Life experiences · Teen Pregnancy · Writer

I Am A Published Author!

After six months of starting the self publishing process, I pushed the button to accept my cover and manuscript for publication.The_Total_Deconstruc_Cover_for_Kindle
The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson is a straight-forward memoir about my teen pregnancy. The book is a great resource for teen girls, counselors, and parents of teen girls. I wrote this book to help teenage girls who suffer with low self-esteem to choose their youth  and learn to be happy with who they are. I needed a boyfriend to feel good about myself. That mindset led to my eventual deconstruction and teen pregnancy. Topics addressed in the book include self-esteem, date rape, suicide, and teen pregnancy.  Statistics and consequences of teen pregnancy are provided with a clear view of the risks involved for the mother and child.

I would encourage all teen girls, especially those at-risk, to read this book.

“My legs traded off, jiggling to my high level of anxiety.

I shifted in my chair–comfort eluded me.

On one side, the school nurse.

on the other sat Sarah. She looked eerily calm.

The attending nurse walked into the waiting room with the results tucked in her hand. I jumped  out of my seat. Only a few feet away stood this woman in a smiley-face smock and she was holding my future…

‘I have good news,’ she said, ‘and bad news.’ She looked at my friend. ‘Sarah, you are not pregnant.’ Then, turning to me, she delivered the verdict without leniency.

‘Chloe, you definitely are.'” Excerpt from The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson

“2000 teen girls in the US get pregnant every day.” stayteen.org

The link to my book on Amazon.com:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Total-Deconstruction-Chloe-Wilson/dp/1492750263/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391310277&sr=8-1&keywords=the+total+deconstruction+of+chloe+wilson

Life experiences

I Miss You

In dark and lonely spaces, I miss your innocence.

Mother Holding Child's Hand

When somberness wraps around, I miss your merriment.

If only responsibility could be replaced with uninhibited fun.

Girl Swinging on Tire

Maybe I wouldn’t miss you so much, the child that I once was.

The wrinkles and gray hairs multiply each day; Reflected in my image–I’m afraid they’re here to stay.

Sometimes I see you in passing, in glimpses of days long gone.

How I wish I had embraced you and enjoyed the childhood song.

I watch you in the shadows, longing to be free.

Come out from what is acceptable, and dance and play with me.

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Life experiences · Teen Pregnancy

Patience is…

Growing up in a large, religious family, patience was a common topic.  Born the fifth of nine children, I learned to wait my turn to use the telephone, shower, and go to the bathroom. My parents taught that patience truly was a virtue, and good things come to those who wait. They also used the word endure a lot.

While my personality was quiet and I seemed like the obedient type, I hated both those words.  Patience equaled going without, endure meant to suffer. I didn’t plan on doing either one. Instant gratification on the road of least resistance lured me into a world of lying and deceit. And without a second thought I ran over anyone who got in my way. Friends who didn’t propel me into my idea of popularity were trampled under. My values, beliefs, morals…they only dragged me down and kept me from having fun, so I cut them loose too.

And that’s how I came to be a scared fifteen-year-old girl, standing in front of my mother with head lowered–my shame so heavy I couldn’t bear to look her in the eyes.

“Mom, I’m pregnant.”

I was in such a hurry to grow up that I got exactly what I wanted. So what did I learn about patience? I’ll agree that it is a virtue, but I like another definition better. In the words of a wise 92-year-old woman,

“Patience is…a virgin!”

Life experiences · Writer

Desert Rain

Dark clouds huddled in tight formation. A loud clap of thunder rocked the sky. Perched on the peak of a two-story roof, a robin chirped and dove into an evergreen shrub. A collared lizard scurried under a flat slab of sandstone. Red ants lined up and marched into their hill, the last one hauling a pebble just big enough to plug the hole. Ahead of the impending storm, the scent of rain traveled on the light eastward breeze.

A brilliant flash of lightning split the sky above flat mountains of the Book Cliffs. Thunder boomed and rolled from the Colorado National Monument towards the Mesa. All at once the sky fell in a heavy downpour.    20130731-210319.jpg

Streams swelled, drain ditches overflowed, puddles formed in low lying areas. Rain had finally smiled upon the desert region of western Colorado.

