LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, The Teenage Tell-Tale.

The Teenage Project Presentation: A Scene.

Classroom Management for an Effective Learning Environment - TeachHUB

A classroom of students sits at their desks, watching their fellow classmates present their exit projects in their English class. After one group finishes their presentation, the class applauds and the students take their seats. The teacher stands up from her desk to address the class.

Teacher: That was lovely, Brianna and Ava. Are there any volunteers wanting to present their project next?

No one raises their hand, they just look around the room at each other.

In one corner, Milo and Sophie sit next to each other but are not facing nor talking to each other. Sophie has her arms crossed on top of her desk, while Milo doodles in his notebook.

Teacher: Well if no one wants to volunteer; Laurie and Brooke, you’re up.

The two girls get up from their seats. Laurie rolls her eyes as she walks towards the front of the classroom. Sophie watches her and Milo notices.

Milo: *to Sophie* Don’t stare for too long, she’s gonna think you’re jealous of her and Simon getting back together.

Sophie: You know, you’ve been a real jerk these days. How about you don’t talk to me and I don’t talk to you.

Milo: Whatever, Sophie.

Sophie completely turns her body to face Milo; she’s now annoyed and fed up.

Sophie: I don’t remember ever doing anything to make you this mad, mate. The last time I checked, I had nothing to do with the whole fight between you and Simon, so you should just drop whatever is making you so mad at me.

Milo: And I don’t remember ever doing anything to you to make me out to be the bad guy, yet here we are; Milo Kamalani: certified bad guy in friendship!

Sophie: Well, a good friend would talk and understand that things aren’t what they always seem.

Milo: You kissing the boy that literally left you for your best friend makes it loud and clear that you don’t care about how others treat you.

Sophie: Again, how is that your concern?! You weren’t there when it happened, and it’s not like we were anything but friends; so tell me, what is the true reason you’re mad at me?

Milo: I told you a million times; I am sick and tired of you letting people walk all over you! Like you don’t have friends that actually give a fuck about you!

Sophie: If you did, you wouldn’t have ultimately thought that I wanted to kiss Simon in the first place. You would’ve came to me before believing anyone else had to say, especially Laurie.

Milo: Whatever, Sophie; do whatever you want.

Sophie: I just don’t understand you sometimes…

Milo: Yeah, me neither.

Laurie sees the two bickering at the back of the room and ultimately stops during her presentation.

Laurie: Miss! Can you tell those two lovebirds in the back to stop talking over us?

The class giggles and the teacher quiet down the class.

Teacher: Milo, Sophie; can you please stop being disruptive during the presentations.

Milo: *to Laurie* You’re always talking over someone else, so what makes you so special?

Sophie: Milo.

Teacher: That’s enough! Laurie and Brooke, thank you for your presentation, but it’s clear that Milo and Sophie are eager to be the next presenters of their project.

The two teen’s eyes widen, they look at each other and back towards the teacher. The teacher folds her arms and looks at the two teens.

Teacher: We don’t have all day, you two. Come up and present.

The two slowly get up from their seats and walk to the front. Mollie watches Milo walk towards the front, as well as the rest of the class. Milo and Sophie turn around to face the class once they get to the front of the classroom.

Milo: *awkwardly* Uhm, hi. I’m Milo Kamalani…

Sophie: Sophie Lee…

Milo: And this is our Teenage Tell-Tale Project.

An awkward silence fills the room for a moment. Milo clears his throat and begins to present his part of the project.

Milo: I lived in the neighborhood all of my life, and even though I am still young, I’ve been to places around that meant a lot to me, and went to new places that meant a lot to Sophie.

Milo looks at Sophie, who then starts to talk.

Sophie: My story is the complete opposite of Milo’s. I’ve lived in the neighborhood just a little over a year now after living in the UK for most of my life. Being half British and half Korean, I never really felt like I belonged in any specific place; I didn’t fully look Korean to other Koreans in Korea, but I also didn’t look fully British to other British people. So to come to America, where everyone looks different and is proud of their culture and heritage, I found myself feeling like I belonged in New York.

Milo’s face softens as Sophie talks.

Sophie: Within the year I was here, I discovered places I never thought I’d find comfort in these days, and I was quite shocked to hear that Milo didn’t know some of the places I picked for our project.

Sophie looks at Milo, smiling. Milo begins to speak.

Milo: One place, in particular, was the park on the other side of the bridge. I live near the water and never really explored the other areas of the neighborhood, but Sophie showed me this park that had a stage in it, and she called it one of her favorite places to go and practice her violin.

Sophie: Coming to America, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue playing my violin because the kids at my old school would tease the other kids who had instruments to carry and band practice. So, someone told me to not be so afraid of the people around me and just do what I like doing. So, I played violin on the stage and a couple of people stopped and stayed to listen; they even clapped for me! I guess visiting the stage again for this project is what made me decide to not listen to other people, and go do what I wanted to do. That’s why I auditioned for Waverly High.

Milo: I really liked her place because I am also a musician, and her for to pick the stage as her comfort spot, I could really relate to it.

Sophie smiles and takes a deep breath in.

Sophie: Milo showed me a place not all people will be able to visit in their spare time, but it was a place that I found to be possibly the best place in the neighborhood because of how personal it was to Milo.

She looks at Milo, hesitant to continue. Milo nods his head. Sophie turns her head forward to proceed with the presentation.

Sophie: Milo’s comfort spot is the treehouse in front of his grandparent’s front yard.

Mollie cocks her eyebrow up, slightly confused.

Sophie: The treehouse is full of music sheets, notebooks, and blankets that cover the ground the floor. While a treehouse is just a treehouse, Milo’s had a backstory to it that gave me a clear understanding of family, and how important it was to remember where you came from.

