Oh the soul that wanders in the cold!
Forever trapped in winter snow
The bitter light is growing old.
Walking, walking, in eternal snow.
Walking in winter.
There is no light
In the bitterest cold
An endless, starless night
An eternal black hole
Trapping my haunted Winter Soul.
Hey there readers I have some shocking news to tell you. Honestly it's not that old, only something I HAVEN'T been telling you. It's kind of a lie, but kind of not. More like a mask, a mask I'm sick and tired of wearing. It's really the reason I haven't been blogging so much. I hate this mask. I don't want to wear it anymore.
To really understand this story I need to take you back about ten years. Imagine a little girl. This little girl has bright red hair, loads of freckles, blue eyes and is really unsure of herself. She's not exactly popular, in fact she's really ignored, left behind, shoved to the sidelines.
This girl has tried to fit in, she was once friends with the "in girls" but somehow they drifted apart. No longer friends she watches as they go to parties, share clothing and hand out pieces of gum to everyone except for her. She can distinctly remember a time when someone peeked his head into the classroom and looked at the "in girls."
"They're all wearing red!" he says, then his eyes fall on the girl. "Except for her, she didn't get the memo, did she?"
This little girl goes home and cries often.
This little girl struggles to make herself like them. She doesn't feel that she's good enough, she's too fat, her hair is too red, she doesn't like what they do, but she can't force herself to. No matter what she does she can't make herself seen.
She begins to see colors, like a box of crayons. Everyone else is vibrant hues of the most beautiful greens, blues, pinks, yellows, and black. All the colors people use when drawing. The little girl feels as if she is the last crayon taken out of the crayon box, or taken out first and quickly forgotten. She feels like she's a white crayon. No one wants to use a white crayon, it's the last one to loose its point, the first one to be tossed aside. No one uses it much because it won't show it. It colors the color "Completely Invisible."
The little girl feels as if she is this crayon color, "Completely Invisible" and it's hard not to when everyone else is seen and she isn't. When she tries to make herself seen people stare, then rapidly leave, or she feels unnatural like she's stepping too far from her color. The "white crayon" wins every battle. She remains invisible.
Then one day the girl realizes she has a power. She can write and by writing she releases every ounce of ugliness inside of her, but she still isn't see, so she figures that she can't be herself, she has to hide so no one knows that the white crayon is trying to be seen.
This little girl gives herself a pen name.
And that pen name is Tayla Durham.
But she still isn't seen.
So if you're following along in the story you've realized that the little girl is me. I can't tell you how many times I felt like I was shoved into a corner and forgotten. I was a white crayon. I went home and cried more times than I can count. The story covers about ten years of my life and I'll be honest, the story is ending there.
Here's the truth, my name isn't Tayla Durham. You can't even spell that out of the letters of my real name. I came up with that pen name after I wrote my first book The Kelpie's Grim, Forgotten, it just seemed natural to toss aside my real name and pin a name that didn't belong to anyone to it. Tayla Durham was born.
It was fun at first, pretending to be Tayla. It was like a fresh slate, none of me involved with that name. Tayla was someone completely new. That's why I introduced myself in this blog as Tayla. I was someone new, I could start over blaring my colors, but the truth is, I was really trying to hide the white crayon. I'm tired of hiding.
It's not fun anymore.
Eventually "Tayla" turned into a mask. I spent so much time underneath it that when someone called me by my real name, it was weird, like "who is that? Only Tayla is here."
I grimace now, just looking at the name. It came from a girl I met at Oakcrest who's name was Tayla, I liked the name and the girl wasn't a white crayon like I was. Durham came from a book, not sure which the only one that comes to mind is from the Thoroughbred series by Joanne Campell. one of the character's (Melanie) last name was Graham, and I guess that's where I got Durham from.
At first I didn't use the name at all. It was this fancy thing that I could toss around like "they'll be so happy when they learn Tayla Durham used this to write her book, lalala!" It was like I was talking about a different person. Then I tried to become Tayla. I liked it at first, I went to institute and there was a person there who had a name similar to my real one and the teacher (awesome guy ;D) couldn't tell our names apart. I snapped and said, "Just call me, Tayla. It's my pen name."
And people forgot my real one.
Even here I was faking me. All of the problems and struggles I've written on this blog were real, Tayla is not. Tayla is a mask, a cloak, my hiding place. I'm not hiding anymore.
Here's the truth.
I am not "Tayla Durham"
My name is Kristen Cox.
No, this isn't another hoax. My name really is Kristen and I'll tell you, it's a relief to say this. I'm tired of being called Tayla. It's like the nickname you loath after you outgrow it. I guess that's it then, I've outgrown Tayla. I've outgrown the stupid idea that I could become someone else. I am me. That's all ever want to be, all I ever need to be. Me. Me. Me. Kristen.
I am not a white crayon anymore, in fact if I had to pick a color I'd say that I'm a mahogany red crayon. A color that you have to see. I don't hide in corners anymore, I don't try not to be seen. I don't try to be a paper cutout of everyone else. I am my own original. That's really why I'm letting Tayla go, I don't need her anymore. I don't have to hide behind a flimsy paper cutout because I have discovered myself.
