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Dreams - Kim Petersen

Superheroes

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“My dream is to be a superhero and I will save people.”

– Lakota

I clear an hour out of my schedule every other Monday morning to help in my son’s kindergarten class. He loves it. The expression on his face every time I walk through the door is an impression that stays with me long after I’ve left. His big brown eyes light up and with a big grin he rushes forward, throwing his arms around me as if he hadn’t just seen me an hour before. He doesn’t care who’s watching either. I’m not sure how long that will last so I’ll take it with a side of pleasure.  

He is not the only one that loves it when I rock up ready to get my “silly” on. There’s something about hanging out with a bunch of six-year-olds that refreshes and inspires the mind. Don’t get me wrong; as much as I love it, I do so in small doses. I think teachers are like our modern-day superheroes.

This is going to sound a little creepy, but kid-watching can be extremely entertaining. We can learn so much from their zesty outlook, their resilient ability to go with the flow and their uncomplicated way of being. Those qualities are catchy. So much so, that when I cross the threshold and into the classroom, I (almost) shed the invisible cords that bound me to adulthood and barely even acknowledge the teacher.

“My dream is to be a ballerina and I’ll do a pirouette.”

– Keira  

I’m not like the other parent helpers. When those kids show up at my bingo table, they know they’re in for something different and a whole lot of laughs. I am not just another mum flashing words and adhering to the “quiet-is-better” rule we get thrown down our throats every 10 minutes or so.

I am their “Bingo Master”.

This self-proclaimed “Bingo Master” flashes word cards just like the other mums, but the other mums don’t suddenly break out in a song using the word of the moment as a cue or playfully tease them when clutching words like “home” and “baby” in their hands. I give them challenges, dive into their imaginations and pluck out their fascinating ideas.

I ask the boys to draw love hearts and flowers, the girls’ trucks and cars. Most boys screw their noses up at the thought of etching out a heart or a flower, but then I persist. Other boys take their love hearts very seriously and need no further coaxing. Those boys are probably the ones set to change the patterns of love in the future. They are the ones who might seek out new relationship dynamics and boldly go where no one has gone before.  

“My dream is to be a doctor and I will help people.”

– Jack

Kids teach us so much about life. For instance, did you know that Barbie dolls and unicorns can destroy a zombie apocalypse? And that helping yourself win on the sly isn’t actually cheating? Moreover, kids teach us to see the world differently. Their eyes are not yet contaminated by societal conventions and cultural conditioning. They remind us of sincerity with their transparent views and their beautiful curiosity. They remind us that everything is interesting, to live in the moment and to laugh at silly things. They remind us of our humanity.

 “My dream is to be a teacher and I will teach kids.”

– Harley

Children’s dreams are like precious drops of light. In a world where dreams are too often squandered beneath doubt and ridicule, kids dream big and without boundaries. In a world where we’re so afraid to love, kids love fiercely, forgive easily and listen to their precious hearts.

Every other Monday I spend time with my child and the children of others. Every other Monday, I leave that classroom feeling a little bit lighter than before I arrived. If you’re looking for a different way to kickstart your creative juices, go spend some time with kids. Go play, laugh and goof around a little. Breathe life back into those dreams and believe like a child again.

If just one thing would stick with me from the time I spend with children, that would be it. To believe in those dreams with the voracity of a child again.

“My dream is to be a scientist and I will create a robot to cook me food when I’m hungry.”

– Indiana

Author on a Train

The night was dark and cold. My eyes burned tired while I flicked through my emails and opened one from Joanna Penn. An unlikely opportunity gazed back at me from the screen. A chance to join J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon on an overnight train journey from Chicago to New Orleans, followed by a week in NOLA learning to collaborate and write with other authors.

Hmm. What did I have to lose?

The notion was like a wildcard to someone like me. Especially since I am based in Australia and new to the wonderful world of publishing and writing. Surely I’d be passed up.

I was wrong. And the rest, as they say went down as history!

Eight authors rendezvoused with our hosts in Chicago having never met before, some of us from other countries. What a fabulous manifestation!  I think back now and the week was like an exquisite silky bubble that burst way too soon. The experience was rich with transparent content, unrestricted shared knowledge and a wealth of information. Exploring New Orleans and learning about the city’s history has captured a part of me I’ll always be fond of recalling. And the company – the people involved made for something truly special. I wouldn’t have changed a single glorious moment.

