Five Things You Should Do–Just Because It Might Be Good For You (Part 2)

Hi * waves * I’m back for the next one!

2) Many times in life you need to enjoy the arts.

I know, I know, this sounds like a no brainer, right? But how many times do we actually admire the lyrics to a song and wonder how the musician came up with them? Stare at a painting to try to understand what the artist was thinking in all the intricate details of his/her work? Read a novel to try to imagine how the author came up with the plot and subplots, or how the poet wrote such amazingly beautiful words?

The fact of the matter is: the arts make you smarter! Look online for “How The Arts Make You Smarter,” and you’ll see lots of great articles and studies.

The arts are also fun! One of our exchange students from Spain danced and laughed in the streets with her friends to the song, “Sexy and I know it,” by LMFAO. Ever try dancing to your favorite song while no one is looking? If you’re older, you may feel silly, but I’m sure you’ll laugh!

Last but not least, why am I sharing something so basic? Because when we first started to have children, I became way too serious. I stopped watching movies, listening to music, and only read books that were non-fiction (crazy, I know!). Then one day I opened a magazine and read a funny joke. I laughed so hard I cried! It finally hit me how serious I had become! So, don’t let that happen to you.

Now I love to write fantasy novels and would like to share an excerpt from my new book Username: Bladen. If you like a little romance in the books you read and want to read about it from the guy’s point of view. Check this out and thanks! See you next time for part three. * waves * Bye!


I stood up, opened the door, and to my pleasant amazement, it was Julia. “Um…what are you doing here?” I asked. “I thought you were on a date.”

“Can I come in?” Her cheeks were flushed cherry red from the cool September air.

I moved aside and held the door open wider. “Sure. Are you going to tell me why you’re here? Are you okay?” I was beginning to sense something was wrong.

She sat down on a chair. “I asked my date to drive me here.”

I couldn’t help but grin. “Do you mind if I ask why?”

“My date Josh was a jerk, too touchy, you know. I told him I wanted to leave.”

“Uh…Okay.” We sat for a few moments in uncomfortable silence. I couldn’t wipe the smirk off my face.

“What happened to the girl you were with?” Julia asked me. “You know—the dark haired, incredibly gorgeous one?”

It clicked for me then. Julia came here because she saw me with Angelina and must have been curious. “She asked me for a ride home. I gave her one.”

“That’s all?” Julia asked. “It looked like there was more to it than that.”

“You sound jealous,” I had to say.

“No,” She said, as she nervously pulled her hair on top of her head.

“So…how’re you getting home?” I asked, certain I sounded amused by now.

“I was kind of hoping you’d be here to give me a ride.” Julia twirled her hair around her index finger.

I was increasingly enjoying the moment. “What if I wasn’t here?”

“Then I would’ve taken a taxi,” she retorted, yanking her hand away from her hair.

We were interrupted when Robby, Kaitland, and their friends bounded in. “Dude, it’s awesome you’re here. You guys wanna party?”

“I was just leaving. Sorry.” Julia faked a smile.

“Do you want me to take you home now?” I whispered to Julia.

“You don’t have to. I didn’t mean to put you in an awkward position,” she whispered back.

“I don’t mind, I promise.” Are you kidding, I thought, psyched.

We told Robby and his friends goodbye and walked to my car. Julia remained quiet the entire ride to her house, as usual. I wondered what it was about riding in my car that almost always made her silent. I didn’t dare ask her—guess the answer scared me a little. Maybe she didn’t feel like talking to me. Maybe she didn’t think I was cool enough. What was I thinking? Ideas that sucked, so I pushed them out of my mind.

When I pulled into her driveway, she placed her hand on top of mine and asked me if I wanted to come in. A wave of electricity pulsed through every nerve in my body. My face flushed. Maybe she does think I’m cool, I thought. I did hesitate at first but then agreed to follow her inside. What guy wouldn’t? For a guy who’s typically a klutz with girls, I was having a pretty good night.

Her house was dark except for the outside light. She pulled out a key and unlocked the door. We both found our way into her kitchen. She turned the light on and asked me what I wanted to do.

“Where’s your mom?” I asked, looking around. “I thought she might be here.”

“No, she’s in New Hampshire this week. She leaves on Sundays when she works in that branch. Do you want to make some popcorn and watch a movie?”

“Score,” I muttered under my breath.

Julia glanced at me shyly but said nothing. She took out the popcorn popper, bowl, and butter. I melted the butter in the microwave and dumped it on the popcorn when it was done. Neither one of us spoke, though I felt the sizzling voltage between us. I couldn’t help but notice how pretty Julia looked, her lips soft and inviting.

We both grabbed our popcorn and a cola out of the fridge and sat on the couch. Julia rummaged through the DVDs near their big screen TV. “What kind of movie do you feel like watching?”

