(These examples are protected by US Copyright Law)
(These examples are protected by US Copyright Law)
Little Red Shoe (Short Story)
By: Tedric A. Garrison
Dave wanted to be a writer. He wanted to touch hearts and change the world; so one day I whispered my story to him. It was late at night, when his fingers started pounding on that keyboard. He wrote as fast as I could tell him, and this is what we came up with.
I tugged on Mamma's dress before she got to the door. She looked down, smiled, picked me up and gave me a kiss. She glanced at my tiny fist; and saw my little red shoe dangling by its string. Michelle took me out of Mamma's arms and put me on the couch.“He wants his shoes on,” Mamma observed.
Michelle rolled her eyes, “He always wants his shoes on.”
“Lucky for him we’re going to the playground.” Jenny wiggled my feet and made funny noises while she put my shoes on. Mamma told my sisters to let Uncle Danny know where we were, and left for work.
We lived in the middle of no where, but right across from the local school. Most of the year the playground was crowded, but in the summer we had it all to ourselves. My sisters used to push each other on the swings high in the air. Their hair danced in the wind and their dresses flew back like the wings of an angel.
Angel? I wondered if he really understood. “Nice touch,” I whispered.
Dave (my would be writer) smiled to himself, and continued typing.
When we got there; my sisters just sat me in the sandbox, and that got boring real quick. I got up and almost made it to the slide. Michelle jumped off her swing and stopped me. I was only three; so I gave her a blank stare, and kept on walking.
Gently she took my hand and walked me to the edge of the slide. I thought she was going to put me on it, but no such luck. She held my hand close and said, “No, that’s hot!”
I wasn’t really sure what “hot” meant, but the closer my hand got to that big bright shiny thing the more my hand hurt. Jenny pointed to a huge cottonwood tree by the fence and took my other hand. The three of us ran in that direction; and since Jenny was six and Michelle was nine, my feet hardly touched the ground.
The sand under the tree felt a lot better than the sand by the slide. When I looked up at the tree; the sun played peek-a-boo through the leaves, so I laughed. There was a light breeze, and then I heard a rushing sound I had not heard before.
Michelle walked with me over to the fence. On the other side was something she called an irrigation canal. Every so often the breeze would blow a leaf into the canal and it started to float away. “Look,” Michelle said as she pointed to the leaf, “there goes a little boat.”
Jenny pointed out a small hole under the fence a few yards away and the next thing I know they were passing me under it. I guess I squirmed too much because one of my shoes got caught on the fence and I started to cry.
Michelle tried to distract me by taking me to the edge of the canal and pointing to the leaves again. She took my other shoe off and sat both of them beside me. Michelle and Jenny took their shoes off and dangled their feet in the water. Jenny splashed some water on me and laughed. It was cold. I didn’t think it was funny.
I looked at the leaves, then at my shoes sitting beside me. I picked one up and threw it into the speeding water. I wanted to see my boat float. Jenny thought that was hilarious and laughed so hard she started to cry. Michelle rolled her eyes and started to follow my shoe.
Suddenly it dawned on me . . . my shoe was going away. I got up and started to follow it too. Jenny yelled something, and then I fell in. My head went under real quick. My body felt like ants were crawling all over me. I was confused, and everything went dark and cold. I didn’t know which way was up. There was a big splash, and then hundreds of air bubbles raced across my face.
Michelle pulled my head up, but my eyes were still blurry. We got tossed in the water like socks in a dryer. Ahead of us was a gaping dark hole where the water disappeared. Michelle was smiling, until she heard that second splash. Jenny had jumped in after us. Michelle wasn’t smiling any more. When she reached out for Jenny, my hand slipped out of hers and things started to change.
Dave paused and wiped a tear from his eye.
“Go on,” I pleaded. I knew he had to finish the story in one shot or he might not hear my voice again. This was a chance for both of us. He swallowed then continued typing.
I watched from above as the three of us suddenly became the two of them. I could see the other side of the road where the water came out. It was loud and the water crashed down on rocks below; I half expected to see my own body, but no one was there.
Somehow my sisters had missed the jaws of darkness that had taken me under. Michelle pulled Jenny out of the water; and Jenny walked right into the middle of a sticker patch. She was standing there with dozens of stickers in her feet, crying and screaming something awful. There was a quiver in Michelle’s lower lip like she wanted to say something but didn’t know what.
Quickly, Michelle picked Jenny up out of the stickers. Jenny raised her arms to be carried and loved; but Michelle shook her head and told her to stay there. I knew it was hard for her; but faster than I knew it was possible, Michelle ran home and got Uncle Danny.
Uncle Danny was seventeen. When he and Michelle got back, he told her to help Jenny. He jumped right into the crashing water. When his head came out of that dark hole, he was gasping for air. He looked at my sisters, took another deep breath and went down again. It seemed like forever before he came back up the second time.
