to forsake my future for?

Who says you can’t make friends on the road? Okay, it might not be so easy, but if you make the effort to engage wherever you are you’ll soon have friends all over the world, wherever you travel really, of many ages and cultures, plus you can choose who to befriend, rather than just the kids you’re thrown together with in a classroom, club or area.

This ghost of friendship can. not. rule. my. life. I am in control and I choose to be positive and to make the most of this incredible, incredible opportunity I am being offered. I am being offered the world.



After understanding this, I started getting super excited about all the possibilities and I came up with lots of ideas. I realised that I’d been blinkered by all this negativity surrounding the whole friendship issue and that I have the chance to have the best education, to learn skills from people all over the planet, I have the chance to meet a hugely diverse range of people from different cultures, with different ideas and thoughts on life, I have the chance to follow my dreams and to create new ones, I have the chance to be a real light in the darkness, if I want to.



The best example I can give you is one I learnt a lot from myself. I’m about to show you a photo I used in an aesthetic I made to reflect my current identity (read all about it in my previous post).



I used this image to represent my desire for true friendship, but after showing my Mum she pointed out to me that this shows a girl who is enjoying the sunset and yet waiting for someone to come along and share it with her. I need to be this girl.




So yeah, that’s it really, do I choose the world or do I choose the norm? I’ve made my decision already, I guess you can probably figure out from my conclusion what it is, but I’d really, really, really appreciate your advice. You guys mean so much to me, I can’t even begin to tell you, wherever I am you’re always there to talk, sometimes about changing the world and deep, philosophical stuff and sometimes just the most random topics. Please stay with me, I need you now more than ever. 

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank a few of you individually since I don’t do it enough.


Thanks for listening! Bye.

An Aesthetic To Reflect My Identity

What makes me, me? 

Inspired by Lonelymeme’s post, I decided to make an aesthetic to reflect on my own identity.

All of the aspects in this collage represent different parts of who I am – my dreams for the future, my desire for true friendship, my love of writing and books, fire and light, freedom, nature, wanting to change the world.

Now, I challenge you to do the same! Make an aesthetic to share and really think about what makes you, you???

The Gift: My Second Story + The Exciting Start Of An Anthology

Hello there people! As promised, here is the second of my life-changing experiences that I said I wanted to share with you all. If you haven’t read my first post of this series, That Time I Stood Up For What I believed In,  please click here.

I am also still looking for bloggers who are willing to step forward and share their own stories with the world, by contributing to my anthology. All you have to do is comment below, leaving your experience and I’ll put it in a post with some other people’s, to represent a diverse array of positive and negative experiences that made us who we are today.  I have a few participators at the moment, some who’ve given their stories, others who’re still writing them. It would be great to have many more though.

So without further ado, I present:

The Gift by Gracie Chick (ME!!!)

I stand pressed against the wall, I can smell the chlorine from the pool and I’m gazing down at its green-blue depths through the glass of the viewing area window.  I am surrounded by jostling, noisy kids with wet hair, just come up from swimming classes. My own ponytail is dripping down my back uncomfortably. 

Usually I would be joining in the conversation, laughing and joking with my friends, but today is different. Today is so much different.

Bittersweet feelings are flooding my body and my mind, they are intensified as a familiar face emerges from the crowd. She looks at me sadly, and then just walks up and pulls me into a hug, I hug back, my eyes pricking with tears. 

I’ve only lived here seven months, but great and strong relationships can be formed in that time. And it’s often when you go to leave them, you realise what amazing friends they’ve been. 

Her Mum calls her name and she glances over her shoulder. 

“Gotta go.” There’s a moment of sad serenity as we say goodbye. 

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Another friend comes and stands by my side and together we watch her run out of the door and down the street, away from the leisure centre. “Hug?” my friend asks. “Yeah.” I hug her too, it seems that’s all I’ve done this morning. “Thank you for everything.” I say “For making us feel so welcome, for being so kind and thoughtful, for teaching us so many new things, for becoming such a great friend.” 

