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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by peytonjane

Taking a "Shot" at Growing Up

Olivia and I sat in our school library at recess, a syringe in my hand, a lunchbox in hers. While this may have been a funny sight to most outsiders, this was our reality. Within six months of each other, Olivia and I were both diagnosed with Juvenile Type I Diabetes (T1D). At age nine, I self-administered insulin shots six times a day, while seven-year-old Olivia relied on her mother to carry out such duties. However, that particular day, Olivia’s mom was stuck in traffic, delaying her lunchtime routine. So as her fellow diabetic, Olivia trusted me to administer her shot.

Over time, the insulin pump tubes and finger-sticking needles that accompany this disease have become mundane, and I think very little about my illness and how it sets me apart. However, in reflection, I see my disability as a foundation for super-abilities. By age ten, I knew the number of carbohydrates in any food. By age twelve, I understood a simple version of the endocrine system. Additionally, I have spent years explaining that my illness is not due to poor diet, but instead is an autoimmune disorder with no known cause. Consequently, I have learned exceptional patience and tolerance. Once at a birthday party, instead of cake, a parent served me strawberries and her weight-loss story, despite the fact that, at the time, I was five feet tall and weighed one hundred pounds.

It will forever amuse me that, even after eight years as a diabetic, many non-diabetics believe they know more about my disease than I do. Even though I am not banned from certain foods, as some believe, managing T1D does require a lot of maintenance; I spend a large amount of my time navigating needles, site insets, fluctuating blood glucose levels, and tri-monthly check-ups at the hospital. While most people live with a working pancreas, I have become the master of my own organ. I choose to take care of my body every day because if simply cannot take care of itself.

Living with T1D is exhausting; however, had a cure existed, I would not have acquired certain attributes that have shaped me as a person, such as my enduring self-discipline. While time-consuming, the constant task of micro-managing has made me a highly productive and goal-oriented person. My freshman year, I dragged myself out of bed at four in the morning and caught a public bus that took me to a ferry. There, I slept until I reached the sleepless city of Seattle and walked to another bus with my other commuting friends. As I hopped off the public transit and walked to school, the nurses, construction workers, and business men wished me a good day. I commuted six hours every day because I wanted to go to a school that would challenge me. I have always pushed myself to my full potential, even when it meant taking on adult responsibilities. By maintaining good health and tackling tasks at hand, I have built habits that allow me to do other work well, whether that is in school, in film, at home, or in service. Without this disease, I would not know my own personal strength, resilience, and perseverance, which impact my perspective on and approach to life.

I appreciate the person I have become through my T1D. Working directly with my health has forced me to take on adult challenges and foster constant grit as I grow as an individual. Living with this disease is time-consuming, draining, expensive, and often dangerous. However, with these disadvantages comes great reward. I am resilient, tenacious, patient, tolerant, and aware; I know when to ask for help and when to act independently, and most importantly, I’ve learned that obstacles are opportunities to become a better student, friend, citizen, and storyteller for tomorrow.

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CotW #66: Write about the biggest lesson life has taught you.
Written by peytonjane
Taking a "Shot" at Growing Up
Olivia and I sat in our school library at recess, a syringe in my hand, a lunchbox in hers. While this may have been a funny sight to most outsiders, this was our reality. Within six months of each other, Olivia and I were both diagnosed with Juvenile Type I Diabetes (T1D). At age nine, I self-administered insulin shots six times a day, while seven-year-old Olivia relied on her mother to carry out such duties. However, that particular day, Olivia’s mom was stuck in traffic, delaying her lunchtime routine. So as her fellow diabetic, Olivia trusted me to administer her shot.