Now you can go on and call me a liar, I guess I am. I should have told the truth about me, but I wasn't ready. I am a liar to myself for thinking that I could ever grow out of me. I'm letting this go because I need to move on with the rest of my life. Tayla will not be moving on with me. She's like an old loved shirt I don't need to wear anymore. Where I'll go from here, I'm not really sure, but it is a relief to let this go. I've been debating this post for quite a while and now that I'm writing it a heavy load has been lifted from my shoulders. I can now introduce myself completely and wholly as me.
And I suppose I need to do that now, introduce me.
Hi, my name is Kristen Cox. I am the eighteen-year-old author of Winter Soul, coming out on March 16th of this year. I am a bright red crayon you can't miss. I am happy with what I do and more importantly I am happy with me, there isn't a thing about myself that I would change. My name is Kristen Cox and I am not hiding anymore.
Goodbye, Tayla Durham, you can lay to rest with all the other insecurities that have plagued me for my teenage years. I don't need you anymore. I don't want you anymore. Rest in peace, you served me well.
I caught another cold, it's why I haven't been as busy on Blogger as normal. It's been exactly one month since my family caught swine flu (and we didn't know we had it until about 2 weeks later) and I'm sick again. Whoopee.
Still not one hundred percent better. I've had a fever (a low one, but still an annoying one) for two days, maybe three, I haven't checked today. I've also been really busy writing Winter Soul, and do you know how hard it is to concentrate on a glowing white screen while you have a fever? Very difficult. I wrote some intense action scenes while it felt like my head was burning up (how I feel right now ;D) so yeah, long story short, not a happy camper.
Now please excuse me whilst I go play with snowflakes. ;) I'll share the reason for this madness later.
Yeah, I've been lazy on my posts, but I've been kind of busy with a new project. It's not ready yet, it's taken some time, but the new version of Twisted is about a hundred times better than the one that's currently out there, trust me. ;)
Each chapter takes a really long time to edit, except for the two that only took 30 minutes each, which was really odd because others took an entire day! I've managed to toss in quite a bit more than in the other draft because I was rushing (never rush fine art!) in order to be done to meet my own impossible time frame. I'm being a bit looser. The new version of Twisted will be released either in late February or early March, which, if you watch the time frame in the book, is the exact time that it happens. March (pulling random numbers out of thin air...) 15th being the day that Aster the Terrible and Allie Taylor (two main characters) meet the Secret Keeper, thus beginning an epic quest. Mwahahaha!
And the book is no longer called Twisted. (Gasp, shocker!) I kind of hate that name now. The book series is still called (at least for now) the Twisted Series, but each book now has a new name. This will make library searches so much easier because it's a series with a defined name. Whoo.
Anyway, if you were paying attention to one of my earlier posts (like way, waaay back) I mentioned that if I didn't call my book Twisted I'd call it Winter Soul.
Yes. My book is now Winter Soul. It explains more than what Twisted did. Besides, Winter Soul has a kind of elegance you'd never get from twisted.
I even came up with a new blurb, mind you, it's really rough.
Winter Soul is the story of a man who lost his soul and became a monster and it's about the thief and girl who are trapped in a quest to save a kingdom with him.
Very rough right now, the manuscript is better. ;)
I'd upload a picture, but my dad's computer has issues with doing things like that (old, gasping geezer computer! But better than my dinosaur one)
The picture on the right with Winter Soul in the middle is a little cover blurb I created. Can you tell what it is? Leave a comment below telling me if you can, I'd like to use some elements from it for the new cover.
You know how you have days where it seems that nothing can go wrong? Obviously life will take a turn for the opposite.
For every step I take
Two more are trod backwards
Person, "How are you today, Tayla?"
Me, "Oh I'm just tired."
Tired of walking and going nowhere, tired of trying and having nothing happens. Tired of waking up to go through the same thing everyday. Tired of waiting with no end in sight. Tired of watching other people succeed as I walk on my lonely broken street. Tired of not being important enough. Tired of screaming and not being heard.
I have exams this week so I won't be posting much. I'll try. I'm trying to fit writing in between studying and I'm rewriting Twisted, because my sister pointed out that there was a lot missing and she's right. I was trying to hard to make Aster likable that I forgot to let him be himself. He's a quirky thief, really smart, a tad bit like me, he knows some impressively big words despite being an illiterate.
So thank you to my sister who always seems to know more about my books than I do. :)
Also another blog name change, it's going to be called Winter Soul. I'll explain why in a later post. Long story short, I don't like the name Twisted anymore. In fact, I kind of hate it. So yeah.
I also found this amazing video on YouTube, as I take a break from posting in order to study (oh yay) you should watch it.
Oh, final question, what would you call a plague that's been killing people for two hundred years? I need a new name. It used to be called viper plague, but that doesn't make any sense because it originated from a place where it's too cold for snakes! I'll use a good suggested name in my book!
Here's that movie. Lizzie is inspiring!