"This story is a powerful one, if you think it's going to be a cutesy run of the mill YA read, well yes, you have that stuff too but it's more than that! It's first love, heartache, learning about yourself and what you need, it's about self respect and family, and learning that it's okay to challenge things and ideas and it's okay to cry. So many different themes are wrapped up in here so I'm just going to leave you with this. Read it, talk about it, and remove the stigma from mental health issues. Be a part of the conversation and not a part of sweeping it under the rug." - Sara, Goodreads
Published: September 2017
"How can you love someone so much and need space from them at the same time?"
My alarm goes off at four am. It takes an hour to get to the studio, and then my ballet training begins. I go to school for a few hours, and then it’s back to the studio for more training. Go to bed. Repeat the whole process the next day.
I hate it.
My time at school is a blur, except for biology. I don’t rush through that class, because I get to see Roger Byrnes. He probably doesn’t even know I exist, but my heart beats a little faster when I see him walk through the classroom door with his messy hair and carefree attitude. He has so much energy. But then he stares off into the distance, and I wonder what he’s thinking. It’s the highlight of my day.
I wish I could quit ballet so I could be a normal teenager. Someone who Roger would want to be with. I could use some excitement in my life…I bet Roger could give that to me.
The Worst Best Day of My Life
What does it mean to be brave? To be scared and do it anyway, right? At least that’s what I tell my kids. Writing a book and releasing it to the public scares me… but I’m doing it anyway.
Where did I learn to become so brave? Hm… It might have something to do with the most embarrassing night of my life.
After her victory, she flew to NYC to present at the Grammy Awards. She insisted I meet her and have fun in the city. I didn’t hesitate, I begged my parents to let me go and to buy me an extra special Jr. Prom dress so I could wear it to the Grammy’s. At that point in my life, it was the most exciting thing to ever happen to me. Who wouldn’t be over the moon excited?
My dress reminded me of Audrey Hepburn. I felt so mature and glamorous in my sleek black gown, lined with white chiffon that gathered low at the small of my back. At 16 I was more excited about having boobs than I actually had boobs. They were little bumps, but to me they were mountains so I insisted my mom buy me a stick-on-bra so I could still have support while my back was completely exposed. I guess I just wanted to know they were an option because after I tried it on, I realized it would be more comfortable to go bra-less. So I pulled the stick-on-bra off and threw it in the trash before getting dressed.
We acted like giddy kids getting ready; hair, makeup, limo -- the whole package. I mean, most normal teenagers don’t get to have an experience like this.
Timing was on our side, or someone timed it perfectly for us, because we stepped out of the limo and onto the red carpet right behind Celine Dion and Aretha Franklin. OMG!!! We were also right in front of Tony Bennett and Donald Trump. I saw celebrities I never dreamed I would be in the same room with. It was unreal and it made me nervous… really, really nervous.
The red carpet was in a large tent and since it was winter there were several large heating fans on the ground. A good thing because most gowns didn’t cover a lot of skin.
My friend was having her well deserved moment in the spotlight, being interviewed by various media outlets and greeting well-known celebrities who were thrilled to meet her. I wanted her to have her moment and I didn’t want anyone to think I wanted any part of the spotlight myself. I was just there for the fun and to support my friend.
So I backed up a little… and then a little more. See, I’m super clumsy and I have little awareness of my surroundings.
Suddenly my ass was being pulled backwards. My arms fly out in front of me for leverage and I start screaming. MY DRESS WAS BEING SUCKED IN BY THE GIANT HEATER FANS! My butt gets closer and closer to the fan grate as the propellers keep chopping and sucking my chiffon train.
I look to my best friend. Her eyes are bugged with shock and surprise. I could have guessed she would say a million things but I wouldn’t have guessed what came out of her mouth. “Don’t. Cry.” That was it. That was enough to make me laugh as if noone was watching. I felt like an idiot but I still had a choice on how I was going to handle it.
That experience taught me a valuable life lesson on how to handle my mistakes and the stresses that accompany them.
I know that I will receive criticism and negative reviews for the work I put out there. But it’s up to me on how I’m going to handle it. If I want to hide and run away, I’ll just say to myself, “Don’t. Cry.” It might be a silly thing to remember and say but it’s enough to keep me going with strength because if I can get my dress sucked into a fan in front of Aretha Franklin and live to tell it, I can do anything.
Now, I can’t let this end without revealing the whole story… it really comes full circle.
Once we were back in our hotel room, ready to call it a night, I discovered I couldn’t take my dress off. Apparently, the stick-on-bra adhesive only sticks to itself. Otherwise it acts like superglue. Little did I realize, when I put the glue on my skin and removed the bra material before it dried, I was going to glue my dress to my chest as soon as I put it on.
That night, I slept with my dress inverted on the outside. I cuddled with it like a teddy bear. I put off ripping it off my skin because I knew it was going to hurt and I was spent. But the next day I had a flight to catch.
We ripped it off like a bandaid, leaving a trail of blood spotted raspberries in two U-shapes. Ouch!
About the author:
Erin Lockwood grew up in Castro Valley, California and attended the University of Oregon, where she graduated in 2003 with a degree in journalism. From there she moved to Denver and spent the next seven years searching for the love of her life and building the family of her dreams.
It wasn’t long until, with children starting preschool and more time on her hands, Erin refocused on her career, beginning with a successful entry into the world of residential real estate as a Realtor. Free time was spent reading book after book (and binge-watching the subsequent films) in the New Adult genre. Feeling hopelessly in love with her husband, she wrote him a short story leading up to their fifth wedding anniversary. That’s when she discovered her tireless passion to share her experience of falling in love through fictional characters. That story evolved into the first novel in the Angles trilogy.
Erin still lives in Denver, Colorado with her husband, Phil, and their three children.
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