// playing cards //

i’m sitting in the tree house that my father made for me when i was a kid. leaning against the sturdy tree trunk — one that’s been growing and thriving and alive for longer than i’ve existed — i feel the dips of the bark pressing against my spine. it’s God’s fingerprint on his creation. an artist mark.

k is on the floor, her legs crossed. she has a pack of playing cards with her and is laying them out on the mossy slats of wood. “this one is q,” she announces, setting the king of diamonds next to the queen of the same suit. she shoots a smug smile at b, who is hugging herself and staring into space. “the queen is you.”

b blinks. “really?” she laughs, her pale cheeks flushing red. then she points at the king and queen of hearts and suggests, “then these are you and t.”

a smile breaks out on k’s face. one flickers over my lips, as well. there’s something about seeing my friends happy over simple things that makes me think the world isn’t all bad.

k sticks her tongue out at b. with mischief sparkling in those clear cerulean eyes of hers, she settles her gaze on me. a joker card is pinched between her fingers. “this one is you, loren.” she casts it off to the side. “sorry, but your love isn’t coming back.” she laughs and gives me a sympathetic look.

i know she’s joking.

and i know that i’m a joke.

of course i’m the joker, and everyone else are the queens.

jokes always have a bit of truth to them. that’s why i’m the most fun to tease. everything about me can be turned into something for others to laugh at, and i won’t stand up for myself. why should i? it’s just a joke.

my friends are singing softly, smiling at their hands as the words leave their mouths and spiral through the air.

cause all of me loves all of you. love your curves and all your edges, all your perfect imperfections”

they don’t sound perfect. but they sound real. real and deeply in love and daydreaming of someone that makes them feel something sought after by the whole world. the memories playing through their heads and the names written on their hearts may be different, but the feeling they’re pouring into the song is the same.

once they finish, a breeze rushes through the delicate leaves of the tree. it sounds like the earth is applauding.

with a faraway expression one k’s pixie-esque features, she tilts her head up at me. “come on, loren, won’t you sing something for us?” she asks.

a hundred songs race through my head, filling me with a sea of notes and favorite lyrics. but they feel too secret to share, as if opening my mouth will unleash all the memories and feelings and ideas attached to each song. the music is woven into my soul.

“i can’t think of a song. sorry.”

my friends shrug and pick a new song to sing.

the sun is going down. pastel shades of pink and orange and yellow creep along the horizon. it’s warm and the crickets are joining the melody and the stars i hung on the tree’s branches are beginning to glow.

it’s a perfect moment. but i wish you were here.

 my friends are in love and the sky is a masterpiece and i am lonely.

xo

loren

p.s. b/den mother and k/pup have both started blogs: “dear universe” and “north to south.” make sure to check those out. :)

// flower crowns //

she looks like a tiny fairy.

guess who likes wearing long-sleeved black clothes in hot weather? it’s me, testing my heat endurance so i can be the alpha.

holy crap, i’m a great photographer. i’m just kidding, i actually kind of suck, but i do like this photo. :)

pup and den mother were here a few days ago, and i got to teach them how to make flower crowns. (pup is the cute lil one with all the messy brown hair, and den mother has the pretty red hair.) you can be sure that if there are flowers around, i will be picking enough to weave a flower crown for myself or for a friend.

flower crowns are one of my favorite things ever. they sort of make me feel like an elf, i guess. like i’m alive and part of this world. nature is pretty, so decorating myself with it makes me feel a little pretty, too. also, flower crowns are just really great, and as an aesthete, i’m kind of drawn to them.

everyone looks nice in flower crowns, and i can’t help but feel ok when i’m wearing one. :)

and i wish that plant life would grow all around me, so i won’t feel dead anymore (plant life // owl city).

xo

loren

Den Mother

I don’t have very much experience photographing people. Whenever I whip out my camera, my friends immediately hide behind their hands or make weird faces at me. People are fascinating (They’re walking stars! Living, breathing stories! Potential and dreams!), and I want to capture them on camera . . . and I would, but my friends happen to be brats.

Just kidding. I love you guys. You’re angels. Most of the time.

My friend (who we will be calling Den Mother, for reasons) allowed me to take some pictures of her recently, and she also said I could post them here.

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This girl is absolutely insane, but she’s one of my best friends, and I really do love her.

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She earned the nickname Den Mother because out of my group of friends, she’s one of the most responsible and motherly.