Over time, the insulin pump tubes and finger-sticking needles that accompany this disease have become mundane, and I think very little about my illness and how it sets me apart. However, in reflection, I see my disability as a foundation for super-abilities. By age ten, I knew the number of carbohydrates in any food. By age twelve, I understood a simple version of the endocrine system. Additionally, I have spent years explaining that my illness is not due to poor diet, but instead is an autoimmune disorder with no known cause. Consequently, I have learned exceptional patience and tolerance. Once at a birthday party, instead of cake, a parent served me strawberries and her weight-loss story, despite the fact that, at the time, I was five feet tall and weighed one hundred pounds.
It will forever amuse me that, even after eight years as a diabetic, many non-diabetics believe they know more about my disease than I do. Even though I am not banned from certain foods, as some believe, managing T1D does require a lot of maintenance; I spend a large amount of my time navigating needles, site insets, fluctuating blood glucose levels, and tri-monthly check-ups at the hospital. While most people live with a working pancreas, I have become the master of my own organ. I choose to take care of my body every day because if simply cannot take care of itself.

Living with T1D is exhausting; however, had a cure existed, I would not have acquired certain attributes that have shaped me as a person, such as my enduring self-discipline. While time-consuming, the constant task of micro-managing has made me a highly productive and goal-oriented person. My freshman year, I dragged myself out of bed at four in the morning and caught a public bus that took me to a ferry. There, I slept until I reached the sleepless city of Seattle and walked to another bus with my other commuting friends. As I hopped off the public transit and walked to school, the nurses, construction workers, and business men wished me a good day. I commuted six hours every day because I wanted to go to a school that would challenge me. I have always pushed myself to my full potential, even when it meant taking on adult responsibilities. By maintaining good health and tackling tasks at hand, I have built habits that allow me to do other work well, whether that is in school, in film, at home, or in service. Without this disease, I would not know my own personal strength, resilience, and perseverance, which impact my perspective on and approach to life.

I appreciate the person I have become through my T1D. Working directly with my health has forced me to take on adult challenges and foster constant grit as I grow as an individual. Living with this disease is time-consuming, draining, expensive, and often dangerous. However, with these disadvantages comes great reward. I am resilient, tenacious, patient, tolerant, and aware; I know when to ask for help and when to act independently, and most importantly, I’ve learned that obstacles are opportunities to become a better student, friend, citizen, and storyteller for tomorrow.

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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by peytonjane in portal Publishing

CROW, TREE, HALLIE, SISTER, & ME

CROW, TREE, HALLIE, SISTER, & ME

I am six. I live at the top of a large hill in a small town named Poulsbo.

The park resides at the bottom of this hill. It has frequent visitors.

First, there is Crow. Crow steals peanut butter sandwiches from picnic tables. Crow is clever. Crow fears nothing. Crow never dies.

Second is Tree. Tree is too wide for me to wrap my arms around. Tree has strong, sappy branches, and sheltering leaves. Tree is too tall for me to climb without a boost. But at the top of tree you can see all the way across the bay.

Third is Hallie. Hallie lives two houses down from the park, but not up our hill. Hallie's parents don’t care if she comes to the park alone. Hallie can come any time she wants, even after dark. Hallie always wants attention. Hallie is a dog.

Fourth is Sister. Sister follows me around. She chases Crow. She pets Hallie. She climbs Tree. She is my best friend.

A lot of kids like to come to this park. Especially after school. But I don’t know these kids. They go to a different school than me. I'd rather play with Sister in Tree alone.

They ask: Will you be my friend?

And I say: Yes. Because that is what I am supposed to say to kids my age.

I don’t really understand why. I am not supposed to talk to strangers, but for some reason kids don’t count. I'm not quite sure if their parents do.

This past week, I went around the circular monkey bars four times without dropping. It is my new record. I have calluses on my palms to show to the kids at school. Sister is impressed.

The same kids keep coming to the park asking to play with us. I don’t want to play with them. I would rather play with Sister on the monkey bars alone.

Today they brought lunch. Sister and I are up in Tree hiding. Hallie barks up at us.

Shhh… Sister warns Hallie.

Go! I tell Crow.

Crow steals blonde boy's sandwich. He cries.

The kids don’t come as often anymore. It is our park now.

Crow's park. Tree's park. Hallie's park. Sister's park. My park.

