This Story Will Remind You Exactly How Your First Crush Felt, Heartbreak.

The way this woman fell for her handsome, guitar-playing British neighbor is so relatable—and adorable.

He British Invasion hit me in a totally different way than it did everyone else. It was the early ’60s, I was 13 and I had found my very own English lad to fantasize about. I could listen to his accent all day long.

I wasn’t allowed to date but I’d had the usual teenage crushes. Then Dave and John arrived on the scene and I experienced my first real crush. (This is how people around the world talk about crushes.)

My brother, four years older than me, made friends with the family, who had just moved to the States from England. The Clares had two handsome sons and I developed a crush on the younger one, Dave. He was quite a dreamboat—handsome, with a great-looking pompadour like Elvis Presley’s.

Both brothers played guitar, and my brother was trying to learn. He spent a lot of time at their home and I tagged along as often as he would let me. Their father owned a small electronics repair shop and both parents treated me like family.

John, the older brother, was also cute, with curly hair and a sweet smile. He always treated me nicely. At the time I didn’t realize he had a crush on me; I figured that out much too late. 
I must have had blinders on and all I could 
see was Dave. While I didn’t treat John badly, 
I wish I had paid more attention to him.

I recently came across a ceramic 45 rpm record that John had made and given to me. 
I kept it all these years, and it made me smile. Unfortunately, I had tunnel vision when it came to Dave and couldn’t see what was right under my nose.

My girlfriends also developed crushes on Dave. I don’t think he was interested in any of us, but that didn’t deter us. It was quite a competition, vying for his attention. He must have been amused, although he was too nice to let on.

Sadly, after a few years in the States, the family decided to move back to England. I still remember how hard I cried. 
I thought my heart was breaking. Such drama. I will always remember the Clare family and how they made that small window of time in my 
life so interesting. I couldn’t have picked a better first crush if I had tried.

The Banana Story.

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result – all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.
Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.
Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth.
Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.
After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana.
Why not?
Because as far as they know that’s the way it’s always been done around here.
And that, my friends, is how 95% of agents have learned how to market homes.

The moral of the story … Albert Einstein once said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result”.

A Story About ‘Magic’

Some years ago, I (GLS) was snooping around in the cabinets that housed the MIT AI Lab’s PDP-10, and noticed a little switch glued to the frame of one cabinet. It was obviously a homebrew job, added by one of the lab’s hardware hackers (no one knows who).

You don’t touch an unknown switch on a computer without knowing what it does, because you might crash the computer. The switch was labeled in a most unhelpful way. It had two positions, and scrawled in pencil on the metal switch body were the words ‘magic’ and ‘more magic’. The switch was in the ‘more magic’ position.

I called another hacker over to look at it. He had never seen the switch before either. Closer examination revealed that the switch had only one wire running to it! The other end of the wire did disappear into the maze of wires inside the computer, but it’s a basic fact of electricity that a switch can’t do anything unless there are two wires connected to it. This switch had a wire connected on one side and no wire on its other side.

It was clear that this switch was someone’s idea of a silly joke. Convinced by our reasoning that the switch was inoperative, we flipped it. The computer instantly crashed.

Imagine our utter astonishment. We wrote it off as coincidence, but nevertheless restored the switch to the ‘more magic’ position before reviving the computer.

A year later, I told this story to yet another hacker, David Moon as I recall. He clearly doubted my sanity, or suspected me of a supernatural belief in the power of this switch, or perhaps thought I was fooling him with a bogus saga. To prove it to him, I showed him the very switch, still glued to the cabinet frame with only one wire connected to it, still in the ‘more magic’ position. We scrutinized the switch and its lone connection, and found that the other end of the wire, though connected to the computer wiring, was connected to a ground pin. That clearly made the switch doubly useless: not only was it electrically nonoperative, but it was connected to a place that couldn’t affect anything anyway. So we flipped the switch.

The computer promptly crashed.

