When Loren and her siblings’ lives change in an instant, and dragons fill the skies above, they will need to face danger with courage, and a little cowardly lechrad… The Seren Stone by Lisa Shambrook
Today, April 5th, sees the release of The Seren Stone, a fantasy tale that puts Loren in a time and place she knows she shouldn’t be with no way to get home. How would you feel?
This was never meant to be an epic adventure… all Loren did was try on a family heirloom pendant and then she and her younger brother and sister were vaulted into a future they couldn’t recognise – with dragons!
Imagine Loren’s fear and sense of responsibility as the decisions she takes throws them into a situation that puts her siblings into mortal danger…
This book is a fast paced, descriptive journey into an unfamiliar world which suits readers of all ages, from children to adult. As an autistic author emotions are something I work with daily and that comes through in my writing. Courage and self-belief in the face of fear is also something I fight with, but Loren needs to face her crushing fears and with help from a few dragons and a little lechrad – she might just do that!
The Seren Stone, published by BHCPress, is available in all your favourite bookshops:
Welcome to The Seren Stone Chronicles. The Seren Stone is a book for all those who believe in magic and dragons and courage… for all three will change you.
I am so excited to share this book with you, and I can now reveal my cover courtesy of BHCPress, And it’s now *available on pre-order!
Release Date: 5th April 2022
An epic fantasy adventure! When Loren places a family heirloom jewel around her neck – she, along with her brother and sister, Will and Cat, are hurled into a future they cannot recognise. Centuries beyond post-apocalyptic – the landscape of Wales has turned into a whole new country and the rumble of dragons has returned…
This book has a deep place in my heart, as I wrote it two decades ago for my children, then I hid it away until I was able to come back and rewrite it. The redraft ignited every flame in my soul as I captured gems and dragons, and sent Loren to try to right her wrongs. Danger dances, courage flirts with fear, a little cowardlylechrad tries to help, and nobody knows how to return them home…
The Seren Stone is *available in all your favourite bookshops:
The peridot-green tint of algae penetrated the wood, like it had been brushed on with a watercolour paint brush, like it was part of the mirror’s design. The wood, once damp, now flaky and dry in the barn, still sported delicate fretwork and inlays – though one touch and they’d crumble. And the glass, cloudy like a cataract, showed no reflection and mirrored nothing.
Rachel moved closer, her feet stumbling as she stepped over long abandoned debris and rubbish strewn across the floor of the barn. Chairs – covered in faded, torn damask, a tarnished bronze bedstead, garden tools with broken wooden handles, a pile of rusted metal-springs, coils, barbed wire, and myriad other lost items filled the space within the ramshackle walls. Rachel, however, noticed nothing but the mirror, as she shuffled forward.
Cobwebs floated to and fro in the light draught that drifted through the barn, as did the white hair framing her face, and she deftly brushed her errant tresses aside. Her flowing nightdress wrapped itself around her legs and she shivered. She smiled at the sensation the shiver sent through her. She didn’t think a shiver would have registered these days, she was so tired, so –
A bird flapped at the door, feathers rustling in the wind, and Rachel glanced back at it. A raven sat, perched with its head cocked on the splintered door. It watched for a moment as Rachel met its eyes then Rachel returned her gaze to the mirror.
She stood before the old looking glass, trying to see her face in its murky reflection, but only indistinct shadows stared back.
The raven cracked its wings in the silence and flew across the floor, this time landing noisily on the bedstead rail. Its feet clutched tight and Rachel watched its outline waver in the shadowy glass.
“Is it time?” she asked, her voice soft, and as quiet as the gentle spring breeze.
There was no reply, and she moved her hand to the decaying, rotting frame around the oval of glass. For a moment, as she touched it, the mirror was restored, a thing of simple beauty. She gazed into clear glass, her face surrounded by ebony hair, and her fingers young and slim. The wood – oak, warm, and delicately grained framed the mirror, and she was twenty-two, not eighty-two. The image faded, like the wood, and Rachel stood once more before the old mirror.
