Writing Wednesdays #3

Image Credit: www.d.umn.edu

Image Credit: http://www.d.umn.edu

“Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go.” ~E.L. Doctorow

Welcome to the last Wednesday in January, already!

Enjoy the third installment!


Brennan and Kristin only half-listened to the overly-excited and high-pitched announcements that echoed from Rainbow Plaid Guy. Meanwhile, the two of them were almost giggling like schoolgirls over Rainbow’s exuberance.

“He must be gay, or close to it,” Brennan breathed, almost dying of laughter. Kristin had suspected something from the moment she had heard Rainbow’s voice in the baggage claim, but she was glad that Brennan was brave enough to actually say something. Kristin actually had a vengeance for gay-bashing at home, but she knew that Brennan was only joking, playfully at most. Besides, she took great pleasure in seeing a boy her age giggle, turn bright red and be able to scarcely breathe while trying to laugh and talk. It made her feel better. It helped her confirm that this was just one more thing that she and Brennan had in common.

Although Kristin had never really been involved in any kind of a serious relationship, she had one rule in determining a potential friend, or boyfriend for that matter. They had to have at least five or six things in common. Back home, there were very few people who met this criteria of hers. She could only think of three true candidates: her best friend since kindergarten, Anne-Marie; her best guy friend since middle school, Blake; and the most recent potential boyfriend material, the artsy Trevor. What these things were didn’t matter, as long as Kristin could recognize somewhat of a share interest between the two of them.

For Brennan, however, his numbers were off the charts. Forget five or six, Kristin had lost count at 14, halfway through the bus ride to Camp. There were probably even more, at least she hoped, anyway. In a nutshell, Kristin recognized commonalities in movies, music, love of reading, eating, social events; high school likes and dislikes; religious views and even their take on the government.

“This is crazy …” Kristin thought. “I haven’t even known him for half a day and already he’s so much like me. But I know we have differences, we have to! That’s how a couple’s relationship works; we have to have some things that are uncommon … right?”

As she thought, she kept stealing glances, and it made her blush a rosy pink every single time. “I cannot believe I just thought the words ‘couple’ and ‘relationship’. I know I’m moving too fast, but I can’t seem to stop myself. It must be my hormones, they’re driving me crazy. Crazy for this Brennan kid, that is …”

Brennan was having a similar train of thought as Kristin, though neither of them knew it. He too was absorbed in why he was so attracted to Kristin, not even five hours after they met over Kristin’s zebra-print bags in baggage claim.

“I’m just starting to get over Ashlee, which I know is a good thing … but am I falling for Kristin already? I don’t want to screw things up again, although I know Ashlee and I weren’t meant to be to begin with. I wanted to go out with her and try it. I’m glad we didn’t do anything we regret, so glad about that,” as he wiped the beads of sweat from his forehead.

He sincerely hoped Kristin wasn’t noticing his sweating.

“I know it’s hot on the bus and it must be close to 80 degrees outside, but Kristin is the hot button here for me.” Brennan tried to stop his thought train for a second to reevaluate his last thought, which came to a screeching halt.

“Whoa, dude. Slow the hormone party down a second. Did I just associate Kristin with ‘hot button’?” It was Brennan’s turn to blush furiously. He’d easily lost count of how many times that had happened over the course of the last three hours.

“We have so much in common, which is awesome! I totally want to get to know her better over the course of Camp.”

He took a deep breath and swiped his hands on his shorts, hoping and praying to calm his throbbing erection, along with the manic desire to dip her and start making out with her immediately.

“I haven’t had this many erections since Ashlee and I first started going together. That was nine months ago. She wanted me, and originally that’s what I wanted too. But it fizzled quickly, for me anyway. I can’t believe we lasted the seven months that we did, and that’s a record for a lot of high-school relationships. Again, I’m proud that we didn’t have sex or anything, but Kristin is making me want it so bad, so right now.”

Brennan breathed in again, trying desperately to steady his frayed nerves and his rapidly-quivering penis.