The end result was published back in January with  Dark Shadows: Vampires and Ghosts of New Orleans (An Authors on a Train Short Story Collection), and some lifelong connections I’ll forever treasure. I can’t thank these two guys enough.

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Me with J. Thorn and Zach Bohannon

Did we actually write on a train?

Indeed we did. A piece of flash fiction you’ll find below if you’re interested enough to keep scrolling.

Want to find out more?

The guys are doing it again in 2018. Check it out here!

Dark Shadows

AMAZON

 

Flash fiction on an Amtrak Train:

The Bronze Statue

Carly’s breath appeared like a puff of smoke as it combined with the chilly air.

‘Here it is!’ She grabbed Helen’s arm and dragged her toward the bronze statue.

‘Finally! I’m over walking this cemetery,’ Helen moaned.

‘Stop whining; this statue is famous. Haven’t you always wondered about your death?’

‘No,’ Helen scowled, pulling her arm free.

They stopped in front of a bronze figure, falling silent and crooking their necks as they took in its inscrutable image. The statue loomed tall. Its moss-cloaked arms almost concealed the hard etch of its face as it peered out gravely.

Carly nudged Helen. ‘Go on, look into its eyes. Tell me what you can see,’ she murmured.

Helen rolled her eyes and buried her chin among the shaggy material of her scarf.

‘Then can we get out of here? It’s cold and I want to warm up at the bonfire party. Besides, I really need to pee.’

Carly grinned. Her brown eyes sparkled as she contemplated the statue.

‘Sure. Let’s just see if anything happens. Legend has it, not only will you see your death in this statue’s eyes, but they say there is an evil entity waiting for the right soul to come along to swap places. That poor person will forever be trapped behind those bronze eyes.’

‘You’d believe it snowed in summer if Ryan Willis told you so,’ Helen sniffed.

‘I’m going to ignore that remark. What do you see?’ Carly said behind her.

She rolled her eyes again. Best get this over with. Her thick boots squished into the soggy grass as she stepped closer to the statue. When her eyes met the inky black wells of the figure, she was overcome with a tide of eeriness. She squirmed, screwing her nose as she scrutinized the dark icon.

She shrugged at her friend.

‘Nothing. Your turn,’ she said, stepping aside. ‘And hurry up, something doesn’t feel right; this thing is funky.’

Carly laughed as she took her place in front of the statue.

‘What did you really think will happen? Now who’s letting all that death and soul-trapping talk spook you,’ she teased.

‘Just hurry up already.’

Helen watched as her friend lifted her chin. She pushed out her chest, and pulled back her shoulders as she stood with her legs apart and gripped her hips. She stared unblinking at the giant statue.

Carly’s focus seemed to deepen as her eyes locked into the figure. A deep silence fell over the cemetery, broken only by the flutter of wings as the birds fled from the trees, and the tiny pattering footsteps of the scurrying squirrels. Helen’s heart began to thump. Her eyes darted wildly about the cemetery. She could feel something shifting. Her tongue clung to the roof of her mouth as a lump wedged in her throat. An ominous suspicion twisted and corrupted through her.

Her ears pricked as Carly’s high-pitched scream reverberated around her. She swung around in alarm as she saw her friend convulsing uncontrollably. Carly’s body was shaking violently, yet her feet were rooted into the earth like an entrenched tree trunk. Her eyes remained wide and spellbound against the soulless face of the statue.

Helen rushed over to quell the fit but was unable to stop her quivering nor move her in any way. Horror coiled around her and through her like a venomous serpent, while her cries for help echoed vainly among the gray tombs that littered the desolate graveyard.

Her fingers twitched as she frantically searched her jacket pocket for her phone. She clasped the phone, and paused as she blinked at her friend. Carly’s convulsions had subsided and her eyes were shut as a quietness permeated her.

Helen frowned and ventured toward her friend. She encircled an arm around her.

‘Carly?’

Carly’s eyes flew open and she turned her head toward Helen. Hollow black eyes pierced her.

Helen gasped and reeled back under her friend’s stare. She clutched at her chest.

‘Carly?’ she asked again. ‘Are you okay?’

A wide smile erupted over ruby lips. ‘Oh, I’ve never been better,’ Carly said.

She tossed her golden hair up and began to flounce away.

