Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Texting Can Make You Feel Younger

Most of you know Melynda from Crazy World. She's sweet AND hilarious--a combination God rarely allows on Earth. That woman could draw a smile from anyone because she's just funny. So when she asked me to teach her daughter piano, I was thrilled. She made one condition on the arrangement though. "Text me every Wednesday, so I won't forget about her lessons."

"No problem," I said, and that was the beginning of the biggest misunderstanding the world has ever known.


Everyone's heard horror stories about texting; how it can make you walk into manholes; how you can get mangled in a car wreck; how you can get a break-up message if you make the wrong move in a relationship.  I'd heard about the nightmarish things that can happen, but I didn't listen until things went awry for me personally. 
    I'd been texting Melynda for TWO YEARS. Things had gone well; she always responded with hilarious things and I loved it. 
    "Lessons are today," I'd text.
    "I still don't play the piano."
    "I know.  HA. HA," I'd respond.  "That's why we need to get you some lessons too."
    "So how are you today?  I haven't talked to you all week," I texted.
    "We're great."  I smiled because we'd had some pretty funny texting sessions over the past years.  I actually looked forward to Wednesday. 
    As I sat there grinning, my phone beeped with that happy little jingle I'd set.  I looked at the screen on my phone and blinked hard.  The message made no sense.  I read it twice . . . three times.  "I'm a hard one to convince," the words shot out at me.  "But I've decided to take you up on your offer.  I want to take piano lessons.  Really, I just want to meet you in person."
    What???  Didn't we see each other all the time!
    "HA. HA," I texted back.  "Sometimes you get me rolling, Mel."
    "This isn't, Mel.  I didn't know how to tell you.  I tried at first, but then didn't want to ruin things . . .  My name is Brian and I think I'm in love with you."
    It must have been a joke.  After all, Mel is one funny lady.  So I hurried to her house and thank God she was there.  I showed her the last few texts.  "Very funny, woman!" I accused.  "You had me going for a whole sixty seconds.  You really did."
    "That's one Hell of a text session you got there, honey.  Who's it with?"
    "It's with you!"
    Amusement lit her eyes and she started giggling.  "No. What have you done now?"
    I flipped open my phone again.  I did it detective style, like I had a notepad and was preparing to write down some pertinent evidence.  "Fine," I said.  "Is this your number?"  I pointed to the numbers parading on and off my screen and read them.
    "Nope, sunshine.  I think you've been texting the wrong person.  That three is supposed to be a seven.  Looks like you got yourself another piano student."
    "Fine?  You want to play this the hard way?"  I called the number on the phone.  It rang once, twice, but Mel's phone didn't ring.  She held it up toward my face and I looked at her horrified.  Just as someone--a man--answered the phone I hung up.  
    "Why do things like this always happen to me?  Why?" I put my face in my hand.
    She laughed so hard that I thought she'd spit out some of the diet coke she'd just drank. "Only you, my friend.  Only you.  That's so awk--ward."  She sang the last bit and grinned.  "So, what are you going to do?"
    "I have to let him down easy.  I'm married for crying out loud."  I flipped out my phone again--my weapon of choice.  "What the Hell do I say?  He's been a good friend to me?"
    "Tell him you're a man," she sputtered, laughing so hard.
    "He sounded like a big dude.  I don't want to make him mad." I started punching buttons, texting on my phone.  "I'm happily married, really I am.  And it's great that I've sparked your interest for playing the piano.  Hopefully you can find a teacher near you--we're all the same."  Then I hit send.
    "Good for you.  You show 'em."  Mel nodded.
    My phone beeped rather quickly.  "I knew this was a mistake.  I'll think of you every Wednesday," the words read.
    "Good luck with those lessons," I texted back.  "I feel like an idiot!" I said to Mel.
    "It's okay, honey.  On a side note, do you want my real number, just in case you feel like texting someone you know this time?"
    I blushed. "Hey, take it easy. At least I inspired someone to start taking piano lessons!"
    We both laughed, and I had to admit, it was great having her real number this time.
For another AMAZING post about Melynda, please go HERE. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

How to be a Homeless Street Musician

As many of you know, at seventeen I ran away and became a homeless street musician in Hawaii.