“Crap. I need to jack off, like right now, but I can’t. Not here, not now. I really, really hope our cabins are at least semi-private, or that the bathrooms have stalls. Otherwise, I’m going to look like a complete idiot in front of the girl that I most desire. Not just sexually, but overall. She’s wonderful, and I want her to be mine.”

Finally, Rainbow Plaid Guy finished his last set of instructions about cabin and latrine locations before letting everyone go. Brennan tried not to race off the bus, but he knew he was rushing.

He lamely said to Kristin, “I need to get off; um, I mean, get off the bus, to help unload the luggage. I’ll put yours beside me so no one will, you know, steal it or anything. See you out there in a bit.”

And as quick as The Flash, Kristin watched him disappear down the aisle and out into the dust and dirt that welcomed them to Camp at last.

She wondered why exactly he was in such a rush. He was practically dragging himself alongside her at the airport to be close to her. She shrugged and looked out the window at him, watching his lean, muscular body heave the menagerie of suitcases and luggage into waiting girls’ arms and hands, sweat pouring through his shirt and dripping from his hair. She couldn’t help but giggle, blush and wonder why her breasts and vagina were pulsating with every look he shot her through the dusty window.  


Kristin watched every move that Brennan made with bated breath. She couldn’t wait to be by his side again, once the large crowd of gawking girls left, that is. She was so defensive of him! She didn’t want to see any girl around him. She knew that was wrong, but Kristin couldn’t help it. She wanted him all to herself.

A crazy thought suddenly popped in her head as she continued to stare at Brennan’s back, and backside.

“What if this is the summer I lose my virginity? I wouldn’t want it to be any other guy except him …”

She had never, ever thought about having sex of any kind, with anyone, until this moment. Sure, she and Mom had had the “birds and the bees” talk several years ago, and Mom assured her daughter that she could come to her with any questions, at any time, and she would answer them to the best of her ability. Mom said that she would even talk about her own experiences if that would be beneficial to her only child. And Mom had made good on her promise.

Kristin had asked several based on what she’d heard around the school, and Mom never batted an eye. Kristin relished in the fact that her mother was concerned, but also completely open and honest. She had confided in her mother about oral sex, orgasms, hormones, intercourse, unprotected sex, what a condom felt like and much more. The sex-education class through the school had been a joke, in Kristin’s opinion. There were a few girls who got pregnant every few years, and Kristin knew that her parents were not like many in their small farming community. In fact, Kristin knew the only other parents that were even close to her mom and dad were Blake’s, and even the pairs of adults agreed that they didn’t use the same ways in raising their children.

Kristin felt extremely lucky that her mother had taught her so much on such a tough and controversial topic. Her mother didn’t bring down the pre-marital ultimatum, but Mom strongly encouraged the use of birth control and condoms at first. Kristin appreciated the freedom, and although she’d been on birth control for the last several years, she just hadn’t felt attracted to anyone enough to desire it. Even though she and Trevor had technically been boyfriend and girlfriend for several months last year, the farthest they’d gone was hot and heavy making out. Well, sort of …

There was that one Saturday night, after bowling with a ton of friends, when they were making out on the bench seat of Trevor’s crew cab in the back of parking lot. They both wanted some privacy before heading home for the night, which certainly was not common in their world.

They kissed and kissed until Kristin’s head spun. All the windows quickly steamed up, so much so that no one, even the sharpest of eyes, could see in or out. Kristin wondered where they were headed, but she was calm and just living in the moment.

She’d thought, “Hey, if we do have sex, I know I’ve been on the Pill for a long time. Besides, I know that Trevor keeps condoms in his glove box in his special silver box. Besides, I think we’d both enjoy it. If there’s only one thing that I’m sure of, I know that we’re both turned on, based on the windows right now …”

Come back next week!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Writing Wednesdays #2

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.” ~Benjamin Franklin

Welcome to Wednesday! Woohoo – We’re officially halfway through the work week!!

Without further ado – Enjoy the second installment of “Experiences From Camp”!