‘Are you coming? We have that bonfire party to get to, remember!’

Helen’s brows furrowed as she trailed Carly down the cemetery road toward the entrance. She glanced over her shoulder at the statue, unaware of the wild silent pleas from its freshly bronzed brown eyes.

K. Petersen

***

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Inspired by this spooky thing in a Chicago cemetery.

Meet Tricia Barr

By day, Tricia is a full time mom to two beautiful toddler girls and a wife/business partner to a handsome hard-working husband. By night–and nap times–she writes unique and thrilling young adult fantasies inspired by her vivid, somewhat creepy dreams and her own adventures around the world.

The first book in her series, The Bound Ones is set to release in The Shadow Files Boxed Set, currently up for preorder for just 99 cents! Here Tricia talks about writing, publishing and being an author while meeting the demands of family life …

  1. When did you write your first book and what inspired you to write it?

I actually wrote my first book my first year of college. It was the original version of the vampire romance I just released, The Vampire Secret, but ultimately it sucked and needed several rewrites to make it the masterpiece it is now. The thing that inspired me honestly was that I missed high school. I pretty much was my main character in high school, and I wanted to indulge in a fantasy of what could have happened if I found out my favourite vampire series was real and I fell in love with the main vampire hero (which is the premise of that book). I’ll let you in on a little secret—my favourite vampire series is The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice and my favourite vampire of all time would have to be Lestat 😉

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I actually published several books before deciding to publish this one. The first book I published, Ignite, was published through a small press, and I hated the whole experience. I mean, at first, it was a huge ego boost that someone believed in me and my book enough to take a chance on it and give it its chance in the world. But the cover was subpar, the formatting was god-awful, and when they switched distributors and got my name WRONG, that was the last straw. I pulled out of my contract and republished it myself, and it was by far the best decision I’ve made in publishing.

  1. Does writing energize or exhaust you?

Both. During the process, I always feel antsy and drained, but when I’m done for the day and I see my progress, there is no higher feeling of accomplishment!

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

If you mean something that hinders my writing, I have three: my two beautiful toddler girls, Tatum and Syrena, to whom I devote twelve hours of my day, and my work-a-holic husband, who believes I should spend every second of my free time to working around the house and the yard rather than writing (just so you know, my house is the cleanest house of any other toddler mom I know, and that’s all me lol). So I pretty much only get to write for an hour or so during nap time and after my kids go to sleep. But I love it, and I love my wonderful, chaotic little family.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

The Butterfly Promotions Masterclass taught by Bobby Kim!!! I can’t stress it enough! Bobby Kim is the publishing world messiah, and I am a devoted disciple!

  1. What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

I don’t think I’ve encountered a problem there, actually. I feel just as comfortable writing men as I do women.

  1. Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

That depends on the genre they want to write in. If it’s non-fiction, then yes! But any kind of fiction has to come from a place of deep emotion, or readers won’t invest their own emotions.

  1. What are you working on now?

The sequel to my vampire romance, The Vampire Unleashed, which releases June 15.

 

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

I don’t think it’s possible to remember that far back lol I’ve read probably a thousand books in my life, and not a clue which was the first.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

It would be the launch strategy I have now, and also not to waste my precious free time before I had kids on anything other than writing, because you never get that time back lol

Thanks, Tricia! 🙂

Stalk Tricia:

Website ~ Facebook

About the book: IGNITE

Four strangers. Four powerful elements. To survive a ruthless cult, they’ll have to work together… or die alone…

Phoenyx Blake has just woken up in captivity, but she’s not the only one. The mysterious dungeon holds three other teens who were just as surprised to be imprisoned as she was. Phoenyx and the others discover that they were abducted because their souls are eternally bound by the ancient elemental powers of Fire, Water, Earth, and Air. And their captors have no plans on letting them live through the next solar storm…

But as they consider their circumstances, Phoenyx discovers that her fiery abilities connect her in a timeless courtship dance with Sebastian, a fellow prisoner and a water elemental. Their souls have fallen in love generation after generation. And she can’t help but feel drawn to him in this lifetime as well…

To discover the truth behind their abilities, Phoenyx and the others must escape the dungeon before the cultists can begin a terrifying ritual sacrifice. If Phoenyx can’t master her powers and face up to a painful secret, then they’ll all pay with both their lives and their souls…

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Author Spotlight: C.S. Wilde

Best selling Author C.S. Wilde

wrote her first Fantasy novel when she was eight. That book was absolutely terrible, but her mother told her it was awesome, so she kept writing.