It might not make sense to anyone who hasn't read my journal The Golden Sky or the prequel Bible Girl & the Bad Boy.  Both books show the real reason I left Utah. 
    The crazy thing about this story is that I'd only known Cade for a few weeks when we became homeless. After that, we played music in front of coffee shops and diners.  Every dollar . . . every cent mattered.  We met amazing people, in small towns and cities, people who had more compassion than I'd guessed.  Once, in a small town in Northern Arizona, I told an old man we were living in a car. 
    He laughed.  "You don't need to lie." 
    It wasn't a lie though and Cade and I got a kick out of that man who loved our music and coffee so much. 
   After making it to California, we visited family, then earned enough in Berkley that we were able to fly to Hawaii.

This bottom picture is of us playing for tips at the airport (before 9-11-01).
The top picture is from Hawaii and the money is one of the tips we got while there--I still don't know how much it's worth.
I was so burned in the top picture. 
When we'd sleep on the beach during the day,
sometimes the sun would move and I'd be so tired I wouldn't notice. 
Being allergic to sunscreen can have its downfalls.

Living homeless in Hawaii wasn't always paradise. Cops constantly patrolled the streets.  One time it rained, so Cade and I each squirmed under a bench to get some sleep.
    My eyes closed and I rested, having vivid dreams about my past problems. Before the dream could continue, a splitting pain shot through my side and I woke up. Two cops stood over me. One had jabbed me with something he held in his right hand.
    “Ouch,” I winced. As the other cop jabbed Cade, I screamed. “Stop it! Don’t hurt him.”
    “Homeless scum sleep in Homeless Park,” a cop yelled. They pulled Cade and me from under the benches. Cade stood by my side protectively.
    “But Homeless Park . . . I’ve heard it’s dangerous,” I whimpered.
    “Well, you should’ve thought about that before you decided to sleep on the strip!”
    We edged closer to the park, past a gang of massive Hawaiians who sat smoking pot, near flickering shops.  The scant lights, spread beams that shifted in the rain.  I held my violin close and worried about the people ahead and behind us.  Once we got to the park, we slept in shifts.  A hippie approached at one point, his movements drugged and greedy when he saw the violin case I clutched and Cade's guitar.  But even though Cade and I stayed back to back, it was a long, scary night.
    So, after that we slept on the beach during the day and then played all night for tips.  We were there from February to April, almost the exact amount of time our son lived two years later.          
    Once (after Zeke died) an old religious woman told me Zeke died because I sinned and ran away, but I hope that's not why.  Even though I know that's silly, it's amazing how words can eat at your mind over time.


We made it through one stolen guitar, a party where we played for some famous people, a moment where we almost got killed by a psycho, and much more.  All that happened in a short amount of time, but through it all we got to be friends with the homeless people (some who were really rich people pretending to be homeless).  We made friends with those massive Hawaiians and I fell completely in love with the stranger I'd left with.
    I learned life can be fun, even if you're traveling with someone you hardly know and can only afford to eat a $0.99 burger.  I learned how amazing people can be even if they're a recovering drug addict covered in dirt.
    I know it sounds silly, but I was meant to be homeless in Hawaii.  Even though it was hard at times, it could be rewarding and it helped me be wise enough to make it through the death of my son.
 Homeless in Hawaii 
Click the cover for more info about this book, or to include it on your 
Goodreads TO READ List
Release Date: 12/10/2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pictures of When I Was a Model

I’m twenty-nine; let’s just get that out of the way.  I was eighteen when I had The Scribe.  Yes, I got pregnant while homeless in Hawaii and NO, don’t ask!  That story is coming out in December anyway.  
    Zeke died when I was nineteen.  I had The Hippie at twenty-one.  Needless to say, I grew up young and over the years I've had several different jobs trying to make money until settling into writing.

    When Zeke fought in the hospital, I became extremely depressed, cut off my hair and dyed it black-cherry.  Then after Zeke died I started modeling and even modeled for a swimsuit calendar--not my finest moment.  You can read more about that in The Golden Sky.
    This is me over eight years ago:


This is me now:
Well, a few years ago, I decided to try modeling again, get gigs playing the violin IF I made it through the interviews and lines of people.  In the past though, I’d go to an audition and not get anywhere.  It was just worth it for those few times when I got the well-paying job.  
    I went back to the agency I used to be with and hoped they'd rehire me.