Milo: The treehouse was built by my grandparents, but it was originally used for my mother, who passed away when she was around my age. My dad wanted my grandparents to keep the treehouse and give it to me when I got older. It was like a little piece of my mom that I could remember her by since I was too young to remember anything about her. So like Sophie, my comfort spot is used to practice my music.

Before Sophie can say anything else, Milo continues to speak.

Milo: This project made me realize that no matter how different people maybe, people can ultimately share so much in common; music especially. Sophie was just a person that lived in other countries for most of her life, and I lived in Brooklyn for most of my life, and we may have other things that we like, we can ultimately connect through our love for music.

Milo looks at Sophie, who decides to finish the project.

Sophie: I’ve learned that no matter how far the people you love maybe, like my family back in the UK and Korea, you can always carry them around with you on your new adventures, in hopes that one day, you get the chance to show them some of your favorite places as well.

Milo: Thank you.

Both Sophie and Milo bow in front of the class, and the class applauds for the two of them. They look at each other and smile.

In the back of the room, Simon watches, not pleased or amused at the presentation.

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: The Halfway Mark.

New year, new me! Well, not really. More like a “new year, new ways to better me!”

I remember looking at all the paperwork in my doctor’s office planning out the next couple of months after surgery. They counted them as days. They told me what I should be doing and eating at certain points of the healing journey. They tell you what you should be doing at different points of the journey to help keep the weight off and adapt to now healthier lifestyles. It’s crazy to even think back to those times, not realizing that one day, I’d be where I’m currently at.

Hi, my name is Liz and I will be making 6 months in a week and a half!

Six months. Where did the time go? It really does seem like it was just the summertime, and I was being pushed out in a wheelchair to the entrance of the hospital where my sibling picked me up. It feels like it was just my first day back at work after surgery and my coworkers asked me a million and one questions about the process; of course, out of concern and curiosity. It was just the first time I visibly saw changes in my body through the clothing I was wearing! Now here we are, celebrating a milestone that seemed like would never come.

In the time I am writing this, it is very much still 2021, and the total amount of weight I’ve lost since surgery is 69 pounds! To think that my ultimate goal is just 30 more pounds; it’s a little scary, to say the least. Things fit differently, my body is looking different, and I feel different. But like I documented here on the blog, getting here wasn’t an easy transition.

Six months really is just the beginning of this lifelong journey. It’s still very much a learning process and I’m not the “perfect example” of what someone on a post-surgery journey is like. Nevertheless, these last couple of months have taught me so much about my body, my mentality, and the strength it took to even make it to this point.

This journey is possibly one of the most important stories I am currently telling. I say that because this was something I really didn’t think would ever happen in my life. I’ve told myself that this was something I should consider doing and was always afraid to take that step forward and go for it. The drive to want to change my life and just experience it in a way where my weight wasn’t going to hold me back.

Like I mentioned in the previous Overexposed posts, I write about this journey because there’s not a lot of people telling the truth of the process. They don’t tell you the day-by-day process of WLS and the hardships one truly goes through during the process. I honestly didn’t realize people were reading until my coworker told me that they read the series and felt unworthy of reading it because it was like “reading in on someone’s diary”. The truth of the matter is, it is. This is how I document my process for myself. I write for the blog, to come back in a year to see where my mind was during the beginning of this process. I want to be able to look back and see just how far I’ve come in this journey, and other readers who stumble upon this blog while doing so are more than welcome to read along and learn this very important thing about me and my life.

I’m not one to have new year’s resolutions, but this year I want to set some things to do things differently with this process. For starters, I want to start working out more at home. We have a treadmill in our apartment and it doesn’t hurt to go on it for half an hour to burn some calories. I also want to go on more walks when the weather gets warmer to do more exercise! I also want to stay away from sugar as much as possible to not gain a tolerance for it (I have to admit, my sweet tooth has been making its return and I don’t want it to). I definitely want to eat better and make better food choices to help the process continue smoothly. Most importantly, I want to just go through this next half of the first year not too anxious about the process and stressed about the number on the scale. The journey is unique to everyone, and this just so happens to be mine.

Here’s to 6 months, and cheers to the next 6 months!

LFL's Anniversary Blogging Celebration!, Throwback Thursdays

Where was I in 2012?

Ten years ago, I was 18-years-old and a senior in high school. It was the year 2012, also deemed as one of my worst years to date.

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Every year, I always reflect back on who I was and where I was a decade ago. Ten years ago, it was 2012, which in case you haven’t been here since the beginning, you would know that 2012 was an interesting year for me. Although it has been ten years, I finally feel like I am now in a place where it doesn’t affect me in the way it does, so writing this doesn’t leave me in any weird state of mind or in a bad place. But anyway! Let’s talk about the Liz that was in 2012!

I was a teenager that lived in beanies and scarves throughout my senior year. I also wasn’t a major makeup wearer, but this was the year that I got into liquid eyeliner! I mean, it wasn’t really great at it, but it did the job for a teenager that really didn’t care about appearance that much. I very much still wore a lot of older-looking clothes, meaning I wore outfits that would date me much older than an eighteen-year-old. My hair was constantly straightened, or at least a part of it was straightened, like my damn bangs. I was also the girl with two nose piercings; to come and think of it, I don’t know how the hell I rocked two nostril piercings and it didn’t bother me. Like, if I had them to this day, I would’ve been surprised, but I actually don’t! I upgraded to a septum ring! ;D

I was a vocal major in high school and was a member of the Performing Choir since my sophomore year. This particular school year, we were able to go to a lot of interesting places! For example, a part of our choir was invited to go to the 125th Birthday Celebration of the Statue of Liberty and performed for the major and some celebrities! We were also featured on “Good Morning America” earlier that morning! It was surreal; I had to meet up with my vocal teacher and my other choir members at like 4:30 in the morning to make it to Ellis Island by 7:30ish. It was definitely a fun and cool experience to be on National television. We also performed “Carmina Burana” with other high-school choirs at Carnegie Hall! It was my second time performing on the stage of Carnegie Hall, but this time was definitely so much fun and I got to meet so many new people who participated in the show! My family got to see me perform, and the rehearsals were so much much to attend! Plus, hearing a live orchestra perform with us was ethereal. For me, my time in Performing Choir was what kept me together during my senior year of high school. It was my escape when life was getting complicated for me and things were getting dark for me; dangerously dark.