While animals scampered for shelter, I stood on my porch and observed nature’s symphony and art show. Cold horizontal drops pelted my face. Pine pitch mixed with the scent of rain. I closed my eyes and pretended to be high in the mountains, standing over a clear lake in the middle of tall spruce and aspens. Thunder crashed again. What a beautiful sound. I stepped into the storm and bathed myself in delicious drops.

Within thirty minutes, blue sky parted ominous clouds and sun rays burst upon heated asphalt. Steam rose and humidity spread its wings and soared. Shiny sidewalks and streets evaporated to their former dull state. A single puddle in the road held up a sign, “Rain was here.” Up the street, a large SUV clambered toward the puddle and threatened extinction. Before the vehicle stole my sunshine, I walked into the middle of the road…and jumped.

Life experiences · Writer

An Author’s Dilemma

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Two years ago I wrote the story of my teen pregnancy. I attended a writer’s conference and submitted it for review by an agent.  The agent said the manuscript was well written, tight, and could see a great need in the marketplace. She offered the advice to “add the fleas on the dog” and make more of the scenes come alive. I took her advice and diligently revised and edited each and every scene to make sure as many as the five senses were covered, as possible. That process spanned an entire year.

After critiquing every chapter with a published author, I felt my memoir was ready for the publishing world. I submitted a query to the agent who had given me such positive feedback and held my breath. She was kind enough to get back to me within 24 hours, but said, “While you did make each scene come alive, as I suggested, I didn’t love the book.”

At first I felt crushed. But after a day or so, I decided not to let it get me down and queried several agents and publishing houses. All had the same response, “Not what we are looking for at this time.”

“What the hell are they looking for?” I thought a well-written, highly marketable book was exactly what publishers want.

After much nudging from friends, family, and other authors, I have decided to self-publish. CreateSpace was highly recommended by other self-publishers. A fickle publishing industry isn’t going to determine my publishing fate. I’ll leave that up to the marketplace and actual readers.

I will update the progress of my book release as the time gets nearer. Cross your fingers and wish me luck!

Life experiences

Labor Pains

Twenty-five years ago to date, I awoke at two in the morning to a strange tightening of my stomach.
“Indigestion.”
I rolled onto my side and fell back asleep. An hour later, that strange tightening awoke me again, only that time the pressure was definitely more intense. I was in labor!
Being a mere sixteen years old, I had never been so scared in my life. I spent the next three hours tossing and turning as my contractions got closer together and stronger in intensity. By six in the morning I thought I was dying.
I alerted my mom and sister of my labor. They frantically ran around like chickens with their heads cut off. Eventually we loaded into my sister’s minivan and headed for the hospital.
After an excruciating eighteen hours of labor, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter. I named her Lauren Paige.
Some people think I gave up a lot to raise her as a teen mom…maybe I did. But she was worth it. The knowledge and love that I gained from her far outweighed what I missed. So I didn’t attend my senior prom…big deal.
Happy birthday beautiful daughter! I wouldn’t change being your mother for the world.

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Life experiences

Self-worth

A person I know recently posted some pictures of a scantily dressed young woman pole dancing at a breast cancer event. While I’m sure it takes talent and upper body strength to pole dance, I found myself feeling sorry for that girl, and for the bad memories the pics conjured of my teen years.
It was exactly those images that I wrestled with because I thought that’s what I had to look like for guys to like me. I put a huge emphasis on physical looks and completely ignored my self-esteem and self-worth. It was only after my teen pregnancy that I figured out that my worth as a woman had nothing to do with my physical appearance or the number of notches on my bedpost. I had to dig a little deeper.
Maybe I’m old fashioned and need to get off my soapbox. But I have to think that if that girl had any self-worth, she would find a way to help raise money for breast cancer with her clothes on.

Life experiences · True Crime

Murder in Montbello (part two)

Trooper Carpenter had stopped on the Boulder Turnpike to help what looked like two stranded motorists whose car had died. After agreeing to give them a ride to a nearby gas station, he made a fatal mistake–he turned his back on the two men. One man jumped him. Tom wrestled with the assailant, doing all he could to keep him away from his revolver. A strong and healthy man, who had served in the Marine Corps., Tom placed a choke hold on the attacker. Adrenaline surged through his veins.