She smiled and nodded again. “It’s time,” she said, as the raven shifted behind her. She peered into the glass, and in it, or was it in her mind’s eye, she saw two people. The woman behind her, with raven black hair, like hers, wrapped her arms around Rachel, and Rachel let herself melt into the long missed and welcome embrace.
The mirror reflected nothing, as Rachel rested cold and unresponsive on the freezing floor. The raven, a ghostly shadow in the gloomy mirror, muttered and flew off soaring away into the cold, white morning sky.
Miranda, at Finding Clarity, chose one of my own photographs for her Mid-Week Flash Challenge, and I’ve always wanted to write something for this picture that I took of an old crumbling mirror in my dad’s barn… so here we are.
Write up to 750 words inspired by the prompt photograph.
I’d slipped out of my own writing and editing, and hadn’t read a book in ages, then Miranda sent me Dead Lake to beta read and I got lost in it! It reignited my own words and a desire to write again. Dead Lake has been out for a while now, and I’m still thinking about it.
From Monday Feb 14thDead Lake will be on sale for 7 full days – up to and including the 20th of February. The price will be 99p/99c.
Seriously, if you like fantasy, crystals, forests, magic, and a heroine with bite and attitude, then you need to read this…
I really loved Tricky, the main character, and I knew I would, but I got caught up in her confidence and sass, and appreciated the times her vulnerability shone through. So, I asked Miranda what she loved about Tricky, and about writing her character:
Miranda said: I love her humour, her honesty, the way she flirts with any good looking man, and also her wily nature. She’s everything I want to be: confident, sure of herself, and lives her life on her terms.
She always makes me smile. She’s that inner part of yourself only you don’t dare let others see, because they might be offended. It’s like letting a part of me escape every time I write about her.
I agree, this is exactly how I saw her too!
Here’s my review:
‘Sometimes it pays to be tricky
Damn and blast! That rancid piece of excrement, Carter, has had her ransacked out of Clancy!
Tricky returns to her cottage to find it turned upside down. An action that means she’s got three days to leave the district or face punishment. Randolf Carter, head of the district, is spreading lies and suspicion about her kind, making life difficult. But it wasn’t just an ordinary ransacking – they were searching for something.
Using her gifts, Tricky traces the energy left by the men and spies another creature’s energy among it: a jackdaw. Swift and wily, it’s pinched her precious gemstone, a piece of black obsidian. But at whose bidding? Communicating with birds is a rare ability and she knows all who possess it.
Tricky wants her stone back, but coming up against people like Carter won’t be easy, especially when he’s got one of her kind in his employ. But she’ll handle it, oh yes she will. She’ll just have to be careful and a little bit tricky. Good thing she is then, isn’t it?
Adept at working with energy and time as well as communicating with trees, Tricky is lured into something bigger than ownership of a gemstone, and finds out that sometimes it pays to be a little bit tricky.
Dead Lake is a dark paranormal fantasy novel set a few hundred years from now in a post-apocalyptic world. After a massive shift of the tectonic plates decimated the world and its population, life on the remaining landmass has returned to simple living, with money, rulers and religion no longer tolerated.’
If you’re looking for a great book and a bargain, you’ll not go wrong with Dead Lake and Tricky!
Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them – Thom Jones
Three years ago, on Blue Monday 2019, I saw a scruffy and forlornGerman shepherd staring out at me from a Rescue site on Twitter, and I knew in my soul she was already a part of me.
She was advertised as a five-year-old with issues and EPI, a life-long health problem. We spent a couple of weeks persuading the Rescue centre she should be ours and on 10th February she was.
Her age ended up being fairly ambiguous, as she’d been advertised as five for two years on social media, so it was more likely she was around six or seven when she got to us. She’d been rescued from a home of neglect when she was three, so her early years were troubled, and then she spent at least two years in a rescue kennel miles away from anywhere and pretty much alone. She was fostered and rehomed several times, but always returned because her anxiety was too much to deal with. Nicola, a foster carer, did her best to save Kia and gave her love and training, but wasn’t able to keep her. A year later Kira came to us, her forever home.