Senior year of high school was the year that tested my mental abilities, in all honesty. Prior to this year, life wasn’t as chaotic or hard, to say the least, but senior year taught me a lot about life and make me realize that I wasn’t this innocent, perfect girl I wanted to be. I made mistakes, I made selfish decisions, I did things that weren’t in my character that everyone portrayed me as. To be quite honest, I wanted attention. I felt under-appreciated and invisible, and all I wanted was for people to see me and like me more than just another person in the school.

I got myself involved in a situation that at the time I didn’t want to see as bad and stupid. I started to experiment with girls to the point of falling in love with one that was already taken. Again, it was the attention I liked. It was feeling something that I didn’t feel before, and it was the thrill. I felt like I was living two lives. It was starting to interfere with the relationships I had in my life, and instead of getting myself out of it, I was falling deeper into the rabbit hole of self-destruction. It may be dramatic to say, but it really felt like every decision I made to try to get out of it, it was just another thing that made things worse. If you want to read more about this time, I wrote a lot about it in this post, as well as this post.

One of the ways I gained attention from others was that I went completely blonde for the first time ever. I wanted to not be me anymore; I wanted to be someone else in the midst of everything that was happening in my life. To some degree, it actually wokred. I was getting the attention from people that I wanted; people began to think of me as attractive. It was the attention I thought I wanted when in reality, it began to really tarnish the image I wanted to keep. Instead, I was just this homewrecking, easy chick that allowed anyone to walk all over her. If it was in school or in my after-school activities, I really couldn’t escape the sadness and depression I was going through.

2012 was the year that started my poor mental health. I was in this state of mind that I was severely depressed, I was making impulsive decisions, and I eventually became suicidal. I would walk in the streets, sometimes just standing in the middle of the street wondering how would it feel if I allowed a car hit me. Sometimes, I would cry on my bathroom floor at night, cutting my arms, wanting to gain back control of my own life. It got to the point where I had to go spend the day at the guidance counselor’s office because I was depressed and my arms were cut up. It was definitely the lowest point of my life.

I graduated high school that year and thought life was going to be okay once I got out of school. I still dealt with a lot of anxiety and depression, which seeped into my first semster as a college student. I was failing half of my classes miserably, and I wanted to do nothing but drop out of college. I really didn’t think I was going to live past 18; that’s how bad things got. The year ended and then 2013 came, which also was a tough year to go through, but we’ll wait until 2023 to talk about that!

In a nutshell, 2012 left a lot of emotional scars and trauma that I had to talk about years later in order to conquer most of it. A lot of my social anxiety stems from the events that happened during those years, and it took tons of therapy sessions to work out some of the darkest thoughts I had during that time. It’s crazy all of that happened 10 years ago. It’s crazy that I graduated high school ten years ago and started college ten years ago. Like, where did all the time go? Maybe it went from all the healing, the challenges, and growing up I had done within the last decade.

Here’s to 2022, the better year ending in 2!

Black Sheep in Society., TNTH's Anniversary Blogging Celebration

Black Sheep in the Magazines: A Scene.

Several Russian Vogue Magazines Close Up. Fashion Magazines. Editorial  Photography - Image of happy, beautiful: 184082832

Micah enters the front door of an apartment. In the living room, a man, Milo Sr, is sitting on the couch grading papers. He looks up to greet his son.

Milo Sr: Hey, Micah; you’re home early…

Micah goes to the kitchen to grab something from the fridge.

Micah: Not really feeling good. Where’s mom?

Milo Sr: She went out with the girls to go shopping.

Micah: Alright.

Micah walks out of the kitchen and into the living room. He looks at the magazine pile on the coffee table and notices the person on the front cover.

Micah: That came in the mail today?

Milo Sr. looks down at the coffee table and then goes back to grading.

Milo Sr: Yeah, I think it’s Reagan’s magazine.

Micah picks it up and flips through the pages to see Kalia’s spread in this month’s Vogue magazine. He flips through the pictures, and ultimately tosses the magazine back on the table. His father notices.

Milo Sr: Trouble in paradise, son?

Micah rolls his eyes and doesn’t say anything back. He just gets up from the sofa and walks towards his room.

He enters his room and closes the door behind him. He sits on his bed and ties his hair up and away from his face. He removes his shirt; tattoos are shown on his upper arm and shoulder. He turns off his light and gets into bed, calling it a night.

Micah rubs his eyes as he walks along campus during his classes. He walks towards the student center to kill the time in between his classes. When he enters the building, he looks around until his eyes hit the bookstore. He begins to walk towards the store.

He enters the bookstore and immediately looks at the person at the register. He smiles at the girl.

Micah: Good Morning, Rosie!

Rosie looks up from the register. She nods her head.

Rosie: Hi.

Micah looks around the store to buy something.

Micah: So, how was your weekend?

Rosie: Okay, I guess.

Micah doesn’t say anything back, he just continues to roam around the store. He settles on a drink and a bag of chips. Before he checks out, he passes the magazine rack and sees a familiar person on one of the covers. His mood instantly changes. He flips through the pages and reads the interview Kalia did. In one of the questions, Kalia mentions that relationships aren’t her main focus, as her career is just starting out and wants to focus on that. Micah gets mad, immediately putting the magazine back.

Rosie: You know her?

Micah: *looks up* Huh?