“Freeze, Pig!” The second man stood only feet away from Tom. He pointed a gun directly at Tom’s head. “Let him go and give me your gun…now!”

Tom reluctantly handed over his .22 revolver. The first man grabbed Tom’s arm and yanked him toward the patrol car.

“Get in the car!” the man yelled. “Now you’ll take us wherever we want to go.”

Tom opened the driver side door and started to climb in.

“Wait!” the second man yelled. “Open our door first, then get in.”

Tom followed the men’s orders. “Stay calm,” he said under his breath. “Drive them wherever they want to go, promise them you won’t call the authorities, and walk away with your life.”

The two men scooted into the back of the vehicle. One sat directly behind Tom. “I have a gun pointed at your head. Don’t try anything stupid, or I’ll shoot.”

“Where do you want me to take you?” Tom stared straight ahead.

“Just drive, Pig! The longer we sit here, the more attention it draws,” the second man said.

Tom inched back onto the Boulder Turnpike and headed for Denver. The two men, who were definitely not just stranded motorists, whispered and argued in the back seat. Tom couldn’t make out what they were saying, only something about the fact that he could identify them.

“Where can I take you?” Officer Carpenter said. “You can walk away, and I’ll act like I never saw you.”

“Shut up, Pig!” the gunman said. “We’ll give you directions when we feel like it.”

Whispering and arguing continued in the back seat. Tom passed several motorists on the highway. Later, witnesses came forth who said they saw the officer with the two men in the back of his car, and thought it looked strange, but did nothing. These witnesses would describe the assailants as a black man and white man.20130721-102543.jpg

In the city of Denver, Tom’s radio cracked. “Car 181, this is dispatch, can I get your location?” the man asked over the radio.

“Don’t do anything funny!” the gunman said. Tom felt the muzzle of a gun pressed against the back of his head.

Tom lifted the radio. “This is car 181. I’m at Colfax and Longmont.” Tom hoped the dispatcher would realize he was way out of his area. But the dispatcher never caught on.

“Roger that car 181. Dispatch out.”

Tom hung the C.B. radio back on its perch. Please, God. Help me get through this. Tom glanced at his watch. Forty-five minutes had passed since he stopped on the Turnpike. He continued to drive down city streets, meandering up and down neighborhoods, then changing direction and winding in and out of other neighborhoods. The criminals were trying to make Tom disoriented to location.

As he turned back onto a main road, a City of Denver Police Car approached from the opposite lane. As they passed, Tom removed his trooper hat and placed it on the dash. Unfamiliar with the distress signal, the city officer nodded and continued on his way. Tom continued to plead to God for help. Please, God! Let me see my family again!20130721-102634.jpg

Eventually, Tom found himself in Montbello, a suburb of Denver. The men ordered him to a residential housing area, packed with tall apartment buildings. They directed him to a parking lot located behind one of the apartment complexes. Tom sighed. He hoped the nightmare was finally over. But to his dismay, the two men continued to argue about where to go next.

To the officers right, a deep pile of snow offered a way out.

“Turn around and get back on the highway,” the gunman ordered.

Tom realized that man was in charge. He stepped on the gas and headed directly for the snow embankment. Just as he hoped, the car’s wheels spun, but the vehicle wouldn’t move.

“Let’s get out of here!” the second man yelled.

The two men could have gotten out and ran. But for some reason fear, anger, panic–mixed with some evil force overtook the gunman.

One hour after Officer Thomas Carpenter was abducted, four gunshots rang out. The trooper was found slumped over the steering wheel.

A senseless crime, a father taken from his children, a husband from his wife, a humble servant from the community. Turned out the gunman shot Officer Carpenter point-blank in the back of the head with his own service revolver.20130721-102459.jpg

A large manhunt ensued, but no one was ever charged with the crime. December 27, 1973, would be a day that the Carpenter family would never forget. To date, the murder of Thomas Carpenter is still unsolved. It is the only unsolved murder of a patrolman in the state of Colorado.

While the details of that story were fictionalized, the facts are all true. Trooper Thomas Ray Carpenter is my father-in-law. My husband, Cory Carpenter, was only four when his father was brutally murdered and ripped from his life.

“Why?”