Please note:  This isn't my current body OR my face.  Darn it!  That face is worth money! 
Now keep in mind, I modeled when I was much younger.  Dozens of people sat in the waiting area.  The girls were gorgeous, the men chiseled from stone.
     A lady sat at the desk.  She’s five years older than me, and modeled once.  I know because she’d been put out to pasture right before I started modeling. 
     “I haven’t seen you in years,” she said.  She’s over six-feet tall and had to bend down to hug me.
     Years?  It had been A FEW years, not that many in my eyes.  “I know, it’s been a long time . . .”  I shuffled my feet.  It’s embarrassing, asking for work and I felt totally out of place in an agency like that. All those people in the waiting area heard me.  I glanced down, a bit happy I’d brought The Scribe and The Hippie with me.  I whispered, “Do you think you’d have any modeling jobs for an old violinist friend?  It would be fun to get some extra gigs.”
     Her lips drooped--even though I was twenty-six at the time.  “Elisa, I don’t know how to tell you, but you’re getting older. You’ll be competing against teenagers.”  She motioned toward the waiting area.  My heart sank.  It dropped into my butt, then my knees.  I looked over and a young girl set her magazine in her lap and waved at me.  I wanted to stick my tongue out.
     “Did you see that?” I whispered to the receptionist.  “Did you see that girl wave?”
     “Oh, tell me about it,” she whispered.  “She’ll never go anywhere with that attitude.  She’s already been in three times this week, asking for work.  I gave it to other people instead.  We don’t need her giving us a bad name.  I don‘t know why we chose to represent her in the first place.  She even tried hitting on my boyfriend.”
    “You’re still dating the owner?” I whisperedShe nodded and flashed the ring on her finger.  “Congratulations . . . that is so exciting!” I squealed.
     “Well, I’m sorry,” she said.  “If you were younger, I’d take you in a heartbeat.  You know I would.” 
    I looked at the pictures on the wall--a place my picture had been years before.  Were they hiring teenage babies to model for them now?  I gasped, they were!  They were hiring babies--with boobs!  “Okay, I understand.  It was so nice to see you though.”  I turned to walk out the door, when the receptionist suddenly stopped us.
    “But . . . These are your girls, right?”  She pulled a measuring tape out of thin air.  “These are your girls.  Look at them!  I remember when this one was barely walking.”  She tapped The Scribe on the head.  “Can they play the violin?”
     “Sure we can,” The Hippie said in a five-year-old voice.
    “Yep,” I agreed, “well it was nice seeing--”
    “You can’t leave.  I need to take their measurements.  Now, how old are they?”  She pulled us into a room and shut the door as she asked question after question.
    After that the owner of the agency came in.  He held a clipboard in his hand, grabbed a pen from the collar of his shirt and clicked it into obedience.
    “Elisa,” his eyes never met mine, “how have you been?”
    “Pretty good.” 
    “I see you had another one after your . . . a . . . son . . . Passed.”  Zeke. “I’ll never forget that shoot in the swamp.”
    “Me either.”  It wasn’t the best of memories.  The mosquitoes had loved me that day.”
     “All right girls, can you remember some lines?” 
     My girls looked at each other.  One nodded and the other shook her head ‘no.’  As he continued talking to them, I craned my neck and looked at the paper he held.  It had the girls’ measurements, how they compared to children their age.  Notes about what they’d said, how’d they’d acted.  If they seemed well behaved.  Any concerns about their height and weight.
     Suddenly the owner tapped his clipboard and said, “Elisa, can you come into the hall?  I need to talk to you.”
     I followed him and he shut the door.  He talked very softly.  “Now, I’m only interested in one of your girls.  They’re both beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but one of them has more of what we’re looking for.”
     “Well, why can’t you just take both of them?” 
    “You know we can’t do that.” 
    I bit my lip.  “And what would I tell the kid who didn’t make it?”
    “Just tell her the truth.  She’s not meant to be a model.  It’s just not in her cards.  Plus, she doesn’t have the “it” factor I need.” 
    “Oh, really . . .”  I opened the door and asked for the kids to come out.  “Thanks for your time, but no thanks,” I said, not even asking which girl he had interest in.
    When we trudged from the office, I felt dirty for being there.  I sprinted from the building, took a deep breath and sighed.  It seemed like a different world in that building, where nothing matters except how much money you can make them.  I still can’t believe their callous reactions.  Isn’t it crazy how people can judge worth just by a scale, a measuring tape and few stupid questions?!  They had no idea, what both my girls are capable of.  I couldn’t believe they’d just picked one.
    So, I got put out to pasture, sure it stung, but maybe the pasture isn’t all that bad.  It seems like I learned more that day than I would have otherwise.  It was interesting watching them judge my kids.  It makes me wonder what God thinks of us and the silly things we do.  He sees us all as amazing, wonderful people--just how I look at my kids.  It’s neat thinking about God like that.  To me, it makes life feel brighter, like I can make it through anything.  I guess that’s the feeling of true, unconditional love.  The kind of love God has for each one of us--even if we’ve been put out to pasture!
    For info about my books, please visit my author page HERE. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Negative Effects of Writing Memoir

I've felt stilted lately.
    When Miss Priss read my blog, she let me have it--WHAM. Do you remember her? She's practically my mortal enemy. Well, that confrontation did not go well.