Rosie: That girl on the magazine. She was on the bus with you the other night.

Micah raises his eyebrows, surprised she remembered seeing him on the bus.

Rosie: Where were you going with Little Miss Supermodel on the bus?

Micah: Where were you going with that outfit on the bus?

Rosie doesn’t say anything, she takes the drink and chips and scans them.

Rosie: That’s gonna be $5.18.

Micah: Sorry if that came-

Rosie: $5.18, please.

Micah doesn’t say anything, he just takes out his wallet and hands Rosie the cash. She takes it to the register and gets the change together.

Micah: I hope you know that bus doesn’t go into a good neighborhood.

Rosie: I don’t remember asking for your opinion.

Micah: Just trying to look out for you.

Rosie slides over Micah’s change on the counter.

Rosie: You don’t even know me, so please I don’t need you looking out for me.

Micah takes his change and his items from the register.

Micah: Have a good day, Rosie.

Rosie: Bye, Micah.

Micah pauses and realizes Rosie knows his name. He doesn’t say anything back, he just leaves the bookstore.

Important, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 12: Merry Christmas from Letters From Liz!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate the holiday! It’s the most magical day of the year! It’s crazy to think that Christmas is finally here! I hope everyone is having a great day with loved ones & that it’s full of joy and love!

Thank you to everyone that has read the blog over the past year and to see it grow into what it is today. I spent the past year telling stories of other people I created, as well as my own during the process of my weight loss surgery journey. It’s definitely been a unconventional year for the blog as I steered away from what I used to write, but I am so glad to those who still stayed around and read the stories I wrote, fictional and not.

I wanted to come on here and share something that was dear to my heart: my publication on The Journal of Basic Writing! The recent issue has been officially published on their website, and I’m so excited to share it with you guys!

This article started in the midst of the 2020 pandemic lockdown. I reached out to my mentor, Ro, about writing an article since we’ve been planning on collating on one since I graduated from grad school in 2018. We came together to write our separate parts within a week of discussing it, and since then it’s been in the works for the last year and 9 months. It’s crazy to finally see the publication up and live and be a part of a journal that I personally used for my own research in my Masters Thesis and this journal article.

First, I would like to thank my mentor for working on this article with me. With your busy schedule and many other publications in the works, I was honored that you wanted to work with me on my first ever scholarly publication. I aspire to be like you; to have accomplish so much and to still be so young, it’s a journey I can only imagine that wasn’t easy, but you’re definitely inspiring new scholars like me to go after the things I am passionate about! Thank you for being a part of my life even after graduate school, and for being a good friend!

Without further ado, here’s the article! Merry Christmas once again and I will see you in the new year for our annual “Anniversary Celebration”!

“Encouraging Student Voices: Toward a Voice-Based and Antiracist Culture from the MA Program to Basic Writing”:

Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 11: A Reflection of 2021.

It’s still pretty crazy that 2021 came and went.

It feels like it was just 2020 going through the pandemic and watching the world changing to its new reality. 2021 was just a continuation of that, with just a little bit more freedom to do things we couldn’t do last year.

2021 was a year I definitely didn’t expect, to be honest. I mean, this time last year, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety and negativity towards my body and insecure with the friendships I kept. I was still in the process of getting cleared for surgery, but also I was in this weird place where I needed attention from people because I felt a little lonely and unappreciated. I wasn’t really happy with how I looked anymore, and I was losing just a little bit of myself as the weeks passed by. Coming into 2021, I really didn’t know how the year was going to go.

I started off the new year in a really bad mental place. New Years have always been a little rough for me, so I really try to take it as easy as possible. I wasn’t really taking care of myself, so I wasn’t able to be there for the ones I cared for (although I tied to be).

For the first half of 2021, that’s what my life was like. I was trying to keep my shit together while getting clearance for all of the requirements for surgery. I still remember having to go to the sleep center one night to sleep in an office room bed with a million wires attached to me to see if I was prone to any sleep disorders. That was an experience, like lights were out by 9PM and I was nowhere near tired. Once I fell asleep, they woke me up at 5:45AM, unhooked me, and I was allowed to go home. It was definitely an experience that I hope I don’t have to go through again! I also remember all the blood work I had to go through to wrap up the whole process; it was definitely a process that took way longer than expected, but finally in May, I was cleared for surgery and signed all the paperwork required to do so!

Around the same time, I rekindled an old friendship with a person that I thought I would never rekindle one with. At that point, I was just in a place where I didn’t want to hold onto grudges anymore. I didn’t want to keep holding onto the past and allowing it to affect my preset and future. I just wanted to forgive myself first before forgiving anyone else, and I did. I’m glad that I took that step into moving forward, because this friendship now means the world to me and the support I got from them during the pre-op process was well-needed. Of course, balancing both IRL friendships and online friendships were a lot to handle at the time, and in the process I lost some friends a long the way. I think these things had to happen for the sake of knowing that I needed to learn how to set boundaries with myself and my time because, again, I was now in this process where a lot of my energy had to be put into taking care of myself before and after surgery. A lot of my energy still is on that, to be honest.

Surgery happened in July, and since then it has felt like my life literally took on a whole new chapter. I had to learn my new body cues, my hunger cues, and learn how to be okay to not eat everything that is served on the table. I also had to learn when to stop eating when I was finally full, and through many days and nights where I got sick on the toilet trying to learn, I eventually did.

2021 was not just a year where the world began to open up like the way we knew it before. It was a new beginning for tons of us; it was seeing some hope that some change can happen and that the world can be what it once was before the pandemic. It was being able to see friends and family again after a really long time, and it was a time where even though we aren’t completely done with COVID as a whole, we are still able to move forward with our lives. In a way, I’ve felt the same about my own journey.