This time we ran for Richard Greenblatt, a long-time MIT hacker, who was close at hand. He had never noticed the switch before, either. He inspected it, concluded it was useless, got some diagonal cutters and diked it out. We then revived the computer and it has run fine ever since.
We still don’t know how the switch crashed the machine. There is a theory that some circuit near the ground pin was marginal, and flipping the switch changed the electrical capacitance enough to upset the circuit as millionth-of-a-second pulses went through it. But we’ll never know for sure; all we can really say is that the switch was magic.
I still have that switch in my basement. Maybe I’m silly, but I usually keep it set on ‘more magic’.
1994: Another explanation of this story has since been offered. Note that the switch body was metal. Suppose that the non-connected side of the switch was connected to the switch body (usually the body is connected to a separate earth lug, but there are exceptions). The body is connected to the computer case, which is, presumably, grounded. Now the circuit ground within the machine isn’t necessarily at the same potential as the case ground, so flipping the switch connected the circuit ground to the case ground, causing a voltage drop/jump which reset the machine. This was probably discovered by someone who found out the hard way that there was a potential difference between the two, and who then wired in the switch as a joke.

The red and blue coat

Once there were two boys who were great friends, and they were determined to remain that way forever. When they grew up and got married, they built their houses facing one another. There was a small path that formed a border between their farms.

One day, a trickster from the village decided to play a trick on them. He dressed himself in a two-color coat that was divided down the middle. So, one side of the coat was red, and the other side was blue.

The trickster wore this coat and walked along the narrow path between the houses of the two friends. They were each working opposite each other in their fields. The trickster made enough noise as he passed them to make sure that each of them would look up and see him passing.

At the end of the day, one friend said to the other, “Wasn’t that a beautiful red coat that man was wearing today?”

“No”, the other replied. “It was a blue coat.”

“I saw the man clearly as he walked between us!” said the first, “His coat was red.”

“You are wrong!” said the other man, “I saw it too, and it was blue.”

“I know what I saw!” insisted the first man. “The coat was red!”

“You don’t know anything,” the second man replied angrily. “It was blue!”

They kept arguing about this over and over, insulted each other, and eventually, they began to beat each other and roll around on the ground.

Just then, the trickster returned and faced the two men, who were punching and kicking each other and shouting, “Our friendship is OVER!”
The trickster walked directly in front of them, and showed them his coat. He laughed at their silly fight. The two friends saw this his coat was red on one side and blue on the other.

The two friends stopped fighting and screamed at the trickster saying, “We have lived side by side like brothers all our lives, and it is all your fault that we are fighting. You have started a war between us.”

“Don’t blame me for the battle,” replied the trickster. “I did not make you fight. Both of you are wrong, and both of you are right. Yes, what each one saw was true. You are fighting because you only looked at my coat from your own point of view.”

The Arabian Nights.

In the chronicles of the ancient dynasty of the Sassanidae, who reigned for about four hundred years, from Persia to the borders of China, beyond the great river Ganges itself, we read the praises of one of the kings of this race, who was said to be the best monarch of his time. His subjects loved him, and his neighbors feared him, and when he died he left his kingdom in a more prosperous and powerful condition than any king had done before him.

The two sons who survived him loved each other tenderly, and it was a real grief to the elder, Schahriar, that the laws of the empire forbade him to share his dominions with his brother Schahzeman. Indeed, after ten years, during which this state of things had not ceased to trouble him, Schahriar cut off the country of Great Tartary from the Persian Empire and made his brother king.

Now the Sultan Schahriar had a wife whom he loved more than all the world, and his greatest happiness was to surround her with splendour, and to give her the finest dresses and the most beautiful jewels. It was therefore with the deepest shame and sorrow that he accidentally discovered, after several years, that she had deceived him completely, and her whole conduct turned out to have been so bad, that he felt himself obliged to carry out the law of the land, and order the grand-vizir to put her to death. The blow was so heavy that his mind almost gave way, and he declared that he was quite sure that at bottom all women were as wicked as the sultana, if you could only find them out, and that the fewer the world contained the better. So every evening he married a fresh wife and had her strangled the following morning before the grand-vizir, whose duty it was to provide these unhappy brides for the Sultan. The poor man fulfilled his task with reluctance, but there was no escape, and every day saw a girl married and a wife dead.

This behaviour caused the greatest horror in the town, where nothing was heard but cries and lamentations. In one house was a father weeping for the loss of his daughter, in another perhaps a mother trembling for the fate of her child; and instead of the blessings that had formerly been heaped on the Sultan’s head, the air was now full of curses.

The grand-vizir himself was the father of two daughters, of whom the elder was called Scheherazade, and the younger Dinarzade. Dinarzade had no particular gifts to distinguish her from other girls, but her sister was clever and courageous in the highest degree. Her father had given her the best masters in philosophy, medicine, history and the fine arts, and besides all this, her beauty excelled that of any girl in the kingdom of Persia.