    If you'd like to read more about her beauty and RUDENESS, please go HERE
    Anyway, then The Golden Sky--my book about Zeke--started spreading like crazy.  Suddenly everyone knew his story.  I went bowling and a stranger stopped me in the parking lot.  "EC Stilson!" she said. I just looked around. "EC!  Elisa, it's you.  Everything you've gone through.  When Zeke died and your dad had cancer.  But so much of the book was filled with humor! I'll never forget it . . . Will you sign my book?"  And she actually had my book in her car!
    I kept looking behind me, thinking no one would recognize me and want my signature.  I stuttered and she waited kindly. After a moment, we talked and I smiled. It made my day, really, but that meeting marked the beginning of some bad times.
    People in my memoirs started reading them. Great folks who I'd never written bad things about called to apologize in case they'd hurt me.
    "That wasn't you," I told one man.
    "Thank God," he said. "I felt terrible."   
    Another dear, DEAR friend called.  "That was me," she said, describing a certain part of the story.
    "NO, it wasn't.  That's someone else who's related--twice removed--you don't even know them.  Oh wait, do you know so-and-so?  Crap, you do."  I bit my nails because I'd lied and it was her!
    "But we had this exact conversation."
    "And it's funny how many people I've had that conversation with."
    I called back later and confessed. She was great about it, but I cried for a long time.
    The point is, my son died. I released his story so his life would continue somehow; I never meant to hurt anyone.  But I was honest.  THEY made those choices.  If you've read the book, you might remember the woman who said, "Zeke would have lived if I'd had more faith."  Well, she even read the book!

The Golden Sky

    But back to the point, I'm a passive person. So for all of these people to call me, it's felt like the apocalypse.  Most people have been amazing, saying they're sorry.  Others have been defensive claiming their family would never say such things.  But everything in the book is true, and it's out there.  Maybe I shot myself in the foot, or maybe I'm turning into a stronger person.  Either way I feel stifled.  

     So many hilarious things have happened lately but I've worried, thinking I can't write about them. But this morning I woke up and decided, Who Cares!  I'll write about the beautician who nearly shook, cutting my hair after she found out I'm a writer.  "Will you write about me?"
    Originally my answer had been 'no,' but after a comment like that?  Hell, yes.
    So, is it better to be prim and proper, to never 'tell it like it is' because of the consequences?  
    I don't think so.
    I'm tired of feeling stilted.  If people don't like me, or what I write, it's okay.  I want to be honest, to be a fantastic writer, and the only way to get there is to keep writing what I know--writing it how it is.

Your thoughts?   

Monday, October 22, 2012


Only 9 days left to submit a story for the OPEN DOORS: FRACTURED FAIRY TALES anthology.

Click the cover for story submission details.

Thanks to Shear Luck Photography for the perfect cover!

Purchase "Fractured Fairy Tales" Audiobook Version HERE

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Today--1st Signing With My Brother in SLC!

Do you remember when I gave my brother the finger last Halloween?  

You can go here to read that post:

I Gave My Brother the Finger

Well, we're always pulling pranks on each other, helping out with books and having fun.  Today we'll be at a book signing, playing music together.  I can't wait.  It's at a library with a glass elevator!  It'll be amazing to ride in that sucker!

Anyway, if you're in the SLC, UT area and would like to come see us, here are the details:

SLC Main Library
210 East 400 South 
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 524-8200
 11am - 5pm 

Also, if you'd like to check out my brother's amazing book, please go HERE.
 Middle Damned 

Have a great day.  I'll post pictures soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

How to Bum a Gum!

Have you ever wanted to do something bad, but didn't have the constitution for it?  Then you decided to do something else, something completely silly.  Well, in Junior High I wanted to be friends with the skaters, but they didn't want me around because I wouldn't smoke cigarettes.  Well, that's when I started chewing gum.  But just to be on the "wild side" I wouldn't just chew gum, I'd bum it too. 