Now a grown up (though many will beg to differ), C. S. Wilde writes about fantastic worlds, love stories larger than life and epic battles. She also, quite obviously, sucks at writing an author bio. She finds it awkward that she must write this in the third person and hopes you won’t notice.

Connect with C.S. Wilde

From the Stars

For her, he’ll go to war with an entire galaxy.

James Bauman’s life turned upside down when he fell for Miriam Haworth, the most amazing woman he’s ever met. If only she were human, things would be a lot easier.

Miriam cannot love, but this won’t stop her from trying. She must be careful, though. Strong emotions are forbidden in the Whisar Empire. If the council discovers that she’s trying to fall in love with an earthling, they’ll pull her heart out. Literally.

James will do everything in his power to show Miriam what love is, but if he succeeds, the wrath of an ancient alien race might crash upon him… and doom Miriam forever.

Pick up this page turner today!

 

Kidspot Article

Recently, an article I wrote about writing when you’re a mother to a large brood was published on Kidspot. So, how do you write a novel when you have 5 kids?

Learning to laugh when your four-year old-decides to empty a tube of glue on the cat to keep it from shedding hair all over the lounge room floor.”

See here for the full article: Kidspot and here to buy your copy of Millie’s Angel while is still on sale!

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I Choose Me

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For me choosing life means choosing myself.

Although the path that has led me to the place I occupy today has been littered with some heart wrenching and horrible experiences, I am grateful to have learned enough from those times to appreciate my very existence.

Not so long ago, there was a time when majority of my thoughts were very limiting. Who was I to be smart, successful or prosperous? I was just an ordinary girl from an ordinary family who did ordinary things. I was an ordinary girl who grew into an ordinary woman and married a man who took pleasure in cutting me down at every turn. It’s funny how you tend to believe the viciously uttered words of others rather than your own light inside.

The moment I decided to change my life and leave behind the man I had pledged in marriage, was one of the most powerful moments of my life. For the first time, I chose myself.

Since then, the path hasn’t always been smooth sailing, but it’s a path I have walked with growing empowerment and expanding faith. Faith in myself, belief in my abilities, and a flourishing desire to live fearlessly; and it all started with shifting my self-limiting thoughts.

Who am I to be smart, successful or prosperous? I choose life. I choose myself. So instead I now ask: who am I not to be?

My limiting myself will not serve the world nor will it nourish my soul, and I find great satisfaction and happiness through writing. So nowadays, rather than listen to the opinions and assertions of others, the only reality I adhere to is the one that lives within me because at the end of the day; I am already all I want to be because I choose me.

 

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On Sale Now at Amazon

A touching story of a young woman who finds self-love in the wake of heartbreak, and a gift that heals all

Beautiful Encounter

Last night my grandmother visited my dreams. She has not walked this earth in over thirty years, and as a child I didn’t really know her too well nor spend much time in her company. What I do remember the most about her, was her love for witches and all things voodoo. She had one witch in particular that hung on her wall and when she pulled a little string, the witch would start cackling and spitting water – it scared the Bejesus out of me!

In recent years I have felt her presence with me at times. None so much as vividly as last nights’ guest appearance in my sleep though. She emerged looking vibrant and younger than when I had known her, and spoke to me in the gentlest tones of love while she chanted a song and talked of writing.

No longer was she the witch-loving odd grandmother that spiked a certain awkwardness in the heart of a young child, nor did she resemble any of her human personality. She took none of those traits with her when she departed from this earth. She just was; and she was wonderful.

I had never felt so at peace with her before this moment, and the experience was uplifting and profound. I was reluctant to see her go, and the encounter has stayed with me all throughout today.

I feel very grateful and blessed having experienced my grandmother the way I did last night, and it reminded me that we are so much more than our physical selves. Our true selves are eternal, perfect and beautiful in every way – and this is the very theme in my book, Millie’s Angel. A book about a girl who experiences her own encounters with a divine being. A book about a girl struggling to make sense from life and piece the puzzles together in search of the truth.

So, what is the truth?

The truth is, you are eternal; so embrace your perfection and live from your truth.

 

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My Grandparents

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Millie’s Angel at Amazon on sale! 99 cents for a limited time