… The group of Campers numbered around 100. Kristin glanced around several times and noticed the youngest looked about 13 and it went up to college-age, possibly mid-20s. She was surprised to see the age variation, but also pleased. One of her hopes was to make a good number of friends to stay in touch with after their adventures, whatever those may be. She eyed a few potentials: a girl with similar animal print tastes, a guy in a surf shirt, a girl with a slight peace sign obsession, plus a girl who appeared to be an astute scholar in college. And then there was Brennan, of course.

After 15 minutes of Rainbow Plaid Guy’s announcements & briefings, the group made their way out the doors to the waiting buses. Brennan & Kristin both noticed the converted school buses with the word “Camp” adorned all over the forest green buses in every color imaginable, in every style: Graffiti, cursive, bold, italic, block, squiggly, even dots on every end of the letters. They both wondered if they themselves would get the chance to write their own version of Camp on a bus during their time.

They confirmed each other’s thoughts with their simultaneous exclamation: “Whoa, that’s so awesome!”

After their unison outburst, though, they both sheepishly looked away and blushed. This was getting awkward. Hopefully, they both silently prayed, they would keep up their conversation and the awkwardness would dissolve quickly.

Seat assignments weren’t necessary since the three buses were all headed to the same place. But Rainbow Plaid Guy insisted, in a very high-pitched, frazzled voice to be orderly with their luggage storage underneath and then attempt to make single file lines for boarding. This was to no avail, as a general feeling of elation, excitement, and hormones took over instantly and bedlam ensued, and the huge group dissolved into an organized chaos. The few guys in the group, about 20 in all, took over loading the luggage. This act of chivalry thoroughly impressed Kristin.

Brennan whispered in her ear, “Save a spot for me?”

Kristin jumped, startled by his breath tickling her ear. As she heart thumped wildly by his sudden, and daring, act she smiled broadly and said, “Of course, for the nicest guy here.”

Meanwhile the girls held spots in line in the hopes of sitting next to new girlfriends or potential crushes. Kristin noticed that several girls, particularly the younger ones, were visibly fawning over a few of the guys. A small number were whispering back and forth, and giggling like mad. Almost immediately Kristin’s thoughts rushed back to Brennan.

She glanced over to him as he wrestled with one of her bags and the peace sign girl’s enormous suitcase. “I really, really hoping that none of them are thinking about Brennan,” she thought defensively, with a twinge of jealousy.

She snapped out of the thought just as quickly. “What is wrong with me? I’ve known him for maybe 45 minutes and I’m already becoming defensive? Retract the claws and green monster eyes, Kristin. Geez. It’s not a contest.”

However, she really couldn’t help it. He basically singled her out in baggage claim, and she felt he was special because of that alone. Besides, when he’d whispered in her ear a few minutes before, she could tell that he was only leaving her side to help out. There was a ton of luggage, after all.

Kristin really couldn’t blame the girls whispering and trying not to stare. A good number of the guys were in excellent shape, though there were two or three that looked a bit overweight. No matter though, all of them immediately fanned out in evenly-numbered groups to reduce the three mountains of backpacks, duffle bags, suitcases, and laundry bags thrown at the curb of each bus.

After what seemed like forever, Kristin was snapped out of her daydream of Brennan (Who else?) by the man himself. He tapped her on the shoulder, motioning with his thumb that their line was starting to move toward boarding the second bus.    

The bus was old, but clean. Kristin was flooded with memories of the old, yellow buses with their dark green seats and occasional rips exposing fluffy white stuffing that bounced her along the country roads to her schools back home. She shared the visual with Brennan, who nodded and grinned.

The back of the bus was basically full. Brennan whispered to Kristin, “Those kids,” with a shake of his head and a chuckle, “they’re already hooking up back there, I know it.”

Kristin’s heart leaped forward at Brennan’s off-hand “hooking up” remark.

“I’d like nothing better.”

She suddenly gasped in horror and her hands flew to her mouth as she realized her thought had escaped as words to Brennan. She flushed a furious red and stole a glance at Brennan’s face behind her in shame.

But Brennan only laughed and responded, “Hey, you never know. I certainly wouldn’t mind ‘hooking up’ with such a beautiful girl like you.”

