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!
Okay, not going to say much now, but I'm making some major changes to Twisted.
First and foremost (warn your friends!) I'm going to be pulling it off of the market temporarily. It has come to my attention that there are still some ridiculously embarrassing typo errors in the book.
(my face is a flaming picture of beauty.)
The typos came from me being frustrated and not taking the time it took to look through it properly because I thought I was done
(Dumb, dumb, dumb, fist to forehead)
And I didn't have that many people read through what I thought was the final copy. Well be known, I WON'T make that mistake again. I've also found myself a new editor who is a little harsher than my other one because I asked her to be and because she knows my book really, REALLY, well. Heck, she named about half of my characters, so yeah.
I will be adding pictures...(say it with me, oooh pictures) a few I will be previewing on my Facebook page. (Oooh pictures)
I will be adding fancy new fonts (oooh, just kidding)
And...dadada! A new cover!
In other words I'm making my book everything I want in other books. I like having pictures, fancy fonts, and stories that appeal to me. I will be changing the book size, the fonts, adding more, taking out, changing the page color. It will be the ultimate book.
The complete change will be unveiled very soon. But if you'll direct your eyeballs to the right side of the screen (if you're on a mobile device I don't know what side it's on...) it's a taste of what's coming.
Don't keep this quiet!
Tell your friends!
Send 'em here... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Twisted/168658493335482?skip_nax_wizard=true
And thank you!
Oh and I'm changing the title of my blog to Tayla Durham--Author, just so there's no confusion, I'm still the Twisted Violinist, by my original idea for this blog has kind of disappeared. ;)
I did mean to post something yesterday, but I forgot...yeah, my brain. It's not functioning so well right now, you know, right after Christmas break and everything. I bet even rocket scientists are having a hard time getting up and going after two weeks worth of sleeping in.
On Monday I found some news that was incredibly startling and upsetting (putting it mildly) one of my friends is doing incredibly well with their interests. I'm not. It was a real hit to the face to see how well they were doing. I'm doing the best I can, why not me?
I was pretty well screaming why!? at God. It was probably the worst break down I've ever had. It felt so unfair that this person is doing so well in half the time it's taken me to get where I am now (still not so well) I was sobbing, those sobs where tears are falling and your mouth is hanging open but you're so heart broken you don't really consider breathing to be important. I jammed in the earbuds and listened to a song I put to rest about five years ago.
The song's about broken dreams and walking where no one else is. Exactly how I feel sometimes. Broken. Alone. Forgotten. I'm perfectly fine today because I'm writing the second book (not Entangled anymore) and I've managed to cook myself up a villain that scares me. Not in the Ahhh! It's a big eyeball called Sauron! kind of scary, it's the I'm terrified to be in the same room with you because of what you might do to me, kind of a fear. My villain is a conniving lying little demon! He's kind of like Maldor in Beyonders by Brandon Mull (great series BTW, I have a signed copy of the second book!) Maldor doesn't kill his enemies in the normal sense. He strips them of themselves.
The sting of the news still hurts at raw moments. I'm really happy for my friend, but I have to wonder why people keep getting what I'm working for. It's like they're not even trying while I'm sweating and working myself to death.
And I keep having these weird dreams.
It's a life and death kind of drama and I know how to solve the problem.
Make it all go away.
But when I try telling the people around me in my dream they won't listen. I start screaming at them, but they can't hear me. Won't hear me. It's kind of scary in the dream, especially when your siblings are being cooked and are dying or having their minds controlled by some powerful evil source.
I scream and I scream, they won't hear a thing.
I don't wake up frustrated, just a little baffled and annoyed at my iPod for doing its duty as an alarm.
What does it mean?
Hey ya'll. Yeah I know it's been a while since I posted anything, but I kind of wanted a break from the internet and social networking, I'm back now since school is starting again tomorrow. :(
Well I hope your New Year celebration was better than my family's, we were all too sick to really do anything beyond cough and light fireworks that were incredibly lame. We did roast marshmallows over a candle which was reasonably fun and odd and shouted at the New Year criers in our neighborhood, also enjoyable. Hehehe. ;)
Though I do have sad news. My computer has been retired. If you remember I've been writing on a Windows '98 for the past three years, and yes I wrote Twisted on a computer as old as my house. It began making some worrying noises, so I gave up on it and retired it. The hardest part was saying farewell to my old keyboard. I'm not used to the new one that my brother is letting me use.
Yeah. I'll probably write more tomorrow, I'm not looking forward to going back to school. I'm really sick of financial lit. It's REALLY depressing and I'm TIRED of it. Oh and I went to a place asking for a job and haha get this, the website said that they're hiring but when I went there and asked this mooching woman (before I could finish my sentence, mind you) said "Look online to see who's hiring because we're not hiring right now."
A little fumbled I replied, "But you're website said that you were." (five bucks says that the website has been changed.)
They handed me an application and I was like glad I got all prettied up for this, because before I went there I was all set on spending the day in my pajamas. So thank you lady. Not so sure I want to work there now.
There has to be somewhere that needs me right? Seriously. Now I can see why people get frustrated by job searches.
Well that is my goal for this lovely year. Get a job, work my hiney off so I can start college in the fall semester.
Which also reminds me of a little irritation I got during the holiday break. I'm a very unique person (how unique you might ask? Well today I chopped off the toes of those weird toe socks and I'm using them as fingerless gloves. Unique) and sometimes people can't handle that uniqueness and apparently my cousins are some of them. Every family part without fail they treat me like I'm that pile of dog doo sitting on the sidewalk. I wandered from room to room during that unfortunate family party wondering why I had been so set on going and talking to my grandmother.
I guess it's also because big words like to crop up into my conversations. I'm not the smartest cookie on the plate, but since I began writing I know a lot of big words (like supercalfragilusexpect...something) and when I try to joke with my cousins they just stare at me like I grew another head.
What makes it worse is that my siblings do it too. Ugh! I was trying to joke with my siblings and cousins, but every time I tried, BAM! they just blinked at me and gave me that polite laugh that I really, really hate. I'd prefer it if they didn't laugh at all. I'm trying to get over my shy mode. I no longer sit and stew over how I wished people like me. I'm tired of the endless worries about what people are thinking about me and why they don't like me. I don't care.
This I don't care, can't make me care attitude has apparently been noticed, one day in class while having one of those stupid write what you like about this person tralalla! sessions of torture one person wrote on my card how she liked that I am me.
And apparently myself is not cool enough to meet with the high standards of my cousins. Tayla says sniffily. Big deal. If they're not willing to accept me in my weirdness that's their problem. I'm tired of being knocked down by idiots who can't accept me as me.
Long story short I'm trying my best not to be that shy little girl in the corner anymore. I realized that I've grown up this holiday break. I slapped on an itchy sweater I got for Christmas looked in the mirror and realized whoa! I'm curvy! it was an odd realization. I've grown up. I've realized I'm not fat, I'm curvy and I will probably forever remain 5'4 but I've realized that I no longer care about wishing myself to be someone else. I'm happy as I am. I've found out what it means to be Tayla Durham and I don't want to change that.