One day, when the grand-vizir was talking to his eldest daughter, who was his delight and pride, Scheherazade said to him, “Father, I have a favour to ask of you. Will you grant it to me?”

“I can refuse you nothing,” replied he, “that is just and reasonable.”

“Then listen,” said Scheherazade. “I am determined to stop this barbarous practice of the Sultan’s, and to deliver the girls and mothers from the awful fate that hangs over them.”

“It would be an excellent thing to do,” returned the grand-vizir, “but how do you propose to accomplish it?”

“My father,” answered Scheherazade, “it is you who have to provide the Sultan daily with a fresh wife, and I implore you, by all the affection you bear me, to allow the honour to fall upon me.”

“Have you lost your senses?” cried the grand-vizir, starting back in horror. “What has put such a thing into your head? You ought to know by this time what it means to be the sultan’s bride!”

“Yes, my father, I know it well,” replied she, “and I am not afraid to think of it. If I fail, my death will be a glorious one, and if I succeed I shall have done a great service to my country.”

“It is of no use,” said the grand-vizir, “I shall never consent. If the Sultan was to order me to plunge a dagger in your heart, I should have to obey. What a task for a father! Ah, if you d

The leopard man.

A handsome stranger once came into a certain village and strolled about among the people in mysterious silence. All the maidens admired him and wished that he would choose one of them for his bride. But he said nothing, and at last walked away into the forest and disappeared from sight.

A month later the stranger came again, and this time one of the maidens fell so much in love with him that she resolved to follow him into the forest, as she could not bear to be separated from him.

When the stranger looked back and saw her coming behind him, he stopped, and begged her to return home; but she would not, and exclaimed, “I will never leave you, and wherever you go, I will follow.”

“Beautiful maiden, you will regret it,” replied the stranger sadly, as he hurried on.

After a while he stopped again, and once more begged her to retrace her steps. But she made the same reply, and again the handsome stranger said in sorrowful tones, “You will regret it, beautiful maiden!”

They went far into the depths of the forest, and at length reached a tree at the foot of which there lay a leopard skin.

Standing under the tree, the stranger began to sing a melancholy song, in which he told her that though he was allowed once a month to wander about in villages and towns like a man, he was in reality a savage leopard and would rend her in pieces as soon as he regained his natural form.

With these words he flung himself upon the ground, and immediately become a snarling leopard and began to pursue the terrified girl.

But fear gave such speed to her feet that he could not overtake her. As he pursued her he sang that he would tear her in small pieces, and she in another song replied that he would never overtake her.

For a great distance they ran, and then the maiden suddenly came to a deep but narrow river, which she could not cross. It seemed as if the leopard would catch her after all. But a tree, which stood on the riverbank, took pity on her and fell across the river, so that she was able to cross.

At last, nearly exhausted, she came to the edge of the forest and reached the village in safety. The leopard, disappointed of its prey, slunk back into the forest, and the handsome stranger was never seen again.

The Wishing Spell.

A year has gone by since Alex and Conner Bailey suffered the tragic loss of their father. Their mother, who is trying to balance her job and her family after her husband’s death, is unable to celebrate their twelfth birthday. Instead, the twins’ Grandma comes to celebrate. She gives the twins a book of fairy tales they recognize from their childhood, titled “The Land of Stories”. Alex keeps it in her room at night and soon discovers a buzzing noise coming from the book. It doesn’t take the twins long to realize that the book of fairy tales is real and acts as a portal between both worlds. They meet numerous classic characters including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Goldilocks, Little Red Riding Hood (who’s not so little anymore) and new characters including Froggy, Sir Lampton, The Huntress, and Trollbella. However great the twins find the fairy tale world, they realize they need to find a way back to their world. Froggy tells the twins of the Wishing Spell, where magical items are put together to grant one wish. The twins embark on the greatest adventure they’ve ever been on, traveling across just about every kingdom and encountering villains along the way. They follow the journal of a man who collected the items once before. The book reaches its climax when Alex, Conner, the Evil Queen, the Huntress, Goldilocks, Jack, Queen Red Riding Hood, and the Big Bad Wolf Pack (descendants of the Big Bad Wolf who agreed to kidnap the twins in exchange for Red) as well as Red’s army, meet at a hidden palace in the Sleeping Kingdom. Goldilocks and the Huntress battle until Jack fires a cannonball at the Huntress and she is killed. This book also tells the story of Evly, The Evil Queen and her lover Mira. When she was little, she was a very kind and caring girl. Evly stole the Wishing Spell to free her lover Mira from the magic mirror, but he dies in her arms and they are both swallowed up by the mirror. Alex and Conner find themselves trapped in the fairy world, until they learn that their grandmother is the Fairy Godmother, who is capable of making portals between the Otherworld and the Fairy World, and the journal written by a man who had successfully completed the Wishing Spell years before when he fell in love with a woman on Earth belonged to their father. Therefore, Alex and Conner are part fairy. Alex and Conner get back to their mother through a portal made by their grandmother into the Otherworld in the end.