 

WHILE MOTHER WAS COOKING

I am ten. I live at the top of a large hill in a small town named Poulsbo.

The park resides at the bottom of this hill. It is full of little kids.

Mother only lets me ride my bike down to the park and back. I think she gets too nervous sometimes. I know this town like the back of my hand.

You know what's funny? The upside of the ride is going downhill and the downside is trudging uphill.

But I bike it anyway, over and over, because I like the wind in my hair and when people pass by, I imagine that I am like them, independent, deciding my own course.

Today, I reach the bottom of the hill for the twentieth time. I look back up the hill. Mother is collecting mail. She waves. I wave back, bike up again. Twenty-one. I look back up the hill again. Mother is gone. Our street is vacant. Only the red truck at the top of the hill. I look forward again onto Harrison. There is the park. There is the tree. There is Hallie crossing under the monkey bars. I look left. I look right. There are no cars. I look once more at my street, take a breath, and pedal off.

Left, around the park, beside the bay. My heart races. A runner waves. I wave back. I am free.

The town seems much bigger all alone. I turn at the first block, racing back down Harrison to my street before Mother notices I haven't returned back up the hill. I pass by my house again. I see Mother in the kitchen through the window. She is looking down at her recipe book. The houses on my street are still. Nothing has changed. The red truck is still there. I fly down my hill once more. Hallie is licking a child's hand. A crow has found another picnicker to pester. I had assumed that my small rebellion would cause some massive upheaval. But no one has noticed my absence.

I trek off, this time passing the first block and going to the second, pushing my boundaries a bit farther. I am less scared now. This town is my town.

I fly down Harrison, throwing an arm into the air. As I am ready to use all my momentum to pedal back up our hill, I see a police car approach. My heart stops and I hear my tires screech to a stop in the middle of Harrison at the intersection of the park and our hill.

Had mother called?

Was she really that worried?

Would they arrest me?

Are bikers only allowed to bike on the sidewalk?

The police car drives next to me, rolls down the window.

Are you turning here?

Yes, sir.

Alright then. Don’t stop in the middle of the road.

Yes, sir.

I've never pedaled up that hill faster. But it was my town, that day. My town.

 

MY TOWN IS DIFFERENT NOW

I am sixteen. I live at the bottom of a large hill in a city named Seattle.

There is a large drain two blocks from my house. People smoke weed there all the time.

But today I am in a small town named Poulsbo. Mom is visiting friends later. She wants to drive by the old house now. I'm not sure I do. We fly down Harrison, windows down, wind in my hair. I see the mayor's house. The one with the stream and the ducklings and the blue metal roof. The kids I babysat are playing in their front yard. They still have the tree swing. We drive past my Aunt's house, who isn't actually my aunt. A man is mowing the hill where we go sledding every year. The Halloween house that gives king-sized candy bars is taking down their cobwebs. The Christmas house has already set up their first section of decorations. It seems nothing has changed.

But Hallie has died now. Tree was cut down. I am too tall for the monkey bars. Crow has become too fat to fly. We turn up the hill and a police car drives by, making his rounds. The red truck is for sale now. So is my bike. I close my eyes as we pass our house. We drive back down the hill. To this day, I'm unsure what it looks like.

It looks different now, doesn’t it? Mom states.

I nod.

I close my eyes again.

There is Crow. And there is Tree. And Hallie, and Sister, and bicycle, and me.