Thank you for showing me a lot about myself and being able to find out what were the important things. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to change my life and gain back control of something I thought I would never gain control with. Thank you for allowing me the space to figure things out about myself, and the friendships I keep and the relationship I have with myself.

Here’s to 2022!

The "Something" Series, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 10: Something Brings Us Here: A Scene.

New York City - Snowy Night in the East Village | May your C… | Flickr

One Year Ago…

Grace paces back and forth in her apartment. Her phone sits on the kitchen counter; she checks it every now and then, waiting for it to light up. She wipes her tired eyes and shakes her arms. She immediately looks at her phone, which is now lit up and vibrating. She walks to the counter and picks up the phone; the screen reads “Jamie”.

Grace: Hello?

Jamie: *sarcastically* Is this actually my jagiya talking to me on the phone?

Grace doesn’t react; she stands there with tears forming at her eyes. Jamie notices the tension.

Jamie: … Is everything okay, Grace?

Grace squeezes her eyes shut, she still hasn’t said anything.

Jamie: *worried* Grace? Grace??

Grace: *spits out* What?

Jamie: Are you okay? Is now not a good time? I just–

Grace: *annoyed* When is it ever a good time? You live all the way across the fucking world, so when is ever going to be the right fucking time for us?

Jamie: *confused* What?

Grace: I’m tired, Jamie. It’s about to be midnight here and I need to get up early to get to the studio. So, what is it?

Jamie is taken back, he is heard trying to form a sentence to respond back with.

Jamie: This is the first time I’m able to reach you in weeks. I have the time, I make time for you. I can’t say the same for you though, Grace.

Grace: Are you fucking serious right now? I have a life, Jamie.

Jamie: And what is mine? Worthless? Grace, I’ve been trying to talk to you for weeks! How is our only form of communication is just text messages? You’re my girlfriend, I would love to hear your voice! See you on video call every once and awhile! I’m starting to feel like you’re hiding something from me.

Grace clenches her stomach and silently tears up. She opens her eyes, in rage.

Grace: If you really think I’d hide something from you, then why are you still trying to be with me? Clearly I’m not; I can’t imagine how a relationship could even work out like this! You can’t be here to comfort me, to hold me, or even be there for me when I need you to be! So, what’s really keeping us together? Nothing.

Nothing is said on the line, just complete silence.

Jamie: … If this isn’t what you want anymore, then who am I to force you to do anything.

Grace: *furious* That’s it? You’re just gonna let me go like that? You’re just like every other fucking person I met in my life! Just so fucking easy to let me go and act like nothing has ever happened! You said you were gonna stay here with me, and lied about that – and now you’re just gonna let me break up with you?!

Jamie: What the fuck am I suppose to say, Grace?! This doesn’t even feel like a relationship anymore! I’m sorry that I couldn’t keep my promise and stay with you; this is something I have no control over, but answering your calls and making time for us is something we have control over, and you’ve been choosing to keep me in the dark!

Grace doesn’t anything, she just cries to herself.

Jamie: Maybe we should break up.

Grace: Maybe? We should. Goodbye.

Grace hangs up the phone and begins to cry. She tosses her phone on the counter and grabs the medical papers; they are from Planned Parenthood. She rips them up and tosses them in her kitchen.

Grace wakes up in a cold sweat. She looks around her apartment; she fell asleep on her couch. Her head is pounding. She gets up and walks to her kitchen. She looks for the coffee tin, which to her surprise is empty. Grace sighs and tosses the empty tin out. She grabs her wallet and keys and puts her heels back on and walks out the front door.

It’s about 2am in the city. There are still people out, but the streets aren’t as busy during the winter nights. She walks until she reaches her destination; the cafe.

She swings open the door and walks towards the counter. Bernie, the overnight barista, greets Grace.

Bernie: It’s been a hot minute since we saw you in here at this hour, sweetie.

Grace: Out of coffee at my house. Had to come out for the next best thing.

Bernie: You mean the best thing, I don’t know what kind of shit coffee you drink in your home.

Grace nods in agreement. Bernie prepares Grace’s drink.

Bernie: Am I making this for the sober or hungover Grace?

Grace: Hungover.

Bernie: Sweetie… we have to stop meeting uder these circumstances.

Grace: Work at normal hours.

Bernie laughs and makes Grace her coffee for the night. He hands the drink to Grace while she takes out her card from her wallet.

Bernie: *shakes head* This one is on the house.

Grace: You sure?

Grace takes a sip front her coffee and instantly coughs.

Bernie: Positve!

Grace gives Bernie a stern look and walks away from the counter to sit in her usual spot. She takes out her folders of work: notes for choreo, costume designs, and miscellaneous documents. She sips on her overly strong coffee and gets to work.

Grace hears Bernie talking to another customer; an early bird on her way to work. She remembers when she would make the trip here to get her morning coffee on her way to the law firm. She sometimes misses it, but remembers the hurt being at the firm brought her. Another customer walks in, and Grace curiously looks at who may be the cause of another late-night visitor. Her eyes widen when she sees the tall man at the counter, ordering the coffee order she knows by heart.

She tries to quickly gather her papers and sneak her way out of the cafe. She doesn’t want anyone seeing her here, at this hour, this unprepared. She takes a deep breath, maybe she’s just imagining things. Still, she tries to sneak out of the cafe; better safe than sorry.

She makes it close to the door until she feels her ankle buckle from the heels she is wearing. She stumbles on the ground, making a huge scene in the cafe. Bernie looks at Grace, and the man standing in front of the counter turns around now. Grace looks up at the man.

Jamie looks down at Grace. Nothing is said between them.

Bernie: The amount of times you’ve tripped and fell in this damn cafe, Grace! My goodness, are you alright?

Grace doesn’t say anything, she just begins to pick up her paperwork. Jamie, who now has brown hair in comparison to the blonde hair he once had, kneels down on the floor and begins to help her.