“Was he trapped under the road?” Dave was thinking out loud. “This story sounds familiar.”
“Yes! That doesn’t matter. Keep going, if the light fades before the end of the story, they’ll never know. Keep typing!” I was starting to feel a sense of panic.
Dave nodded his head then continued typing as fast as his fingers would allow.
A few days later; Mamma found my other red shoe and put it in the box beside me. I longed to feel the warmth of her touch. I even tried to whisper in her ear, but her grief was too loud. Heaven was nice, but it still didn’t seem like heaven without family.
A few years later, Uncle Danny went to college. He studied very hard and became a counselor. He knew first hand how difficult choices about life and death could be on a family.
Mother got married again and was happier for a little while. But when her second husband was killed in a hunting accident, she shut down and spent the rest of her years in silence.
My sister Michelle married several times. She pretended to forget the past and kept looking for a different future. I think she never gave herself permission to be happy. It was like she thought it was against the rules, since she couldn’t save me.
Jenny married Dave.
He stopped typing again, but didn’t say anything. He looked up and whispered back to me, “Thank-you.” Then he took a deep breath and finished the story.
Dave loved Jenny almost as much as I did. He knew she got depressed from time to time, but he always managed to cheer her up. Until that moment, he never really understood the depths of his wife’s grief. But Dave was good for Jenny; and in his own way he was good for Michelle and Mamma too.
Dave wanted to be a writer. He wanted to touch hearts and change the world; so one day I whispered my story to him. I wanted my family to know that it was not their fault, so he wrote that down. I wanted them to live life, not waste it grieving over death. I wanted memories of me to be a good thing, not a painful chain that weighed them down. He wrote it all, as fast as I could tell him. I had tried for years and felt helpless, because I could not overcome their grief. But on that day when Dave prayed for inspiration; that day, Dave learned to touch hearts with love . . . and I finally felt at peace.
Better Photo Tips -
A Picture Thinker (Photo Article)
By: Tedric Garrison
What comes to mind when you hear the phrase, "a picture is worth a thousand words"? If you have Dyslexia or are close to someone who does; you realize that this is a much more accurate statement than many people give it credit for. It is said that a verbal thinker may have 2 to 5 thoughts per second. A dyslexic person is considered a picture thinker and would have 32 thoughts per second. Picture thinking is estimated to be, overall, 400 to 2,000 times faster than verbal thinking. This information comes from: "The Gift of Dyslexia" by Ronald D. Davis.
When a verbal thinker learns the word "CAT" for example; he has basically 4 thoughts, each letter and what they sound like together. The picture thinker on the other hand; will see the letters in the word "CAT" in at least 40 different ways, before even thinking of the actual individual sounds. From an outside perspective; it seems that the picture thinker is handicapped because he or she is so much slower, but in reality they are putting MUCH more effort into the process.
Having worked for a nationwide portrait chain before, I remember being told to only 7 shots per portrait sitting. Even if I was only shooting one subject that still seemed like verbal thinking, (very limited). If I was shooting pictures of a family that gave me even fewer options. A picture thinker on the other hand; could easily shoot 30 to 40 photos of the same subject and not think anything of it. If they wanted to push themselves; a picture thinker might do 50 or 60 photos of the same subject.
Some people will argue that when you take that many photos of the same subject, of course you will get "lucky" with a few shots. In my opinion, luck has nothing to do with it. When you explore all the possibilities (not just left, right, up or down); something magical starts to happen, you start to tap into that section of the mind that too few of us dare to venture into. You start to find your creative edge in photography.
Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Leonardo de Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Cher, and Henry Winkler were all successful NOT in spite of having dyslexia; but largely in part because of having it. Because they were picture thinkers they had greater vision (no pun intended). You too can share in that vision by releasing yourself from your own limitations. Of course you will have more failures; because you have made more attempts; but as Thomas Edison once said, "I have not failed. I know 10,000 ways NOT to invent the light bulb."
Obviously; if you are a newspaper photographer or a portrait photographer who has people waiting in line at Christmas that would not be the best time to expand your creativity. But on the other hand, if once a week, or even just once a month you took any subject and pushed it beyond your limits . . . I guarantee those limits will start to expand.
When someone has mastered something, they have learned it so well they can do it without thinking about what they are doing. It is human nature that we all learn by doing. I invite you to step outside your comfort zone and shoot more photos than you have ever shot on a single subject in your life. This process will help transform you from a verbal thinker into a picture thinker. Remember, "as a man thinketh, so is he."
Once you master how you think, you will discover your new gift is no longer a handicap. You will be seeing things without effort that a dozen other photographers at the same event might miss. If you are serious about photography this is how you take your photo work to the next level.