Kristin immediately noticed the huskiness in his voice that she hadn’t heard before. She was surprised at it, but not put off. Some of the guys back home had tried to come on to her in a similar way, but Brennan sounded genuine for some reason.

Kristin’s flush disappeared as her smile appeared from ear to ear. “Is this seat good with you?” She pointed to a seat toward the middle of the bus that wasn’t overrun with hormone-crazed kids.

Brennan nodded sincerely and held his hand out toward the seat. “After you, milady.” Kristin gleefully sat down next to the window as Brennan took the space beside her. Somehow, Kristin gathered, she knew that she wouldn’t be staring out that window like she had for so many bus trips to all those camps in the past. She shivered with excitement as Brennan started to ask her what movies she’d seen since school had gotten out for the summer. She listened intently as she wondered if this was as close to heaven as she could get, on that bright early June day in the arrivals lane of the airport in Bangor, Maine.


The bus ride passed way too quickly, and Kristin dreaded the bus stopping, for she knew that she wouldn’t be sitting next to Brennan any longer. At the same time, though, she couldn’t contain her excitement, because she knew they’d be at Camp by then and all the adventures lay in wait.

Kristin and Brennan made good use of the bus ride. The elapsed time, from the arrivals lane of Bangor International Airport to the check-in cabin inside the Camp gates, was a total of two hours and thirteen minutes. Not that Kristin or Brennan was counting or anything like that. No sir. Brennan used the stopwatch feature on his diving watch to time it, just out of curiosity. And they didn’t stare out the window, except to glance every few minutes at the changing scenery. The airport and downtown Bangor gave way to two interstates and a jumble of state routes and highways before the bus came to a wheezing stop.

Thanks to technology and the shock of almost-constant Wi-Fi for the first hour, they shared music, YouTube videos, movie trailers, and each other’s Facebook pages. Kristin was impressed, though not put off, by Brennan’s only mild obsessions with video games, Star Wars, Star Trek, Marvel, and Wicked. Brennan was happy to hear that Kristin disliked romantic comedies and was totally into kung-fu movies, Marvel, medieval history, Stephen King, and certain horror movies.

“My kind of girl,” Brennan thought eagerly as Kristin chattered on about the Die Hard movies and wondered what Stephen King would next release.

Everyone looked up and around, even though entrenched in the back with whatever activities they had been engaged in for over two hours. There, about 50 feet in front of the bus windshield, was a grand sight.

A huge sign stretched long and high above the entrance to the dirt road, with the words “WELCOME TO CAMP” carved into the weathered wood. The massive trunks, the size and shape of telephone poles, were carved and painted like totem poles, with different animals from top to bottom. Cameras were pulled out and started flashing immediately. Kristin pulled out her Canon Powershot and snapped a couple, while Brennan fiddled with his iPhone.

Kristin wondered if he was using Instagram, but then she realized there was barely any phone service here, which meant there was a slimmer chance of having any shot of getting Wi-Fi. So she chalked it up to just the camera, but who knew. She was pleasantly surprised, however, when Brennan turned the camera lens toward them and put his left arm around her shoulders.

“Say cheese!” Brennan snapped the picture and it dropped obediently into the waiting cube on his phone. He saved it and, turning away from Kristin for a minute, he secretly smiled and made that picture as his newest wallpaper, banishing “The Dark Knight Rises” to join the old wallpaper club.

As Brennan pressed the button to turn off his phone, the bus doors clanged open and Rainbow Plaid Guy appeared front and center, with a hearty “Welcome to Camp, everyone!”

I hope you enjoyed this week’s installment!

As always, I welcome any comments. Feedback is most appreciated. I know it helps my writing!

Come on back next week for more!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Adventure Time: Richmond, VA Edition (Round 3 – Reunion Weekend)

Three words can accurately describe this past Saturday and Sunday for me:

Best. Weekend. Ever.

This weekend was MONTHS in the making, and it finally happened!!

There are six of us, three couples – Al and I, Drew and Katie, and Justin and Heaven.

Photo Credit: Drew's Mom

Saturday shenanigans 🙂

Richmond is our usual meeting place, since there are three of us (Al and I, and then Katie) coming from the southeast and then the other two (Justin and Heaven) come from the north and west of the state.