Black Sheep in Society., Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 9: A Sheep and his Girl: A Scene.

6 Best Simple Family Game Night Games

Micah sits at a bus stop in Brooklyn, scrolling through this phone and occasionally looks around as if he was looking for something or someone. When he puts his guard down for a slight moment, someone taps his shoulder. He immediately looks up; it’s Kalia.

Kalia is Micah’s girlfriend of 2 years. They began dating during his senior year of high-school; she was in her sophomore year of college. Her father is a very famous Swedish actor, and she is current;y trying to follow in her family’s footsteps.

She smiles back down at Micah. He gets up from his seat and hugs Kalia, followed by gently kissing her on the forehead.

Micah: Hey babe, you got here without any issue?

Kalia: Yeah, there wasn’t any paparazzi hanging out near my apartment this morning; I heard that Kaylee Spencer is in town.

Micah: *nods* They’re giving you a break today.

Kalia: Thank God.

Micah laughs at Kalia’s response. The bus approaches the stop, and the couple aboard it.

Micah: You know I could’ve just called us a cab from your place.

Kalia: Absolutely not. You know how crazy it could get when a Uber driver sees “Kalia Holder” stepping into their car. At least on public transportation, no one cares about anyone on here.

Micah doesn’t say anything, he just takes a seat next to Kalia.

Kalia: So… the change of plans tonight, huh?

Micah: Oh, yeah. Tanner and Dani invited us to their place for a game night. You know, kind of like a double date.

Kalia: I was looking forward for it being just the two if us considering we don’t get to see each other as often during the weekend.

Micah: Well, with school and your auditions, you know how difficult it could get for us to make time, but this is going to be fun!

Kalia: I’m still very convinced that your friends do not like me.

Micah: *defensive* Hey, that’s not true! They wouldn’t have invited you along if they didn’t.

Kalia rolls her eyes as Micah teases her.

Micah: I’ll make it up to you; I promise.

The bus makes a stop and on comes a girl Micah recognizes. The girl has a messy hair bun tied to the top of her head, and is wearing small, tight clothing with heels. She walks into the bus and takes a seat towards the back. Micah is taken back by the contrast of this one particular person. Kalia takes notice of Micah staring.

Kalia: If I start dressy that slutty, would you keep your eyes on me?

Micah turns her head around towards Kalia.

Micah: She goes to my college. Ahe definitely never looks like that though.

Kalia: *concerned* You know her?

Micah: She just works at the bookstore, I don’t really know her.

Kalia drops the topic and looks on her phone. Micah attempts to look away, but can’t help it. Is that how Rosie looks like outside of her work clothes?

The couple walk out of the bus and towards an apartment building, the college dorm apartment building. They walk in the front door and head towards the elevator. They reached the floor they need to be on, and walk towards the apartment tey were heading to. After a few knocks on the door, Tanner opens the door.

Tanner: Hey! The gang’s all here!

Tanner invites Micah and Kalia into the apartment; the boys greet each other with their special handshake, and Kalia greets Tanner by simply saying hello.

Micah: You guys ready to get your asses beat on game night?

Tanner: Man, you know Dani and I will slaughter you both in Spades!

Micah: Speaking of Dani; where is she?

Tanner: Bathroom, putting her face on.

Dani: *from the bathroom* Whose side are you on?!

Micah: Oof, it’s the doghouse for you, Tan-Man.

Dani comes out the bathroom and greets the couple.

Dani: Hey! We’re actually surprised both of you came this time!

Micah gives his best friend the side-eye. Dani doesn’t say anything else, she just starts prepping the table.

Tanner: Alright, house rules are being played; no cheating, no whining that you’re losing, no fightin Micah and Dani…

Both Micah and Dani: Whatever.

Tanner: But most importantly, let’s have fun!

The couples sit at the table and Tanner begins to shuffle the cards.

In the middle of game night, the couples agree to take a slight break from the games to just eat and chill.

Dani: *to Kalia* So Kalia, how’s the whole auditioning thing going for you?

Kalia: It’s going. I have a few auditions tomorrow morning that I have to get ready for.

Dani: So you’re not going to stay for the rest of the game?

Kalia: I… I truly can’t.

Micah looks visibly confused.

Micah: Wait, you have to go? Why didn’t you tell me?

Kalia doesn’t say anything; Micah gets up from the table and goes to speak to Kalia in private.

Micah: When were you gonna tell me you had to leave early? I would’ve set something up, I–

Kalia: I don’t want you to have to worry about your friends. It’s okay, Micah.

Micah: Are you going to be fine going home by yourself? You need me to call you a cab?

Kalia: *laughs* Micah, I’ll be okay. I have a cab coming already.

Kalia kisses Micah on the cheek and gets her things.

Kalia: I’ll text you when I get home, babe. Have a fun night.

Micah doesn’t say anything, he just watches Kalia leave the apartment. Micah turns back towards his friends.

Dani: Where’s the actress?

Micah: *annoyed* Dani, don’t start with me.

Dani: She barely played any hands tonight! What was the point of her coming anyway?

Micah doesn’t answer, he just sits on the sofa and chugs down a beer.

Tanner: Dani.

Dani backs off and goes to clean the table. Tanner takes a seat next to Micah in the living room area.

Tanner: You good, bro?

Micah: Yeah, I’ll be fine… it wouldn’t be the first time, you know?

Tanner nods and agrees. Micah takes another beer and cracks it open; he takes in a deep breath.

Micah: I just wish she could’ve stayed a bit longer. Like, it’s only 8 o’clock. I could’ve took her home and made sur she got home safely and shit.

Tanner: Yeah, but she didn’t want that. You just gotta let her do what she wants to do.

Micah: But then she goes on these tangents on how we never spend alone time with each other anymore and that our schedules are just always conflicting and–

Micah sighs and shakes his head.

