Welcome fellow authors and readers! Here you can keep up to date with my recent projects and author spotlights. I also plan on posting more information about my writing process and my publishing journey.
This year, I've been working with a 7th grade English class at Vista Charter school to help them learn about reading and writing. During the year, they have been reading my book, Legend Undone, and falling in love with the characters and world that I created. As they read Legend Undone, they got to discuss elements of my writing that make it a great story. They also got to take turns writing their own endings or twists instead.
I've kept up with their progress in the story through video messages and spent a day coming to their campus to visit the classroom and talk with them in-person. I loved getting to meet them and answer their questions about my book and my writing process. It was a fun day for all of us!
But the fun doesn't stop there. They've also been learning and following my writing process to create their own short stories. They learned about brainstorming, outlining, writing, editing, and revising on their own project. After a lot of time and dedication, they had a final version of their story ready to be reviewed. The end goal is that they will all submit their stories to a local writing competition for young adults.
Before that competition, I reviewed all of their stories and chose my personal favorite from the group. The top stories were rated in five categories and the highest score was chosen the winner. As a reward for their hard work and dedication, that winner is featured below in my author spotlight along with their story.
The Meadow and The Marsh
by Kassidy Jaeger
Soft, rolling hills covered by a lovely green lay beneath my thin body. Little poppies and tall sunflowers surround me. The sun and the moon meet in the sky, making a perfect purple. The beauty of the meadow never fails to amaze.
The Wind brings me to my feet. A giggle escapes my lips. I breathe in. The smell of happiness, the smell of love, and the smell of warmth are all encompassed in sweet lavender, my favorite scent. This place almost feels made for me.
I dash down the little hill, never tripping on the smooth grass. The Wind follows, lifting my hair and making it fly. The poppies on the ground brush against my skin like a warm blanket wrapping around me.
I should feel happy, but I don’t, not completely anyway. I feel as if something’s missing. It’s been this way for a while. But happiness isn’t perfect, right?
“Are you ready for our picnic?” The Wind whispers.
We go on picnics every day, always to new parts of the meadow. Yesterday we went to a beautiful lake. Its water reflected the hills around it. It was magnificent, but everything always is.
“Of course!” I smile. Sure, the beauty is always the same, but The Wind tries to make every adventure new and exciting.
The Wind rushes away, and I follow. We run past all sorts of flowers: roses, tulips, daisies, and, of course, lavenders. The farther we go, the less flowers and hills we see. Strange.
My breath quickens, and my hands begin to shake. Sweat rolls down my arm. But why? Suddenly, I remember. The marsh.
“Where are we going?” My voice shakes.
I stand before the divide. The line between the meadow and the marsh goes on forever. I stare into my nightmare. Everything I’m scared of, everything I hate, is in there. I still recall the first and only time I was there. The cold and dark is all I remember, and a furious thumping. The whole place was like a blood soaked blanket wrapped around me.
The Wind sighs. “I think you already know.”
My breathing goes even quicker. Sweat drips down my face. Tears escape my eyes.
I glance back. I could run. I would never have to face the terrors of the marsh. But loneliness is scarier than the marsh will ever be.
We step in. Happiness fades. All that’s left is darkness.
I hear the thumping, but this time it’s different. It sounds timid and shy, just like the squirrels back in the meadow.
The Wind rushes forward. I rush after.
We arrive at a tree with sprawling, bare branches. The blanket beside the trunk holds an inviting picnic. The smell of food tries to enter my nose but darkness still clogs my senses. I sit on the blanket, staring into the muddy marsh. I shiver from the cold and from fear.
Monsters, giant monsters, lurk around. Luckily, they are scared of The Wind, so none come near us. But I still can’t help being scared of the tall, thin creatures. The only feature on each monster’s face is a single eye. The eye seems to have been dug out, leaving blood in its place.
When I first woke up in the marsh, The Wind wasn’t there to protect me. These huge monsters surrounded me, pointing at me with their long, sharp fingers. But they never scratched my body. They only seemed to aim for the eye.
“What do you think of the view?” The Wind's light sarcasm snaps me back to reality. But I don’t care for humor right now.
“Why did you bring me here?” I don’t look toward The Wind. Instead, I stare off into the marsh, lost in thought. “Have I done something wrong? Is this a punishment?”
“Of course not. Do you hear that thumping?”
I focus back in on the beating in the air.
“Yes.” What does that have to do with anything? I just want to go home, back into my little world of comfort.
“Think of it like a timer. Soon, it will completely stop. You need to leave before it’s too late.”
I feel my breathing get heavy again. Breathe in, breathe out. I try to remind myself. Stay calm. “What do you mean ‘leave’? Leave back to the meadow?”
The Wind wraps around me, comforting me until my breathing calms.
“Follow me.” The Wind moves away, deeper into the marsh.
I run after, leaving behind the delicious food. I don’t want to follow, but being alone in the marsh is worse than being alone in the meadow.
The Wind stops at a pond, the one I first woke up in. Reeds surround the tiny body of water. Tears pour down my face, making it hard to see.
“Why did you bring me here?” My body shakes like a leaf in a storm.
“Just trust me.” The wind pushes me into the pond.
“No! Please no! What are you doing? I just want to go back to the meadow!” I try to stand up, but the water keeps me down. “What’s happening?”
I start to sink, drowning in my own sorrows. Water fills my lungs as I continue to push against the water’s hold. My weak body can’t fight for long. “Why?” The words barely leave my mouth. I give up, letting darkness fill my eyes.
I wake up in a white room. Creatures surround me. Unlike the monsters that roamed the marsh, these creatures wear white coats and have faces similar to mine. They all stare at me with shock.
I look over, expecting to see the wind. Instead, there’s another creature. She looks like me, only taller and more aged. She gasps as a smile spreads across her face. A single tear drops from her eye.