The Land of Stories

The Land of Stories
The Land of Stories.jpg

Cover of the first book in the series


Author Chris Colfer
Illustrator Brandon Dorman
Country United States
Language English
Genre Children’s fictionadventure and fantasy
Publisher Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published 2012–2017
Media type Print (hardcover and paperback), audiobooke-book
No. of books 6
Website thelandofstories.com

 

The Land of Stories is a series of children’s fictionadventure and fantasy books written by American author, actor and singer Chris Colfer. The first book, The Wishing Spell, was released on July 17, 2012. The sixth and final book was published in July 2017.[1] The books are described by Colfer as a “modern day fairy tale”, following twins Alex and Conner Bailey as they fall from the real world into a world full of fairy tales they have only ever read about before and discover there is more to this world than meets the eye.

STORIES · WRITER’S THOUGHT Spoke: On Bitterness, Anger, and Exhaustion.

megaphone

I spoke loudly
I spoke quietly
I spoke but you did not hear
I spoke but you did not listen
I spoke but no more do I speak
Because I spoke, you just didn’t care
-The Review Sister

Last weekend, I spent quite a bit of time going through old posts and this is one of the pieces I stumbled upon. I wrote this piece on April 10 of 2013.

This was written during one of the most devastating times of my life. I have never felt more depressed, more lonely, more angry, and more exhausted in my life-ever.

The interesting thing is that I blogged about it over the course of about two to three years.

Looking back, I see the transition into bitterness and anger. My very words were spears of hurt and anger.

Then, I see the my anger become exhaustion. I remember it well. I had no more fight in me. In fact, I have never felt exhaustion more since that time in my life.

wind up toyI remember feeling like a toy that you wind up. Every morning I would wake up hating that I made it through the night and having to find something to wind me up to get through the next few hours.

People didn’t seem to care. They seemed to want the fake and happy Fairen because when I didn’t show her, they told me to basically move on.

But through that comes hope.

Today, I live to tell of how trials over time wear on the body and the mind. I am forever changed because I understand so much more now then ever before.

I can now empathize with others in a similar situation and recognize their pain. And though I am not completely healed, even my darkest days are much brighter now.

If you are going through a rough time where you are angry or are so tired you can barely function, I just want to tell you to endure. Find an outlet and keep speaking. There are people wanting to hear your voice and your experience even when you feel you have nothing.

Something that worked for me was to find something to get excited about each day. Just for that day.

And talk to God. Through your anger, through your hurt and through your pain because he understands.

1 Peter 5:7 NLT

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.

For those of us who aren’t going through that right now, I have a few words for you as well.

Please listen to those who aren’t well. Please stick with them and love them. I beg of you!

I’m not saying that you don’t have your own problems to deal with but when you are in a place where you can get up out of bed with a fair amount of ease. And when your troubles aren’t so dark that you regret you haven’t died each and every morning, please reach out.

Please invite them to events and constantly invite them to spend time with you. Do things that constantly tell them that they are loved, valued, and important.

Please.

It’s all some people want and have to look forward to. Sometimes, that’s all it takes to keep them alive.

Romans 10:9 (NIV)

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Mockery. A Story.

I wrote this story for a class and thought I’d share. Enjoy!

I’d love to read your side of the story from a different perspective!


facebook-300x300I quickly scroll down the blue and white themes of Facebook and find the white space covered with new mothers with happy marriages. Old friends have met new friends as they mockingly post each picture of their happy and fulfilled lives. They mock me as they pose, hugging each other with big, careless smiles covering their faces. They mock me as they recover from surgery surrounded by family and friends that envelop their hospital bed and flood their comment section with encouraging messages. I dare not post a negative comment for if I am unhappy, why should everyone else be? Instead, I keep scrolling and continue to watch others live their life while envy sprawls up in me. I quickly shut off the app before it can go any further. God would not approve of my envy; He would want me to be happy and content with what I have. Why can’t I make anyone happy?