Tanner: I know, man…

Dani comes out from the kitchen area and looking at the two guys sitting on the sofa.

Dani: You chugging beers over Kalia? Man, you’re whipped.

Micah simply has no energy to fight with Dani. Dani notices, and backs off from Micah. He sits next to Tanner, holding a much more serious aura.

Dani: Look Micah, you know we care about you a lot, and we are hella tired seeing you get disappointed by Kalia every time you let her get you this way. You guys really haven’t felt like a couple in awhile.

Micah: We’re fine, Dani.

Dani: You’re drinking.

Micah: *annoyed* And? Who are you, the goddamn cops?

Dani: Don’t get mad at me just because I hit a nerve in telling you the truth!

The two friends begin to argue, and Tanner is yet the person having to break it up. Micah stops fighting and grabs his things to leave.

Micah: Yo, I don’t need to take this shit. I don’t tell you how to run your relationship; so don’t try to tell me what to do with mine.

Micah walks out the front door and slams it behind him.

The Teenage Tell-Tale., Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 8: The Teenagers Last Straw: A Scene.

Summer In The Park Free Stock Photo - Public Domain Pictures

Milo walks down a pathway in the park on a warm day during the weekend. He wipes the sweat from his forehead and ties his dreadlocks into a ponytail. He looks around until he sees Sophie sitting on a park bench. He walks towards her.

When he gets closer, Sophie turns her head to look at him and then looks back down at the notebook she was writing in. When Milo reaches the bench, Sophie gathers her things, getting ready to get up.

Milo: Where are you going?

Sophie: *gets up* I finished the last part of the project.

Milo: Then what was the point of us meeting up?

Sophie puts her book-bag on and faces Milo.

Sophie: I didn’t need your help.

Sophie walks away, and Milo follows. He’s visibly annoyed.

Milo: Listen, as much as I want this project to be over with, we agreed to work on it together.

Sophie: *turns around* Oh, I’m sorry that I didn’t need your help with my part of the project.

Sophie turns back around and continues to walk away. Milo follows her, clearly not letting this go.

Milo: I don’t know what’s your problem!

Sophie: Nothing, Milo. Just go home. I’ll send you my part of the project tonight.

Milo: *stops in his tracks* Is this about Simon and I fighting?

Sophie stops and shuts her eyes.

Milo: Look, I’m sorry that I fought your little boyfriend, but he–

Sophie turns around and grabs Milo by the shirt.

Sophie: He’s not my bloody boyfriend; get that through that thick skull of yours.

Milo: Then why did you kiss him? What is it about him that–

Sophie: That what? That you don’t have?

Milo doesn’t say anything back. He’s surprised about her response.

Milo: You know he’s back with Laurie, right?

Sophie: *yells* Who cares, Milo?! Who cares about Laurie and Simon and about that damn petty drama?

Sophie turns forward one last time, not looking back. Milo runs to Sophie, stopping her in her tracks.

Sophie: Move out of my way.

Milo: Not until you tell me what’s going on.

Sophie: *defeated* Why do you care anyway? You just think I’m just as fake and plastic as the company I kept. So truly, why do you care about what’s going on with me?

Milo: Because I don’t know why you’ve been acting this way towards me. I care about you!

Sophie: Well you have a really shitty way of showing it.

Milo: *yells* Are you fucking serious?

Sophie: Bye, Milo.

She walks away and Milo doesn’t bother following her. He walks the opposite direction to go home.

Milo enters his house; he slams the front door shut in anger and startles the rest of the family. Milo Sr and Jennifer react to the slamming of the door.

Jennifer: Milo?

Milo’s bedroom door slams shut and the adults question what is going on.

Milo throws his backpack on the ground and jumps into his bed; face first into his pillow. After awhile, he looks up and sees his headphones on his desk. He picks them up and blasts music in his ears. He closes his eyes, trying to clear his mind.

Creative Pieces, Twelve Letters of Lizmas: 2021

Day 7: Stories I’m Currently Working On!

Dear, guys – welcome back to Letters From Liz!

Wow; one week into the Lizmas celebration! Is it just me, or is this month just flying by? I mean, the holiday season comes and goes quickly every year, but I feel like it was just Thanksgiving not too long ago! Anyway, if you’ve been a daily reader of the blog for the past year, you would know that the writing universes that live in my mind have been officially taken over my creative writing side and are now officially different series! I definitely feel like every post that publishes for a certain series, I feel like it’s an episode of that week and then you have to wait until the following week to see what happens next! It’s definitely something I truly enjoy the most on the blog, so thank you for all of the support you guys have shown to these different series and characters throughout the year!

For those who would like to start a series or two, here’s just a summary of what’s currently going on in the universes of Grace & Jamie in The Something Series, Milo & Sophie in Teenage Tell-Tale and the new series with Micah & Rosie in Happier Than Never: The Series.

The Something Series

So, in a nutshell (since this is the longest running series out of all three), this series focuses on Grace Ashmore, a young adult in her mid-20’s trying to figure out her place in life, but not always having it together. Grace once worked at a law-firm (where she met her ex-fiancee/father of her daughter, Max Harper) and took her job a little bit too seriously, which caused her to lose out on her little family with Max and their daughter, Willow. Grace tries to do good by balancing the demand of her job and her role as being a mother, but she tends to fall short when she’s constantly choosing her work over her loved ones.

Jamie Kim, an overseas lawyer visiting the U.S for a work-related case, is a young adult in his mid-to-late 20’s; his work ethic looks polished and prepared on the outside. He is an experienced and well respected lawyer under his own firm, but also fails to know when to clock out and spend his evenings with his loved ones. Being the only man in a family full of women, he is constantly pressured to keep his culture and traditions in play as a man, but finds himself wanting to live a more westernized life, a life that his mother and older sisters don’t really understand. Because of his love for his career, he has also missed out on a lot of important things in his family’s life, and even had failed relationships because of it.