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Oh, yeah. The lens on my camera kind of stopped working. I can use the telescopic lens to take pictures, but it makes photographing close things a bit difficult. So I’m guessing there won’t be many photography posts until the lens is fixed/replaced.

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Summer Bucket List

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It’s the first day of summer! Granted, I started summer vacation in late May, but now it feels more like summer.

Anyway, a lot of bloggers have recently been posting summer bucket lists, so I figured I’d try my hand at that. ;)

tumblr bucket list drive-in movie

1. Go to a drive-in movie. I’m going to watch Finding Dory with my best friend this summer!

2. Go to sleep-away camp. I’m going to a scouting camp for a week in August, and my best friend Izzy is coming with me!

3. Run a 5k. My mom is going to sign me up to run a really cool 5k the day before I leave for camp. It’s not a normal race: there’s tons of cool obstacles! Two water slides, a net you have to climb, a giant stack of hay bales, and more. Izzy and my dad are going to be on my team.

4. Breathe in helium and sing “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” It just sounds fun to me. XD

tumblr bucket list walk through a drive-thru

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5. Walk through a drive-thru. I just need to find someone crazy enough to do this with me! Not sure my mom would approve of this plan, though . . . :P

tumblr bucket list best friend scrapbook

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6. Start a book of memories with my best friends. I could probably get my friend Kelsie to do this with me, but Izzy? She’s camera shy (actually, we all are, but we like taking pictures!). I’ll figure out a way to do this.

7. Write 5,000 words for my novel. The word count for Shadow Bird is currently 31,290. Writing 5,000 more words would mean getting motivated to work on my project again, but hopefully I can do it!

tumblr bucket list crayon art

8. Make crayon art. This craft looks so cool, and I love looking at all the amazing pieces that people have made. If I do this, it will probably fail . . .

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9. Buy a mermaid tail. I suppose this is the most unlikely thing on my summer bucket list, but I’ve always, always wanted a mermaid tail.

tumblr bucket list candy pizza

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10. Make a candy pizza. Does that sound good to you? Because that sounds good to me.

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11. Try archery. I’ve always wanted to do this, and I’m going to learn how at my scouting camp!

tumblr bucket list run a mile

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12. Be able to run a mile. My mom is going to run the 5k mentioned earlier with one of her friends, but she needs to train. There’s a track at the middle school close to our house, so maybe I’ll accompany her there when she’s training and accomplish this.

13. Go on several fishing trips. I love fishing with my dad on river. We get in the canoe, load up a cooler with snacks, and spend hours on the water.

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14. Do a photoshoot with my best friends. As I previously mentioned, my friends and I are all camera shy — doing a cute photoshoot will be challenging, but I’m determined to make it happened. Watch out, dear BFFs.

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15. Have a Disney movie marathon. Need I explain?

16. Go to an amusement park. My mom is planning on taking me and my brother to Hershey park. :D

Summer Bucket List: Go Star Gazing. Lots of blankets and pillows in back of pickup truck, sky watching at its best!:

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17. Spend the night in the back of my dad’s truck. With friends. :)

18. Get free Slurpees from 7-Eleven on July 11th. My family found out about this on accident. We’d just stopped in at 7-Eleven on a hot day, and the small Slurpees were free!

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19. Go to a water park. There’s a water park at the resort close to my house, and we go there nearly every summer.

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20. Have a water balloon fight. An EPIC one.

I think that’s it . . . It’s unlikely that I’ll accomplish everything on my summer bucket list this year, but I can hope, right?

What are some things on your summer bucket list?

Lorenoriginal pic via

31-day Blogging Challenge — Day Eight

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31-day Blogging Challenge #8

My earliest memory of my BFF.

I have four very close friends, Issy, Megan, Kelsie, and Kelly, but I can’t really remember how I met Kelly and Megan so I’ll just do the other two . . .

Issy:

When we first met, we actually hated each other! We were about three, and I remember watching her hang up her backpack. She was wearing a blue shirt, and for some reason I thought she was stinky and stuck up! Recently, Issy told me that when she was younger she thought I was stupid. We don’t remember why, though! We didn’t become friends until many years later.

Kelsie:
I met her when I changed grades in my co-op. We were (and still are) the only crazy girls in our class, so we kind of stuck together. We’ve gotten crazier over the years :) I remember watching her give her speech during our Election class. She was trying to become our class’s president.

How did you meet your best friend?

~Loren