Personally, I feel fortunate that all six of us currently live in the same state!

On Saturday, Al and I left early and made the drive up. I love driving to Richmond. It’s such a straightforward drive, and the traffic is super light on the weekends!

Justin greeted us in the driveway with some Nightwish blasting from his truck – What a great way to start!

After we’d all arrived, we spent a bit of time at the house getting settled.

One of the trickiest parts of the weekend was figuring out car arrangements. I had my Camry, but it only holds five people – And there were six of us.

So, we were trying to figure out the best way to divide the group into two vehicles.

Finally, Justin pulled out his Munchkin cards. Drew and I were off to the side, since we were the drivers. The other four drew a card, and it was divided based on the level on each card. The way it fell, Justin and Katie were with me, while Al and Heaven were with Drew. It worked out – One half of each couple in each vehicle!

We got in the cars and headed to CiCi’s Pizza!

Image Credit: clarksville.citysaver.com

Image Credit: clarksville.citysaver.com

Mmmm, their food is delicious! I got adventurous and tried the Apple Fanta. It was … interesting. It tasted like carbonated apple juice. Not bad!

At lunch, Drew told us that he had a certificate for a FREE dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts – YUM!

We went to the nearest one, and it was awesome! The store showed you the whole process, from the beginning dough, to fryer, to the waterfall of glaze, to box!

Image Credit: businessweek.com

Image Credit: businessweek.com

When we first decided to get together for this weekend, it was getting close to Christmas. I was going to a Christmas party that holds a gift exchange every year, so I was explaining that to the group. Everyone buys a $10 gift, and then numbers are drawn. Everyone gets a gift, but gifts can be stolen.

Round 1: Heaven opened Katie’s gift – It was a framed shadowbox that held wooden letters that spelled “LONGWOOD” along with a heart, that Katie painted in the school colors of blue and white. Katie also found a vintage picture of the Ruffner building. It was awesome!

Round 2: I opened Heaven’s gift – It was this awesome sign that said “Things to Do” with a chalkboard section, complete with colored chalk. I can’t wait to hang it up on a wall when Al and I get a house!

Round 3: Justin opened Drew’s gift – It was a puzzle that shows a panoramic view of the Las Vegas strip. Even cooler, it glows in the dark!!

Image Credit: yoyo.com

Image Credit: yoyo.com

Round 4: Katie opened Justin’s gift – It was a Wilton cupcake/muffin display stand. Katie loves to bake, so it was perfect 🙂 It looks a lot like the image below:

Image Credit: overstock.com

Image Credit: overstock.com

Round 5: Al opened Katie’s gift – A copy of the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie on Blu-ray!

Round 6: Drew opened the gifts from Al and I. I found this wicked NERF gun, and Al gave a $10 Google Play card. Drew loved both. He immediately tore open the packaging for the gun and started shooting. Then he redeemed the gift card for a graphic novel that was on sale.

One of the prevalent themes this weekend was playing Cards Against Humanity (CAH). This was the official debut of handwritten cards from Justin and Drew, and it was wickedly ridiculous.

And that was just the first round!!

Drew showed us something awesome for Saturday night:

Image Credit: amazon.com

Image Credit: amazon.com

The one we had basically looked liked this one, except the marshmallow roaster was square. This was so cool!


Image Credit: cheeburger.com

Image Credit: cheeburger.com

Before we did that, we went to dinner at Cheeburger Cheeburger, one of our favorites places! This place makes me feel like I’m in a diner in the 1950s. Their food is awesome! We all had burgers. Their onion rings are to die for!

Saturday night, after s’mores, we settled in to watch Guardians of the Galaxy. One of the best movies!!!

Originally, we were all going to sleep on the floor, but we ended up in two rooms, which was fine.

On Sunday morning, we all woke up at different times.

Al and I went downstairs to see if anyone else was up, and we managed to scare Katie half to death!

The three of us were talking in the kitchen, and then Justin joined us, then Heaven. Al, Justin, and Heaven went into the living room after a while, and Katie and I stayed in the kitchen to start breakfast – I made blueberry muffins and then Katie put cinnamon rolls in the oven.