I remember walking around school.  "Hey man, can I bum a gum?"
    People probably thought I was nuts, but I KNEW I was cool.
    Then when some sap actually gave me gum, I'd chew it really obviously.  Everyone knew that I had gum AND good breath too!


There was this one day when the back pocket on my pants got ripped in gym.  One of the skater girls let me borrow a pair of her jeans.  She cracked me up because she didn't like the clothes her mom sent her in and her locker held an array or awesome skater clothes.  That gem of a girl actually let me pick a pair of pants to borrow.  They were a few sizes too big, but I didn't care.  Plus that skater had a belt and she was amazing since she had an arsenal of coolness in her locker!
    I wore those pants.  I strutted around the halls.  It wasn't cool to merely have those saggy-butt pants on though, so I chewed gum while wearing those stylers.  I bet I winked at a few kids who passed by.  I waved.  "Hey, dude."  I even said "dude" to the girls.
    That was a great day until the girl next to my locker saw me.  Now this girl was huge.  She was the queen of all skaters, one of the tallest kids in ninth grade and one of the meanest.  It's funny when I think back; I never even asked her what her name was, I was a seventh grader who didn't dare.  I was too busy trying to save my own life.  She'd always threaten to take my ice cream at lunch, or sit on me if I looked at her wrong.  Once she told me I was like a 7/11 gas station; open twenty-four hours a day.  I didn't know what she meant.  I remember wondering how that could be bad if it meant I worked extra hard and never quit!  It may sound funny to you, but that girl scared me.  She had a butt bigger than a triple-trailer semi.  And if she sat on me, that sucker meant sure death to a little junior high kid like me.
    I'd do anything and everything to avoid her.  She reminded me of Sloth from Goonies. But that day I felt tough.  I had borrowed skater pants and TWO pieces of gum.  I chewed really big and stood next to my locker.  "Sloth" eyed me.
    "What's happening, man?" I asked, deciding to let her be my friend.  I was sick of being afraid.
    Sloth groaned.  Her face swiveled like it could spin in 360's all by itself.  I wondered if she was possessed as she asked, "Did you just call me . . . a man?"
    Come to think of it, she could pass for a guy.  I hadn't meant it that way though!  I really hadn't.  "I j--j--just said it because it sounded cool."
    "You think it's cool . . . to call me a man?"  She popped her knuckles.  They were big knuckles.  That's when I swallowed my gum.
    Now I know you should never swallow gum.  It has all these health risks.  My brother even told me once that the gum would never EVER come out of my body and it could grow a gum tree--or something like that.  I never forgot his words and as I swallowed those two pieces, I felt bad for myself.  Would the gum ever come out?  Would it grow a twin tree since I'd been chewing a couple pieces?
    I'd never known how to stand up to Sloth, but as I thought about that gum, I got as angry as my twelve-year-old body would allow.
    "Hey everyone.  This punk called me a man!"
    People started crowding around.  They gasped in response to her words.
    "I didn't call her a man," I whispered, then gaining strength from the gum inside my belly I continued, "I said, what's happening, man."  I'd expected everyone to cheer, tell me how awesome that was, but no one did.  I swore I heard crickets.
    "You heard her.  She called me a man!"
    Everyone booed.
    "But she made me swallow my gum!"  Crickets . . .
    So there was no way to handle things.  I thought about hiding in my locker, offering her a piece of someone else's gum.  I didn't know what to do until the girl I'd borrowed the pants from stood next to me.  I could do this.  I knew I could be strong.
    "You've been mean to me all year," I said.  "And I just wanted to tell you something."
    "What?" she barked.  I knew she was getting ready to sit on me.  She grabbed me by the front of my shirt and my feet dangled like a marionette.  Her eyes grew into big orbs.  They had red around them, like she hadn't slept in years.  That was the first time I felt bad for the Sloth.  She was tired, and there was so much aggression inside of her.  I wondered what her family life was like.  I forgot about my borrowed pants and the gum in my belly.  I forgot about the kids around and my awesome family.  I forgot everything and just felt bad for that girl.  Every time I saw her, I worried for myself.  The truth was I should have been praying for her!
    "What did you want to say?" she yelled at me as she held me against my own locker.
    I faltered and must have sounded so pathetic, so absolutely little.  "I want to be friends and I don't want you to sit on me.  You've given me a fear of butts."
    She continued staring at me, but I swore part of her hardened lips began cracking showing her loosening resolve.
    I felt so bad, I wanted to say something nice, anything to show that someone cared.  Enough that she didn't need to be mean to feel good inside.  So as she held me painfully by my shirt, I said the first thing that popped into my head.  "You have beautiful eyes . . . for a bully."
    Her eyebrows went from strained to a sort of comfortable confusion.  She looked at me, then snorted and dropped me to the ground.  Everyone started laughing.  Sloth left the hallway and our audience filtered from the area by my locker.  A guy patted me on the back as he walked by and whispered, "Nice one.  I've never seen anyone handle her like that especially a seventh grader."
    I smiled as I watched him walking away.  I was glad I'd stood up to her because I'd realized something important; it's always good to see things through other people's eyes.  I'm glad it happened, but I couldn't have done it without my borrowed pants and my bummed gum!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just a Rotten Pumpkin--Halloween Ideas