“Oh well, Patricia, you’ve no time to think of that now” I hear myself say.

I quickly slip out of my sheets and begin to get ready for my day. I shower. On goes my clothes, my face, and my personality as I prepare for work. “I am great!” I lie in response to a strangers “how are you?” Reality says that I havefake glasses and nose never been worse. Reality says that I am angry, broken, and barely hanging on by a thread. I continue to ring out each customer’s order before clocking out of another meaningless day.

“Buzz..Buzz..Buzz”

“Hello?” I say, answering my phone.

“Um, hi Patricia, this is Christie.”

“Yes?”

“I was just calling to check in on you since we haven’t seen you at Bible Study for the past four weeks.”

“Oh, well I’m fine. I’ve just been a little busy. Thanks for asking!” I say quickly.

“Okay, well if you need anything, call me.”

“Will do! Thanks, bye.”

I’m not fooled by these calls. They always make it seem like they miss you but in actuality they look on the attendance sheet, see that numbers are dropping, and start calling. I am not fooled. If they really cared, they would call more often without leading in with the obvious “I didn’t see you at my ‘spiritual awakenings.’” If they really cared, they would ask me how I was doing but they don’t care. No one truly does.

Pills. Pills sound like a good way to go out. It’s painless and it doesn’t take a genius to do it. What would happen if I were to die? Who would care? No one.

My face is wet. I check for a leak in the ceiling above me. It’s dry. I ponder the source of the water before finding that my eyes are beginning to sting and itch as the water runs down my face. I get up from my bed and slowly walk to mildly lit bathroom mirror to discover a puffy, red faced girl looking back at me.

Great, I am crying. Now I have to find a way to stop this madness. I pick up my black smartphone and click on the blue and white “f.” They mock me again.

This time, their mockery brings me comfort. I see happy faces, happy mothers, and happy marriages. I grin at the fact that one can find so much happiness in life and for a moment, I forgive their brutal mockery. With each scroll, I find an oddly satisfying mix of jealousy and happiness. Their harmonious smiles are captivating with the occasional interruption of a hostile political post. These interruptions are minor, though.

It worked. My face is dry now, so I can finally click off. I hop back into bed.

“God, please help me…”

“God, do you hear me? I am lonely. I am tired.  I want to give up. I am done.” I say all these things but despite everything, I know that I am not done. So, I turn over and fall asleep.

“Another day, another dollar” I say as I wake up to another day and prepare for work. I shower, on goes my clothes, my face, and my personality. “I am great!” I repeat this until I think that it is said in a way that others can believe and head off to another meaningless day at work.

How can a store be so crowded yet be so empty? Four white walls enclose what seems to be hundreds of people, yet, it is as if the store is has no people and no merchandise. I find these aliens perplexing. How do they manage to be so carefree? They have goofy smiles on their face and the corners of each mouth has the wrinkles to prove it.

I try to push this out of my head and focus on ringing each item of clothing. “Beep. Beep.

Do you have a rewards card?”

“Beep. Beep. Beep. That’ll be forty-nine dollars.”

“Have a nice day!”

If I do this correctly, I can’t think about the terrifying thoughts in my head.

Pills. Death. Loneliness.

“Focus Patricia, focus.”

Finally, it’s time to clock out and I am exhausted. It seems that I constantly find myself in this state no matter how much or how little labor I accomplish.

“Oh well” I say before pressing the white “f” while hopping into bed.

Apparently there is presidential election coming up and people are pretty heated. However, even that does not stop their mockery. They are together, they are smiling. They always smile like nothing is ever wrong. They are always mocking me. Why are they so mean?

I am tired of this constant bullying.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a tall, erect, orange bottle full of newly prescribed medicine that enables me sleep peacefully.

Sleep.

“I can’t” I say but as always, I know I am lying.

“Someone cares you just don’t see them” I say. Another lie.

I see a shaky hand reaching for the bottle and uncapping it. I can’t help myself, I start with one pill before increasing in intensity. Pretty soon I am choking them down as if my life depends on it because it does.

I lay my head down and wait for it to kick in. I am oddly calm and relaxed. I feel myself drifting off to the sleep of the unknown and welcome it with open arms.

I welcome a future with no more mockery, no more fear, no more white and blue, and no more lying. I smile as my breathing slows. I smile a harmonious, carefree smile. My smile is full of blatant mockery.