Drew was the last to rise, and then we had breakfast. Drew had made pigs in a blanket the night before – Yum!

After we ate, we went upstairs and put in The Fellowship of the Ring while we played more CAH. We played another round, and then we all went through the gigantic deck to find out the rest of the handwritten cards. Let’s just say that we all blushed at some point!

This video is further proof. Enjoy!

Drew also gave each of us a coloring book to take home. I brought an epic 400-page Avengers activity book that he loved!!

Before we all parted ways on Sunday, we took a bunch of pictures in front of the house. Enjoy!

Al and Laura Beth :)

Al and Laura Beth 🙂

Drew and Katie :)

Drew and Katie 🙂

Justin, Heaven, and Drew's kitty :)

Justin, Heaven, and Drew’s kitty 🙂

The Guys :)

The Guys 🙂

The Girls :)

The Girls 🙂

The gang's all here :)

The gang’s all here 🙂

To Al, Drew, Katie, Justin, and Heaven — THANK YOU for an epic weekend!

Cannot wait to be reunited again, hopefully SOON!

You guys are the best. I feel so lucky to have such a great group of friends!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


New Series: Writing Wednesdays

Image Credit: hearthstonechampion.com

Image Credit: hearthstonechampion.com

“In a mood of faith and hope my work goes on. A ream of fresh paper lies on my desk waiting for the next book. I am a writer and I take up my pen to write.” ~Pearl S. Buck

That quote jumped out at me on the computer screen. I may not be writing by hand, with a pen, but I use my fingers to type!

I’m so excited about this! I’m starting a new series!

I really loved doing my NaNoWriMo posts every week a few months ago. I loved posting excerpts of my writing on a consistent basis. It was a great challenge and motivator for me.

Best of all, I knew there were people waiting to read them.

As I ended that month of posts, I thought about my two other attempts at NaNoWriMo, in the years 2012 and 2013.

Well, with some encouragement and many kind words, I’ve decided to share excerpts from those novels as well.

I want to do this for several reasons:

  1. I want to re-read my attempts thus far, though it makes me absolutely cringe to no end!
  2. I want to get them out of my computer, to y’all, my amazing readers!
  3. I want to make myself go through the editing process, finally.
  4. I want to be inspired to continue writing these stories.
  5. I want to be inspired to FINISH these stories, to make them into novels, for potential publication 🙂

So, introducing … the first installment of Writing Wednesdays!

I’ll be publishing a new excerpt every week. I’m starting with the 2012 novel. Once that one ends, I’ll start the 2013 novel.

I definitely plan to add more to these two stories; just not quite yet. I want to give you what I have written, so far, and then we’ll go from there. One bite of the elephant at a time, as my boss at work likes to say.

I hope you enjoy! As always, I welcome any comments, and feedback is certainly appreciated!

Y’all are the best readers, I hope you know that 🙂


Working Title: “Experiences From Camp”

Word count, as of November 25, 2012: 10,212 words

Kristin woke with a start. She knew she was blindfolded and she figured it was dark, wherever she was.“I guess I’m inside a closet or something. The prank war finally fell to me,” she thought, rolling her eyes.

Then she felt a slight breeze on her skin, making her shiver uncontrollably for a few seconds. “Okay, so I’m outside under some trees. No biggie. No prank is bigger than I am. Wait ’til everyone hears about this in the morning … or maybe it is morning already. Yeesh. It’s not cool to drag someone out of bed at 2 a.m. Wait … how did I get here again?”

She let the thoughts roll for a minute, which quickly turned to panic. “Crap. I’ve been taken. Just like that chick in the movie that came out a few years ago, when her dad got super pissed and went to France to find her. I’ve gotta get out of here.” Then, she heard the sound of heavy breathing in her left ear, like someone was lying down beside her.

She felt a hand move along her shoulder and then darted away, like that boy in seventh grade who wanted so badly to hold her hand, even if it were for five seconds. Although her panic level was rising, the heavy breathing in her ear was strangely comforting. And whose hand was that? Kristin thought she’d reached for her shoulder to quell the goose-bumps she had from the chill.