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We are a literary agency seeking fresh talent. In 200 words or more, demonstrate your writing talent. We will be in touch with any and all promising participants throughout the rest of this quarter.
Written by peytonjane in portal Publishing
CROW, TREE, HALLIE, SISTER, & ME
CROW, TREE, HALLIE, SISTER, & ME
I am six. I live at the top of a large hill in a small town named Poulsbo.
The park resides at the bottom of this hill. It has frequent visitors.
First, there is Crow. Crow steals peanut butter sandwiches from picnic tables. Crow is clever. Crow fears nothing. Crow never dies.
Second is Tree. Tree is too wide for me to wrap my arms around. Tree has strong, sappy branches, and sheltering leaves. Tree is too tall for me to climb without a boost. But at the top of tree you can see all the way across the bay.
Third is Hallie. Hallie lives two houses down from the park, but not up our hill. Hallie's parents don’t care if she comes to the park alone. Hallie can come any time she wants, even after dark. Hallie always wants attention. Hallie is a dog.
Fourth is Sister. Sister follows me around. She chases Crow. She pets Hallie. She climbs Tree. She is my best friend.
A lot of kids like to come to this park. Especially after school. But I don’t know these kids. They go to a different school than me. I'd rather play with Sister in Tree alone.
They ask: Will you be my friend?
And I say: Yes. Because that is what I am supposed to say to kids my age.
I don’t really understand why. I am not supposed to talk to strangers, but for some reason kids don’t count. I'm not quite sure if their parents do.
This past week, I went around the circular monkey bars four times without dropping. It is my new record. I have calluses on my palms to show to the kids at school. Sister is impressed.
The same kids keep coming to the park asking to play with us. I don’t want to play with them. I would rather play with Sister on the monkey bars alone.
Today they brought lunch. Sister and I are up in Tree hiding. Hallie barks up at us.
Shhh… Sister warns Hallie.
Go! I tell Crow.
Crow steals blonde boy's sandwich. He cries.
The kids don’t come as often anymore. It is our park now.
Crow's park. Tree's park. Hallie's park. Sister's park. My park.
 
WHILE MOTHER WAS COOKING
I am ten. I live at the top of a large hill in a small town named Poulsbo.
The park resides at the bottom of this hill. It is full of little kids.
Mother only lets me ride my bike down to the park and back. I think she gets too nervous sometimes. I know this town like the back of my hand.
You know what's funny? The upside of the ride is going downhill and the downside is trudging uphill.
But I bike it anyway, over and over, because I like the wind in my hair and when people pass by, I imagine that I am like them, independent, deciding my own course.
Today, I reach the bottom of the hill for the twentieth time. I look back up the hill. Mother is collecting mail. She waves. I wave back, bike up again. Twenty-one. I look back up the hill again. Mother is gone. Our street is vacant. Only the red truck at the top of the hill. I look forward again onto Harrison. There is the park. There is the tree. There is Hallie crossing under the monkey bars. I look left. I look right. There are no cars. I look once more at my street, take a breath, and pedal off.
Left, around the park, beside the bay. My heart races. A runner waves. I wave back. I am free.
The town seems much bigger all alone. I turn at the first block, racing back down Harrison to my street before Mother notices I haven't returned back up the hill. I pass by my house again. I see Mother in the kitchen through the window. She is looking down at her recipe book. The houses on my street are still. Nothing has changed. The red truck is still there. I fly down my hill once more. Hallie is licking a child's hand. A crow has found another picnicker to pester. I had assumed that my small rebellion would cause some massive upheaval. But no one has noticed my absence.
I trek off, this time passing the first block and going to the second, pushing my boundaries a bit farther. I am less scared now. This town is my town.
I fly down Harrison, throwing an arm into the air. As I am ready to use all my momentum to pedal back up our hill, I see a police car approach. My heart stops and I hear my tires screech to a stop in the middle of Harrison at the intersection of the park and our hill.
Had mother called?
Was she really that worried?
Would they arrest me?
Are bikers only allowed to bike on the sidewalk?
The police car drives next to me, rolls down the window.
Are you turning here?
Yes, sir.
Alright then. Don’t stop in the middle of the road.
Yes, sir.
I've never pedaled up that hill faster. But it was my town, that day. My town.
 
