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.
Forget Me Not
Dear Diary, today was my birthday but it didn’t feel that way. When I blew out the candles on my cake, I wished things could go back to the way they were when I didn’t feel forgotten.
“Conner!" Mom says, “No basketball in the house!”
Conner is my older brother, but he feels younger. He's just a total attention hog always trying to be the star.
My mom thinks I’m always negative, but actually, I’m just smart. She also tries to sugar coat everything.
“Olive honey,” she says, “think of the glass as half full!”
Ugh, that’s just one of those sayings people put on cross-stitch pillows.
I’m not like my older brother who is the life of the party and center of attention. He thinks he’s hot stuff because he’s captain of the basketball team, and Mom and Dad treat him like a king.One day he’s going to find out he’s just Pluto and never was the sun.
My dad is a handyman. Maybe that’s why he’s always trying to fix everything. Which can actually come in handy on occasion. Like my bike, and the tree house fort in our backyard. But some things you can’t fix so easily, like my mom and dad’s marriage.
Yes, my parents are practically divorced, like half the other kids in America, (I read the statistics), but my mom likes to say, “We’re just separated.”
Oh please, as soon as those papers come they will be signed faster than Connor can make a trick shot.
The last time we were all together at the family cabin was last year and we haven’t been back since. We used to go every chance we could, but now everything is different. I know it sounds like I’m complaining a lot about my family, but there’s one person who understands me, and that’s my Grandma Iris.
She is mostly the only person I can have a real conversation with because she tells me the truth. She talks to me like my opinion's matter. And she doesn't keep secrets. I like when people tell you exactly like it is. That’s the kind of person I am.
Like when my friend Addie asked me if I liked her new bangs, I said, “You had nothing to be ashamed of, your forehead was beautiful.”
Okay, I guess not everyone appreciates the truth because we’re not talking that much anymore. But I do and so does my grandma.
There’s something else I love about my grandma too. She always remembers the little things I love, like honey and peanut butter sandwiches, chocolate over vanilla–always–and my favorite dessert: s'mores pie with a crunchy graham cracker crust layered with a rich chocolate pudding and fluffy marshmallow whip. She’s made it for me every birthday since I was one, or at least since I can remember.
But then things started happening, and it took me a while to make sense of it all. It didn’t help that my mom likes to sugarcoat everything, like I said, but since I spend at least three days a week with my grandma after school while my parents work, I noticed things happening.
For example, one afternoon I was at my grandma’s house and we started to work on a puzzle. She’s pretty much obsessed with those 500 piece puzzles of Europe.You know, the kind with castles and old buildings covered with ivy. Anyway, this one got her especially excited because it was Neuschwanstein. She’d been there to visit years ago and told me the castle at Disneyland was patterned after this one. It was pretty cool so even I didn’t mind helping out this time.
After we put together all the straight edges and finished half of the towers, I had to go home. But the next day when I returned, the puzzle was gone. I asked my Grandma what happened to it and she told me that we weren’t working on a puzzle. No actually, she insisted there was no puzzle. I didn’t mind of course, because I was getting tired of staring at those pieces and she suggested we make chocolate chip cookies.
But then two days later, when I returned, she got out the puzzle again like it was brand new. There were even chunks of pieces hooked together inside the box, just like we’d arranged, only Grandma Iris said, “How strange to buy a new puzzle and have pieces already put together.”
It was strange, alright. I told my mom but she just said I shouldn’t worry, that old people forget things all the time. But this was different. I knew my grandma would never forget Neuschwanstein. There were other things I started to notice too.
Her plants for example. Grandma Iris had always taken such good care of her begonias. I don’t know much about plants, but I know enough to see that when a plant is turning yellow and the soil is oozing with water that it’s in trouble.
There were other things too. She had me call the post office to complain that her mail wasn’t being delivered, and the next day the carrier came to her door to remind her that he always greeted her and delivered the mail last week. She apologized and laughed it off, but I had a hard time thinking it was funny.
So when my birthday came and mom drove grandma to our house and she didn’t bring a s'more pie, I knew something had gone remarkably wrong. She sat in the chair next to me, not saying as much, just watching, sometimes looking lost in her own thoughts.
So I decided to ask her. “Grandma, did you remember the s'mores pie?”
Then a heart broken pause a few minutes later she responded with, “I have never made a pie. I’d sure love some though.” I was astonished. Never made a pie? That's not true. How could she lie to me? That's our biggest rule: no lying, just the truth.
After I blew out the candles on the cake, I didn’t even feel like eating. I didn’t even care about my presents. I just wanted my grandma back, the one that remembered me, the one that understood me.
It wasn’t until sometime later that my mom finally told me that my grandma had Alzheimers. I could say I was surprised, but I wasn’t. I was hurt and afraid.
What would life be like without the person who took the time to really know me?
This summer we went to the family cabin. Even though my parents are divorced now, my dad made the effort to come and fix the front porch light. He put up a swing so my grandma could feel at peace. My brother (for once) wasn’t trying to get all the attention. My mom seemed happier too. And it felt peaceful. Even though my grandma can't remember all of the things we did together, I know I will never forget.
A short story by Maggie Wimmer
My name is Maggie Wimmer. I have always loved listening to stories but more importantly writing them. One thing most people don’t know about me is that I have lived all over the world. When I was born in Pennsylvania we moved to California, West Virginia, then Stockholm, Sweden and to the middle east in Oman. Through these adventures with my family I have been able to experience many different cultures and education.
My school in Muscat, Oman was when I started creative writing and that's when I got the idea for a story called “Forget Me Not.” This story I wrote started as just an idea but when I had the opportunity to write it in class I knew it was fate. My mom was a big contributor because her grandma having Alzheimer’s was what I used for inspiration.