Then she realized, in utter horror, that her own hands were tied to something above her head.


Okay, let’s back up for a bit. Kristin, who you just met there, is a 16-year-old girl who comes from the Midwest. She is a simple girl who was raised on a dairy farm. She is considered a typical girl in her high school, one of who blends into the crowd. She’s been kissed several times, but never had a serious relationship. Well, there was Trevor … but we’ll get to that part later.

She left her sophomore year for the summer yearning for something different, something adventurous. There was one girl, a freshman, and a guy, who graduated this year, who participated in this thing called Camp. Kristin had heard the rumors and the little bit of trash talk associated with their “adventures” and “gallivanting,” but at the beginning of that summer, she yearned to find out what Camp was all about for herself.

Kristin discovers that she is one of the “newbies” at Camp. She isn’t alone. There are a different number of people who come to Camp. Ages range from 13 up to late-20s. They are from all different walks of life, from all over the country. No two people come from the same place in a single session. And it isn’t just in the summer. Camp isn’t open year-round, but there are “sessions” two or three times per season. However, the one similarity is that every single person who comes to Camp leaves utterly changed, but it is unspeakable. Not in the forbidden way, but those who have had Camp experiences simply can’t describe them to the inexperienced.

“Kind of like those ghost hunters or people who have near-death experiences,” Kristin mulled, but with a bit of uncertainty.

The day came to leave for Camp. Kristin’s instructions in the weeks prior came through a series of texts on her phone. Her parents probably wouldn’t be happy about her phone bill, but she didn’t really care and that point. She was getting out of her little town for almost a month and she couldn’t have been more excited.

She had her zebra-print bags packed. Her dad drove her to the airport in their beat-up pickup truck. Kristin’s exhilaration surged halfway there, knowing that no one in the town would be with her during these experiences, whatever they may be. She had no reservations, strangely. She’d been on an airplane a couple times before, so the mode of transportation certainly wasn’t an issue. She’d been to camps throughout her childhood: Girl Scouts, symphonic band, watercolor painting, soccer and a whole menagerie. The only major differences: this Camp was all the way in rural Maine, the focus was not specified at all. Plus, Camp was capitalized.

“That’s significant in some way,” Kristin thought as the truck bounced along the highway. Suddenly, the control tower of the airport came into view and she was lost in thought & daydreams. Only her imagination could carry her to Maine and Camp now.


One minute, Kristin was settled into her seat on the plane, checking her phone one last time and clicking on her iPod for her playlist that included Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley and Nickelback, among others. The next, it seemed like, the captain announced they were making their descent into the Bangor airport. From there, according to the most recent text from Camp, Kristin was to collect her bags and look for a 20-something-year-old guy in a brightly-colored plaid camp shirt, Bermuda shorts and Sperry Top-Siders.

“That should be easy enough,” Kristin thought. “It’ll probably be deserted in baggage claim and he’ll pop right out to my eyes.” She was wrong!

Baggage claim was extremely crowded, so much so that Kristin started to get a bit claustrophobic.

“Well, it is early June, so all these people must be tourists.” According to the visitor’s guide of Maine that Kristin had purchased, Bangor was encircled by lakes, rivers, the Appalachian Mountain Club 100 Mile Wilderness Conservation Area, and even a golf course or two. There were five expansive recreational areas within Bangor’s city limits alone. Kristin stood in awe. She was so entranced that she almost missed her zebra-print duffel bag and roller suitcase on the carousel.

Fortunately, a handsome guy, maybe a little older than her, managed to grab both off the carousel and somehow correctly identify that she was their owner. Kristin was beyond impressed.

“Hi, I’m Brennan.” They shook hands, Kristin still in bewilderment over everything that had just happened.

“Hello? Are you in there?” Brennan waved his free hand in front of Kristin’s shocked face.

“How, how did you …” Kristin trailed off. “Whoa. Sorry. I’m Kristin. But I guess you figured that out with my luggage tags. Thanks for grabbing them for me.”

