You’re Going To Laugh

madison_lights_colored_edit11You’re going to laugh.

Loudly.

You won’t even think about those events from months ago because you’ve escaped.

Free.

You’ll be so happy you came home that you’re going to smile until your cheeks hurt and you’re sure you look like the Cheshire cat.

Every day. Continue reading

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Dangerous Love

Tree2My throat burns and my cheeks are wet. With blood? With sweat? With tears? I close my eyes and push my hands against my face, shaking my head quickly so the strands of dirty hair fly wildly. I want to scream again but I can’t take a breath and without air, there’s not much  you can do. I want to run but without space, there’s not very many places you can go.

I want it all to end but with so much love, you can’t justify ending anything at all.

Love.

Continue reading

Defeated and Victorious

Tree I feel like I’m fighting the air itself as it pushes out of my lungs, crushing my chest with the weight of the universe. I’m sweating, crying, yelling with frustration as I shove against a hundred year old tree, willing it to move an inch for me. I’m laying on the floor of the boxing ring. I’m bleeding. I can’t breath. I can’t fight anymore. I’ve lost.

I’ve never won a battle on my own. I’ve never defeated the invisible enemy that renders me immovable. I will never be victorious on my own. I’m not made for solitary victory. I’m destined for failure. Alone, without the gospel and the Lord, I am defeated.  Continue reading

The Crooked Path

picssThe other day my class had the honor of hosting for a visiting writer, Domingo Martinez. We had the pleasure of listening to him talk, give us advice, and answer any questions we could throw his way. I haven’t read all of his book yet but I have flown through a couple of chapters and let me tell you, this guys has lived quite the life.

Or, as he puts it, he’s taken the crooked path.

First off, I do suggest his books to anyone interested in memoirs. I can tell he’s spent years honing his voice and perfecting his craft, so now his novels have a unique tone and language. He’s worked hard over the years and never let his past or struggles stop him from being heard.  Continue reading

Follow The Cloud

23435041_10210694259899428_5803650162365813881_nNumbers 9:16-20:

“The cloud would cover it by day, and the appearance of fire by night. Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out; and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp. At the command of the LORD the sons of Israel would set out, and at the command of the LORD they would camp; as long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained camped. Even when the cloud lingered over the tabernacle for many days, the sons of Israel would keep the LORD’S charge and not set out. If sometimes the cloud remained a few days over the tabernacle, according to the command of the LORD they remained camped. Then according to the command of the LORD they set out.”

Continue reading

Not In Charge.

23132121_10210649578102411_2645317899219630129_n“Senior year is a time for random road trips” Jordan said to me one afternoon as we made the decision to hop in the car early Sunday morning, drive to Austin, see our teacher at the Texas Book Festival, get lunch, and drive back. It wasn’t meant to be a long trip, or even an eventful trip. Just a trip. An adventure.

I was running late Sunday morning because geez I wake up early every day but I managed to make it and Jordan hopped in my car, ready for the day. We instantly stopped for coffee and I blasted Taylor Swift. “Are you a fan of Taylor?” “Yes.” “Good.” Continue reading

Caress Your Soul

13244015_10206450173279915_4943505738771786978_oThis weekend I took a familiar trip to Austin, Texas. Even though I’ve been there multiple times, each trip and experience is unique from the last. The one this photo is a part of, taken over a year ago, was filled with different places, different events, different people, and different memories. A different Madison Lawson visited the same city and saw everything… differently.

“Caress Your Soul”, a piece of graffiti I saw that day at the graffiti park, spoke to my heart. It told me that anything that touched me, made me feel, made me love and warmed my soul was good. It told me to chase those things that caressed my soul, told me to hold onto them because they would be fleeting and when would I find the next one? Continue reading

Proud vs Pride

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For some reason, it’s often seen as selfish or arrogant to be proud of yourself. If you say “I’m proud of this accomplishment” you run the risk of other’s thinking you’re conceited.

There is merit in modesty humility, though. It’s probably not a good idea to wear a shirt that says “I’m the best” everyday or force your friends to throw you a party every time you make an A or B on a test, but if an accomplishment is a large, unusual, and meaningful one, then it’s 100% okay to be proud of yourself. If you just made an A on your MCAT, then you should have a party. Yeah, modesty is a virtue but that doesn’t mean you’re not allowed to voice your own excitement at your achievements. Continue reading

Chain Smoking

21762046_10210204500455748_9149997079439913457_nFirst and Foremost I must give credit to the idea of “chain smoking” to Austin Kleon in his book Show Your WorkIn the book he discusses the importance of chain smoking (in relation to writing) and gives examples of writers who practice it. Now that’s out of the way, I’m going to Steal Like an Artist and write like the idea were my own.

Chain smokers go through multiple packs of cigarettes a day. As of 2013, the average adult aged smoker went through almost 22 cigarettes each day. In order to continually be smoking without a break, they often will light one cigarette with the butt of another.

Can we, as writers, identify ourselves as chain smokers? Not in the (albeit unhealthy and honestly gross) habitual way of literally inhaling the smoke of cigarettes, but in how we write. Are we going through multiple pages a day? How many writing hours are we averaging a day? Do you light the beginning of one story with the end of another? I believe we should all strive to be chain smoking writers. I know I do. And In no way am I saying writers have to write 22 pages every day, but continuing forward without a writing hiatus is more beneficial than we may give it credit.  Continue reading

Dark Colors

21462786_10210178347641944_6627037810111179313_nMost vividly, I remember the rain. My hair had been stuck to my forehead and I was shivering from the cold. Running through the trees had winded me and I was struggling to see through the fog and rain. The house was large, hiding in plain sight.

I was scared, lost, and alone. I was also only six years old.

Now, twenty years later, the memories have become distant at best and fictional at worst. Once, I made the mistake of confiding in my girlfriend at the time, telling her all I remember about that night twenty years ago. I told her how the memory of the night feels physical to me, but the evidence of it was never found.  Continue reading