She smiles and thanks me too. “I’ve got something for you guys. I gave it to your Mum.” She says and then she has to leave too. I wave to her with a brave face, but inside I’m welling up with sadness. 

Back at the place that we wouldn’t be calling home for much longer, I suddenly thought of my friend’s words about the gifts she’d left us. Me and my siblings opened the packages that had been given to us by my friend’s family, people who had taught us so much. They had welcomed us into their own house, shared all their skills and passions with us and showed us true hospitality and kindness. 

They had already given so much. I opened the envelope addressed to me first and I started to read the letter inside. It was from the eldest daughter, my friend and teacher, thanking me for listening, learning and showing her so many new things. Then she began to tell me about the gift she had given me. 

 

 She had bestowed upon me the most precious thing she owned. I would prefer not to say what, because it is quite personal, but it was the meaning and the sentiment with which it was given that really touched my heart. 

Reading her honest, heartfelt words made the emotion that already filled my body spill out in the form of tears.

I could not believe that she had valued me so much as to give me the most meaningful thing in her life. In her beautiful letter she explained that it was ‘ the most precious thing that God granted me to have and I am thankful to have it.  “I have thought many times before about giving it to you, so now is a good opportunity”. 

I felt this great and overwhelming emotion, a mix of honour, sadness, joy and strength. I could the bond of our friendship getting tighter, not weaker, as we had said goodbye. I had the feeling that this relationship would just get stronger and grow as time went on.

So there you have it, my second experience, The Gift. For someone to give me the most valuable thing in their life, as a symbol of our friendship, showed me how important relationships really are. I made up my mind to treasure this gift and keep it always.

I hope you enjoyed reading it and now it’s your turn. Please send me an experience to include in my anthology, which will be spread out over several posts, so I can learn something from you.

I’ve decided to share the two experiences that I have received in this post today! Starting with one from the amazing Thoughts In Life.

Honestly, what I have learnt from a personal experience is to not allow others to change you. I was influenced when I was younger by a person very close to me and I became a person that today I cannot recognise. I became distant from the people I love, my attitude became unbearable, I changed for the bad. But after a while I realized this wasn’t who I was. I started changing my life around, and started being myself. No matter who you meet in life don’t allow them to control you or turn you into a person you are not.

And now for one from my Auntie Melissa, one of my most loyal readers.

I vividly remember when I was about 9 being in the school playground with my friend who was being bullied. We could’ve cowered in a corner and continued to be scared, instead we stood together and passively defied the bullies. We wouldn’t fight or call them names back, but together we refused to be afraid and do you know, they went away and left us alone after that.

I learnt that you just have to be true to yourself and your beliefs and in this case, for me, it is to ‘treat others as you would like to be treated yourself’. In a kind and caring way. I still practise this as much as I can today and in my current work very much believe that if I want change, then I have to make it happen in my life before I can help and advise others to do the same. How can I ask someone to change something that I myself will not consider?

What did you think of all three stories? Please don’t hesitate to send me one yourself, it doesn’t have to be super long and detailed or a major experience, it can just be a little memory you have that always sticks with you and that you learned a lesson from. It can be short and brief, but powerful, like the ones above. 

Thanks y’all and bye for now..

Gracie 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Show That Love Is Evergreen

I can feel the sway of grasses in my heart.

I can feel the almighty push of a tiny shoot as it comes up through a crack in the pavement, all in my heart.

I can feel the buds in spring spreading out their leaves to soak up the sunshine, in my heart.

I can feel the meadow flowers growing taller in my heart.

I can feel the roots of the trees deep down in my heart.

 For love and my heart are evergreen. 

By Gracie Chick (me)

This Valentines day, show your love for our planet by making and wearing a green heart. Together we can raise awareness for climate change. Watch this beautiful video made by The Climate Coalition for inspiration on how to speak up for the earth. My idea is to write a poem, the subject: green hearts.