I was curious as to what Julia liked. “Anything you want. Surprise me. How ‘bout you put in your all-time favorite?”

While Julia was getting the movie ready, I sat on the couch and opened my cola. It spilled over onto the carpeting and made a small mess. I rubbed it up with my foot. Julia went into the kitchen and came back with a dishcloth in her hand. I shrugged.

“Here, let me help you.” When she bent over to wipe up the soda for me, her hair cradled beautifully around her face. I sat back down on the couch and stretched out my left leg. Julia didn’t notice and tripped over my sneaker after she stood up. I reached out to stop her from falling. I held my hands around her waist and pulled her toward me. She ended up half on me and half on the couch—go figure. Luck was on my side again. I brushed her hair out of her face.

“Sorry,” she whispered. I felt her breath on my face.

“It’s okay,” I said. Neither one of us moved. I stared at her face and glanced at her lips. She let out an uneasy laugh and stood up. She straightened her shirt as she moved off my lap. Bummer, I thought.

Julia put the DVD into the player and started the movie. I brought the dirty dishtowel back to the kitchen and placed it in the sink. I ran my fingers through my hair, feeling anxious, wanting to talk to Julia rather than watch a movie. Yeah, right. Just talk. I wanted to do more than that. I mustered up the courage to tell her what I wanted—the talking part, of course, not the part where I was dying to see how her lips would feel on mine.

“Um, Julia…do you want to just hang out instead of watching a movie? I’d rather talk, how about you?”

“Y…yeah sure.”

“Are you disappointed? Because if you are, we can still watch a movie or play a game,” I said. I found her nervousness really attractive.

She shook her head. “It’s just that,” she started to say, “what kind of game do you want to play? We got rid of most of our games long ago. It’s not that fun playing them alone.”

“I’m sure we can think of something,” I answered, hoping she didn’t mean a board game.

Julia’s eyes widened; a smile formed on the corners of her lips. “We could play the questions game. It’s something I’ve always played with Adonis and my mom.”

“The questions game…what’s that?”

Julia revealed a broad grin and cute giggle. “That’s exactly it. You just asked me one question, and I’m answering it. Then I get to ask you one question in return. The game continues that way, but if one of us asks a question the other one doesn’t want to answer, then you still have to answer indirectly. Does that make sense?”

“Yeah sure, but how do you win the game?”

“There’s no winner. It’s just for fun to help us get to know each other better.”

“Is that why you played with Adonis and your mom, so you could all get to know each other better?”

Julia laughed. “No, that was their way of being nosy about my life. I didn’t always tell them much. Besides, you’re cheating. You asked me three questions already. Now it’s definitely my turn.”

Julia sat on the couch next to me, twirling her hair with her finger—an adorable habit I kept noticing. After a few seconds, she lifted her head. She flipped her hair out of her face and asked me her first question…Username: Bladen




About jvcarrwriterauthor

Everybody has realistic dreams, ones that start with a seed in the heart, are watered, then grow. Well...I finally published my dream, my young adult novel entitled Username: Bladen. The idea to write it literally struck me in the darkness of the night. I began this project not too long ago, though now it feels like forever. This book, in its original manuscript form, meandered down a typical publishing path in many ways, until it recently settled (Yay!) on the shelves of cyberspace. Soon, I hope it will find a happy home on the shelves of many book lovers, in a real home not just a virtual one. After all who doesn't like to see their dreams come true? Today, with the technological advances that we enjoy, dreams of publishing are well within a writer's grasp. Every mom, much to their chagrin, experiences sleepless nights. With six kids, I honestly can't remember the last time I slept through the night. Typically, when I wake up and can't fall back to sleep, I think too much about things, meditate, or pray. One night as I was praying, the plot for Username: Bladen literally flooded my thoughts. I got so excited about it that I decided to sit down and write and write and write. I spent a lot of time learning about publishing. I joined forums and writers' groups. When I finished my manuscript, I entered it into The Sandy Writing contest, which was a terrific learning experience. I didn't win, but one judge loved my story and gave me almost a perfect score. That gave me a lot of encouragement. I also queried it a little, and am amazed by how much I learned and loved the process. I know nobody likes rejection letters, but I appreciated the personal letters I received from agents that gave me insight into why they rejected my manuscript. Then finally, after I learned that publishers don't have a lot of shelf room for young adult novels with a male protagonist, I decided to stop querying and publish through Westbow. I found an extremely talented editor, and rather quickly finished the process of publishing my book. I couldn't be happier with the final result. If anyone has a story to tell, are willing to be diligent, and have a dream to be a published author, you can do it! Believe in yourself and make your dream come true!
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