Characters

characters

by MariDonald Miller, in “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years” says that when you write a story, even though you hold the pen, the character does what it wants.It’s true.I once wrote a story for a fiction workshop about … [Read more...]

Changes

poorchristmas

by MariThe summer after I turned 10, a lot of things changed.My dad was informed that he would be laid off for a total of 5 months while the plant he worked at was being remodeled. (or something!!) Just a few days before my dad’s last day of work before … [Read more...]

Leaving Part 2

excluded

by MariMy mom was one of the people who was in charge of the home school group that we were part of. I don’t know if she had an official title, but she and a friend would get together and have planning sessions and make arrangements for meetings and field trips and things.I don’t remember exactly … [Read more...]

Leaving Part 1

headcoverings

by MariMeanwhile, at church….Because the church had consisted mainly of single people for quite some time, my brothers and I were part of the first batch of babies to be born into the church. There weren’t any offspring of attendees/members that were older than us, so it was kind of ambiguous what would happen once we reached the magical age where their theology … [Read more...]

Prayer & Dark Dungeons

prayer

by Mari Prayer Shortly after my youngest brother was born, I was observing my mom who was listening to another mom talk about her kids’ desires for siblings when suddenly, the other mom turned to me and said, “You should pray for a baby sister.”It had never occurred to me that … [Read more...]

The Main Thing is to Keep the Mane Thing the Main Thing

headcovering

by MariWithin a few days of my youngest brother’s birth, my hair turned curly.I had had wavy hair since I actually got hair at about age 2-1/2, but as soon as little Timmy made his appearance, those waves turned into a full head of spiral curls.No, I didn’t get a perm. … [Read more...]

Crampin’ My Style

religion

by MariA few days after my spiritual epiphany, my three brothers and I received brand new, leather-bound King James Version Bibles for Christmas.On New Years’ Day, we began our annual tradition of reading through the entire Bible in 365 days.We were 11, 9, 7 and 5 years of age.This ritual consisted of all of us sitting in a circle and taking turns reading 2 verses each until the assigned passages were finished.I don’t know how anybody else felt about this new development, but personally, I hated it. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like reading the Bible as it was that I hated that it was so ritualistic and it kept us from doing “kid” stuff.My brothers and I liked to li … [Read more...]

On a Lighter Note

by MariThe only time we ever got new clothes was on our birthdays and Christmas.At this point in my life, I totally understand that. I don’t see the point in buying each kid a bunch of new clothes when they’re going to outgrow them in a matter of weeks or months.I don’t think I really cared all that much about it at the time either.But, one day, one of the neighbors gave us a gift certificate to K-Mart. (This was back when K-Mart was cool. I still have a soft spot in my heart for K-Mart because of this!) We went on a good ol’ shopping spree.I got a purple corduroy skirt and purple t-shirt set.When my parents asked my little brother what he wanted, he said, “Puppy pants … [Read more...]

Crime and Punishment

spare_the_rod4

by MariI've been procrastinating about telling this part of the story.In the previous chapter of the story, I talked about having nightmares about death. That story was the whitewashed version. I’m not saying that what was written isn’t true. It is. But for me, the experience was a lot worse than it probably sounded in the previous chapter. When I was in college several years ago, I wrote several autobiographical stories, and most of what I posted in the previous chapter was one of the stories I wrote. At that time, I wasn’t in a place where I could expose what really happened.I’m not sure if I’m currently in a place to talk about it either.But I’m going to try.Those years … [Read more...]

Holy Terror

by MariI like to tell people that I’m a quarter Lutheran.But I’m really not.I tell people that because it helps them to stay focused on the story — because when someone makes a statement that ridiculous and silly, naturally, everybody’s going to start asking questions.When I was a little kid, we spent a lot of time with my grandparents in South Dakota. I think we visited about one weekend per month (roughly), and we always went to church with them. Hence, my being a quarter Lutheran.Between all the Chapel services, Sunday School and roughly one Lutheran church service per month, by the time I was about 5 I knew just about everything there was to know (from an intelle … [Read more...]


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