Brennan shrugged, but not in a jerky way that the guys at Kristin’s high school did for the awestruck girls. “Hey, I don’t mind. I noticed your zebra-print ID tag on your backpack there, and just kind of put two and two together. Besides, most of the girls your age are crowded around Rainbow Plaid Guy over there.”

Kristin nodded and let go of his hand as Brennan jerked his thumb toward the large crowd that was gathered two baggage carousels over to their left.

Kristin laughed. The guy she was instructed to look for did indeed have on an extremely bright, almost neon-colored plaid shirt, two baggage carousels over. His white dry-erase board just simply said “CAMP.” An abnormally large number of teens, mostly girls but also a few guys, were crowded around him.

Brennan offered to carry Kristin’s backpack as she got situated with her other bags. “Geez, I think I overpacked. I know the text said to bring enough supplies for almost a month, but now that I’m carrying it, I’m regretting it,” she sighed as she heaved the duffel bag across her body and adjusted the handle of the roller suitcase. Brennan chuckled to himself and smiled at Kristin.

“I like her, and we just met. I’m so stoked that we’re headed to Camp together … Crap, I haven’t even said that and here I am offering to carry her backpack. Oh well …” Brennan mulled.

“Hey, Kristin, did I mention that I’m going to Camp too?”

Kristin felt a surge of warmth throughout her body, though she wasn’t quite sure why. “No, you didn’t. But that’s totally awesome! Otherwise, I don’t think you would have offered to help me with my backpack so quickly. I appreciate that so much, by the way. Thanks!”

Brennan felt his cheeks flush and experienced similar warmth spread over all his body, but particularly below the belt. “Oh God, what is wrong with me? I just met this girl maybe ten minutes ago, and the first major emotion I feel is a hard-on? This is going to be a challenge, no doubt about it …”

He swallowed hard, fought to control his oncoming erection and briefly glanced at Kristin. “She’s gorgeous, has a cute country-like accent and she genuinely thanked me for helping her out. No wonder …”

Still, Brennan was thoroughly embarrassed at his hormones, silently cursing them over and over.

Brennan and Kristin walked toward the large crowd at arm’s length, but couldn’t take their eyes off each other. As they stopped at the fringe of the group to listen to Rainbow Plaid Guy’s overly-excited and nasally-sounding announcements, both of them hoped and prayed they’d at least get to sit together on whatever mode of transportation that would eventually deposit them at Camp…

Well, there you have it! I sincerely hope you enjoyed week 1 of the new series. Come back next Wednesday for more!

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂


Getting Personal #7: A 365-Page Book

Yesterday, I found an awesome image on Facebook:

I love Brad Paisley. I’ve seen him live more than any other artist. He is an awesome performer, singer, songwriter, and a great guy all-around.

So it was great to see this quote from him.

Many of you know that I am a reader and a writer.

I love books. Reading is one of my favorite things to do. I don’t do it or get to do it as much as I’d like to, mostly because of life and staying up late with other things and being distracted. It was great that I read five new books last year – That was a major goal for me, and I really enjoyed it. I want to keep reading as much as possible, year after year. I just need to make more time for it – a.k.a., turning off the computer and smartphone in favor of the trusty pages of a good book.

I love writing too. I love getting the stories out of my head and out on paper, whether it’s in cursive or if I’m typing it out on a screen. I want to write and publish at least one book in my lifetime, hopefully more than that. I love that I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for three consecutive years, and I am astounded at how many words I’ve written.

I’m so proud that I’ve been blogging consistently for almost an entire year, and I want to keep that momentum going. Seeing all of your likes and comments on Facebook, along with the stats that WordPress provides to me, keeps this writer going. I’m constantly getting inspiration, and I’m so happy to be able to express myself freely through this platform.

This is day 1 of 365, and I am determined to make the most of it. I probably won’t write a blog post every single day this year, but I am going to write every single day this year. Whether it’s drafting a blog post, or adding more to a previous novel attempt, or starting a new story, I feel the need to write every day.

Thank you, my readers, for inspiring me.

Cheers to the New Year! I hope 2015 is one of the best yet.

Until the next headline, Laura Beth 🙂