    First off, I just read the CUTEST Halloween book.  You have to check it out.
     It has amazing reviews, plus the eBook is currently FREE! 
Click HERE to see more. 

Onto the story of the day:
     The Scribe (my ten-year-old) is a lot like me.  Last year she told me one of her theories. "When you make something, art or music, part of your soul goes into it," she said.
    I nodded; I've told her that many times.  When I really play my violin, or when I sit down and write something important, I might as well just pry open my ribs and show people what makes my heart beat.  (Sorry for the visual, but Halloween is coming after all!)
    "Well, that's why I'm worried about my pumpkin," she said.
    "Because, I drew the face on it, and even helped with the carving.  I loved that stupid thing and now my soul went into it."
    "When I said your soul went into your work, I didn't mean it like that."
     "But, Mom, I can feel my soul IN the pumpkin!  I bet that's how Voldemort felt with those horcruxes.  He spent loads of time making them, when all he needed was a few pumpkins."  
    I managed to hold a straight face.  "You know, if you can feel it . . . maybe you're right."  I didn't want to ruin the moment because she obviously felt very smart AND proud to be even more intelligent than a famous villain.
    She stood like the toughest baseball player and folded her arms.  "I'm just worried.  My soul went into that thing.  When the pumpkin starts getting old and rotting, if it still looks happy, that means I'll have a good soul.  If it rots and ends up looking scary or sad . . . well, that means I've always had a bad soul."
    "Scribe, that isn't how it works."
    "Don't try to make things better now that I know," she said. "I'm old enough to see what kind of soul I'll have when I grow up.  I've seen it time and again.  Tommy is a great kid; his pumpkin smiled when it rotted.  But Tawnie, I don't want to spread mean things, but her pumpkin looked worse than a grumpy, old frog."
    "She has a bad soul?"
    "Not yet, Mom.  That's what her soul will look like when she grows up.  It's kind of shocking since she's so nice now, but you never know how kids will turn out unless you have a pumpkin, or time to just watch 'em grow up.  
    "Anyway, all kids have good souls.  Didn't you know that?" she asked.
    "It makes sense."       
    "Of course it does," she said.  "All true things make sense.  So, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what happens when my pumpkin rots.  I hope it'll still be smiling.  I'd hate to be an evil adult.  I'd probably be a bad driver if that happens and then people would roll down their windows and yell at me all of the time, like in the movies."
    So, last night we googled "Rotting Pumpkins."  I've realized, when it comes to pumpkins, The Scribe can spot a bad soul from a mile away.  
    "See," she said pointing, "whoever carved that one was really bad.  And whoever did that, is an angel in waiting."
    Here are some of the pictures we saw:

    "A really sweet person carved that," the Scribe said about this picture, "probably an old lady."
    "Because all old ladies are nice?"
    "Most of them," she said, "the ones who like baking."

    "What about this one?" I asked.
    "That's a perfect example of someone who has a bad soul.  Poor kid, I bet they don't even know what's coming!"

    "And this?"
    "That's one of the angels in waiting I told you about.  The kid who carved that is probably even nicer than I am right now!"

    "That person was okay, not really bad or good," she said.
    "'Cause it's not smiling or frowning."


    "And that," the Scribe hushed when she saw this last picture, "was carved by the most evil soul around."
    "Seriously?  Why?"
    "It doesn't even have a face!  The thing fell in on itself because the evil was too strong."

    So, can you remember what your rotten pumpkins looked like last year?  What does your soul really look like?