The two meet in a nearby coffee shop where Grace struggles to keep her life (I mean, paperwork) together, and Jamie offers to help. When they both learn that they are lawyers, Jamie offers to help Grace with her first big girl legal case in which she wins a couple of months later. Within that time, Grace and Jamie find themselves enjoying each other’s company, and begin to develop feelings for one another… until Jamie admits his visa is about to expire before the new year, which breaks Grace’s heart. And that’s honestly the start of it all. Grace and Jamie, as stubborn as they both are and don’t admit to their wrongdoings in situations, go through the next couple of years really figuring out who they are as people, but also fall in love with each other in the process. As of right now, things between the two aren’t the greatest, but hopefully they find their way back to each other… maybe.

Teenage Tell-Tale

So, the 8th grade can either go one or two ways for teens: absolutely amazing with memories to last a lifetime, or absolutely horrific and want nothing to do with your graduating class ever. This series serves you a mixture of both. This series focus on Milo Kamalani Jr, a 14-year-old boy going through the motions the end of middle school can bring. He’s consumed in his music, in which he practices for the big audition to one of the city’s prestigious performing arts school: Waverly High School of the Performing Arts; or simply just Waverly High. He mainly hangs out with his best-friend, Mollie Sue Castro, a spunky 14-year-old girl that gets herself (and Milo) into trouble far too often, and is usually the one fighting off the bullies. He finds himself not being able to voice his opinions well to Mollie due to how she handles things (which are not well) so he tends to fall down with Mollie if they are both involved in something against school rules… like fighting in the lunchroom whenever “one of the plastics” bothers them. He means good, but doesn’t always have a mind of his own.

Sophie Lee, one of the smartest girls in the graduating class yet is “one of the plastics” for being the mean girl’s friend, is a 14-year-old girl that isn’t like your average “plastic”. For one, she’s not really a follower of the leader, Laurie Warren, but still considers her one of her good friends despite the circumstances. Sophie moved to the U.S from the U.K a year before, only having one real friend, Simon Hempstead; the guy she used to have a crush on and briefly dated before moving onto, you guessed it: Sophie’s friend, Laurie. Since then, Sophie has been having this dilemma of who her real friends are and if she is only friends with Laurie because if she wasn’t, she would be a target for bullying from Laurie and the rest of her squad. While she can’t stand the fact that she has to pretend she’s okay with the boy that broke her heart for the sake of Laurie’s feelings, she does it anyway, even if her friends wouldn’t do the same for her.

Milo and Sophie met the summer before the school year and became close; he even gave Sophie the nickname “Scout” after the main character Scout Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird since she was always curious about things and reigns being the smartest girl in their class. While they value each other’s friendship during the summer (and potentially catch feelings for each other as well), they are forced to pretend they do not know of each other because of them being in the two friend groups that despise one another. While at first it’s easy to separate the two, their English teacher partners them up to do their exit project together; The Teenage Tell-Tale Project. Partners have to show each other their favorite places in the neighborhood and get to know each other through the places they chose. While this project gets them the excuse to spend time with one another, both Mollie and Simon start to realize that Milo and Sophie are too friendly towards each other, and ultimately bring it up to both parties. Uh-oh, drama alert!

Happier Than Never: The Series

Black sheep tend to be misunderstood, unless you’re a black sheep yourself. This series focuses on Micah Kamalani (the younger brother of Milo which by in this series, Milo is roughly 30 years old), a 20-year-old college student studying sound engineering in order to pursue his dream in producing and DJing. While his love for music definitely comes from his family, the way he wants to pursue it is definitely different than what his father did and what his older brother is doing. Micah, the middle child in the Kamalani household, wears his hair curly and out, has a septum ring, and has tattoos on his arms which of course he got despite hoe his parents felt. He definitely is different from the family, and also tends to get in trouble often with those around him. His two best friends, Daniella (Dani) and Tanner, are along his side has he tries to figure out his place as a person in their twenties, even if Dani tends to give him a lot of shit for his poor mistakes. What makes things even more weird for Micah is that he is currently dating up-and-rising movie actress, Kalia Larsen whose father is a worldwide known and famous actor. Because of his girlfriend’s rise to stardom, Micah finds himself having to act and be a certain way in public so that him and Kalia don’t end up in the tabloids on a negative note. But, Micah always finds himself doing something wrong in Kalia’s eyes.

Rosie Delgado (who was first introduced to the blog a part of a short story I wrote back in college) is a 20-year-old college student studying art, which just tends to be her passion. With big, brown curly hair with different colored streaks in her hair and tattoos of her own, people tend to keep their distance from her, immediately labeling her as a “freak” or “weirdo”. She’s kept to herself most of the time, but she definitely has her own secrets she isn’t willing to tell just anyone. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, she resides in New York on her own and tends to work part-time to help pay off bills and necessities of living. She works at the college bookstore when she isn’t in class, to which she finds herself interacting with Micah a lot during her shifts, once he finds out she works there.

Although I’ve written about these two in the past before, I definitely wanted to write more about how they became friends and how they eventually get to where they go later in their story! Keeping to the original story on how they met, Micah and Rosie bump into each other on campus, to which Micah takes a liking into because of her style. After getting Rosie comfortable in conversation, they share a brief exchange of words before they are both taken away to their responsibilities as college students. To Rosie’s surprise, once Micah learns about her working at the bookstore, he tends to stop in the store at least once every time he is on campus. While their story hasn’t gone too much into depth yet, you’re going to want to read and learn about these two misunderstood black sheep of society.

And that’s it for now! I am excited for you guys to read all the ideas I have for these sets of characters, because they are constantly roaming through my mind. Until the next one!