MY TOWN IS DIFFERENT NOW
I am sixteen. I live at the bottom of a large hill in a city named Seattle.
There is a large drain two blocks from my house. People smoke weed there all the time.
But today I am in a small town named Poulsbo. Mom is visiting friends later. She wants to drive by the old house now. I'm not sure I do. We fly down Harrison, windows down, wind in my hair. I see the mayor's house. The one with the stream and the ducklings and the blue metal roof. The kids I babysat are playing in their front yard. They still have the tree swing. We drive past my Aunt's house, who isn't actually my aunt. A man is mowing the hill where we go sledding every year. The Halloween house that gives king-sized candy bars is taking down their cobwebs. The Christmas house has already set up their first section of decorations. It seems nothing has changed.
But Hallie has died now. Tree was cut down. I am too tall for the monkey bars. Crow has become too fat to fly. We turn up the hill and a police car drives by, making his rounds. The red truck is for sale now. So is my bike. I close my eyes as we pass our house. We drive back down the hill. To this day, I'm unsure what it looks like.
It looks different now, doesn’t it? Mom states.
I nod.
I close my eyes again.
There is Crow. And there is Tree. And Hallie, and Sister, and bicycle, and me.




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Challenge of the Week #60: You have just discovered a new lifeform. Write a story of 200 words or more. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by peytonjane

Dish Duty

I scraped the dried rice and beans off my plate that had been sitting there for a week. I'd been too lazy - too depressed - to tackle the pile of ceramics that sat in my sink. I hated that I did this, but I guess part of me thought I would've hated the chore more last week. Every once in a while, dish washing relaxed me, like I was washing away all the grime from my thoughts as well. 

I went to place the plate on the barren shelf; my sink might as well have been my cupboard. It had been months since I'd drained my garbage disposal, and it was starting to stink. I flipped the switch and returned to organizing my dishes when I heard a loud, guttural squeal. I dropped the plate to the floor, and it shattered. I flipped the disposal switch off, and when I sighed, it sighed too. Regretfully, I reached my hand down the drain, assuming I would pull out a lost spoon or a misplaced quarter. Instead, I pulled out a small, furry ball with huge, solemn eyes. 

I screamed and dropped it to the ground, causing it to roll around, avoiding broken glass. I jumped up on my kitchen table chair and grabbed the nearest spatula, holding it like an axe above my head. Instead of scurrying away like a rodent, it rolled slowly and quietly to the foot of my chair and looked up at me. 

I took a long look at it. The furry, moss-like ball inflated and deflated like a breathing balloon. I took a breath and screamed, smashing it with my foot and ground it into the kitchen tile. Stomping, as if I were killing a spider over and over, just to ensure it was dead, I finally removed my soggy shoe, revealing a wet residue squashed at my feet.

I always do my dishes now. 

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Challenge of the Week #60: You have just discovered a new lifeform. Write a story of 200 words or more. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Written by peytonjane
Dish Duty
I scraped the dried rice and beans off my plate that had been sitting there for a week. I'd been too lazy - too depressed - to tackle the pile of ceramics that sat in my sink. I hated that I did this, but I guess part of me thought I would've hated the chore more last week. Every once in a while, dish washing relaxed me, like I was washing away all the grime from my thoughts as well. 

I went to place the plate on the barren shelf; my sink might as well have been my cupboard. It had been months since I'd drained my garbage disposal, and it was starting to stink. I flipped the switch and returned to organizing my dishes when I heard a loud, guttural squeal. I dropped the plate to the floor, and it shattered. I flipped the disposal switch off, and when I sighed, it sighed too. Regretfully, I reached my hand down the drain, assuming I would pull out a lost spoon or a misplaced quarter. Instead, I pulled out a small, furry ball with huge, solemn eyes. 

I screamed and dropped it to the ground, causing it to roll around, avoiding broken glass. I jumped up on my kitchen table chair and grabbed the nearest spatula, holding it like an axe above my head. Instead of scurrying away like a rodent, it rolled slowly and quietly to the foot of my chair and looked up at me. 

I took a long look at it. The furry, moss-like ball inflated and deflated like a breathing balloon. I took a breath and screamed, smashing it with my foot and ground it into the kitchen tile. Stomping, as if I were killing a spider over and over, just to ensure it was dead, I finally removed my soggy shoe, revealing a wet residue squashed at my feet.

I always do my dishes now. 
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Juice
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