I’m afraid that’s a question we will never have answered.

Life experiences · True Crime

Murder in Montbello (part one)

20130720-163737.jpgOfficer Thomas Carpenter maneuvered his car over snow-packed roads. He passed early morning commuters cautiously driving the highway that donned a fresh layer of snow from the previous night. The Colorado State Patrolman buckled down for a busy day of mediating fender benders. To his surprise, no accidents would be reported in his assigned area.

Traffic remained light. Strange for a Thursday morning in a busy city. Blame the snow. That and the fact it was only two days after Christmas. People must have the day off. Tom smiled. “Christmas.” Scheduled to work that day, he almost missed his favorite holiday–almost missed his three children, two sons and a daughter, giddily opening Barbie’s, G.I. Joe’s, and his youngest sons favorite, Lone Ranger action figures and apparel. But at the last-minute another trooper agreed to trade days. December 27th was the tradeoff.

After opening presents, Tom and his family drove from Denver to Grand Junction for the holiday. During their short stay, he had a strange premonition to pray for his family. He ducked into his father-in-law’s church and slumped into a pew. He bowed his head.

“Please, God, protect my family. They’re all I have.” But peace did not come. Tom continued to fervently pray. He rested his forehead on the back of the pew in front of him. By the time his wife, Phyllis, emerged to collect him for supper, a deep line creased his brow. He shared his concerns with her.

She kissed his cheek. “Everything will be fine.”

Tom smiled for her sake. Inside, a whirlwind of fear and worry made him nauseated. Hand in hand they walked the short distance from the church to Phyllis’ childhood home.

A patch of black ice pulled Tom back to reality–back to the road. Overpasses could be deadly from winter conditions. He proceeded with caution. To his right, a white sedan with two male passengers sat off the shoulder of the Boulder Turnpike. Trooper Carpenter pulled in behind the car. With no sense of impending danger he didn’t radio dispatch.

Tom stepped out of patrol car 181 and walked up to the vehicle. The engine clicked as the driver attempted to start the vehicle, to no avail. Gasoline fumes penetrated Tom’s nose. Officer Carpenter knocked on the window. The driver rolled it down.

“Sounds like your batteries dead,” Officer Carpenter said. “Happens a lot during winter months.” The driver nervously smiled. The passenger fidgeted in his seat and wouldn’t make eye contact. The strange behavior alerted Tom, but some people were just nervous around police officers.

“Is there someone I can call to pick you up?” Trooper Carpenter asked.

The driver stepped out of the vehicle. “Could you give us a ride to the gas station on Perkins Street?” the man said. “We can use the pay phone there.”

From the corner of his eye, Tom watched the passenger walk around the back of the vehicle. Was the trooper being paranoid, or were these men trying to corner him?

Wearing only jeans and a sweatshirt, the men shivered in the freezing temperatures. In only a matter of minutes, frost crept over their car windows. The stranded men were cold and needed a ride. Against his better judgment, Tom agreed.

“I’ll take you to Lincoln Street,” Trooper Carpenter said, “to the 7-11. Perkins is out of my area.”

A truck came upon the officer and two men. The clunker slowed and an old man made eye contact with Officer Carpenter. Tom tipped his hat to the driver. The rubber-necker sped up and drove away. Trooper Carpenter hoped that wasn’t a mistake. A few minutes later, he realized it was a deadly mistake…

Happiness · Life experiences

Happiness

A couple I know recently broke up. “I’m just not happy,” one of them stated.

“Why?” I asked. “What happened?”

“It’s complicated,” she said.

Since their heart-wrenching breakup, I’ve had some time to reflect on happiness and how I have managed to stay married for twenty-three years.

Happiness is an emotion, and like any emotion, it can come and go. For some, happiness crashes in like a giant wave. For others it slowly escalates like the rising tide. But for a few rare people out there, happiness is not an event–some outside force dictating how and when they feel joy, rather, it is a choice. They are happy because they choose to be happy. Freedom cannot occur until a person learns to control their emotional fate. Or in other words, nothing can bring me down unless I allow it.

My life isn’t perfect. I have real problems like anyone else. But I choose to be happy and that makes all the difference.

“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln

www.brainyquotes.com

My favorite picture of my husband and me. We are happy!

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