We thought we’d have longer with her, not even three years, but she filled a lifetime in those few years…
She was a dreamer – always staring off into the distance and looking romantic. She was my soul mate, she was everything.
We soon realised that her anxiety was too great to be able to walk her locally, she was too reactive to other dogs, so it was off to the forest and she loved it there. Like us she loved solitude and the purity of nature.
Flowers, they were as beautiful as she was. I could never get over how pretty she was, she blew me away every time I gazed at her. She was like the stars in the sky, the flowers in the hedgerow, the water flowing in the river, she was uncontainable.
There was a gentleness that only we saw. She saved it for those she loved and felt safe with, and there weren’t many people in her life that gave her that. She was a teddy bear, a soft cuddly baby, and a dog that loved with everything she had when she loved you. She only trusted a handful of people in her life, and if you were one of those, you were truly privileged.
She was never happier than when she was out exploring. She always walked at the furthest point her lead let her, but if you took her lead off out on a walk, she panicked. She needed to stay connected and it gave her security and comfort.
Kira loved her cuddly toys. Elephant was her first and favourite with us. Kira’s toys were generally not for playing with, they were for comfort. She decided what happened with her toys. If we tried to take her indoor toys outside, she’d shake her head at us, and immediately take them back indoors. She wasn’t one for fetch either, throw a ball and she’d stare at it then back at you, and ask why?
The day it snowed on New Year’s Eve 2020 was one of her best days! She loved the snow, eating it, catching snowballs, and racing about with us in it. It was beautiful, and her smile says it all!
Back in Brechfa she was her true spirit, a fae of a dog, a forest dweller, and a creature of magic…
She had a wild heart that filled you with wonder.
Then it all went wrong. She slowed down a little, but at what we thought was nine-years-old dogs do get a little slower. She had an ear infection, which got sorted at the vet. Then in September she started reverse sneezing, didn’t seem much to worry about, but it didn’t go away. In October it got worse and she began coughing. The vets were lovely, Kira’s a very difficult dog to take to the vet due to her high anxiety and panic, but the vets saw her outside and dealt with her with incredible care. At first we thought she had kennel cough and she was treated for that, but it didn’t get better. She lost her voice, lost her bark, and I knew something was really wrong. Kira was a chatty dog that talked all the time, and now she couldn’t.
After six weeks she had scans, x-rays, and a biopsy. At the back of her throat was a mass. It was an aggressive malignant salivary gland tumour. We were devastated. We hoped we’d have longer with her, but eating became difficult. We gave her tins of salmon, her favourite, until one day she couldn’t eat anymore, and the tumour was too large to allow comfortable eating and breathing. We knew the time had come.
Sunday 14th November was the hardest day, and she passed peacefully away in our arms.
Our hearts broke but we let her go to run free in far flung fields, and to find Roxy who would mother her like we did. There is nothing like the pain of losing your soul mate.
She is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are her life, her love, her leader. She will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of her heart. You owe it to her to be worthy of such devotion. – Agnes Repplier
Kira – our German Shepherd – May 2012 – 14th November 2021
What will it take to save the planet? Change. Change in the narrative, change in the blame, and change in our actions.
I’ve watched the News over the last few weeks, reporting on COP26(Conference of the Parties for those countries who signed up to the 1994 treaty UNFCCC – United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and their discussion on Climate Change. I’ve heard them say they’ll stop cutting down the rainforest in a decade, they’ll introduce some more electric cars, oh, yes, they’ll try to stop cows from farting, ie, reduce methane. I also heard they might try and get rid of coal, but I’m pretty sure we’re opening a new coal field in Cumbria soon, so that’ll go well. We’re still waiting to see if our Leaders can come up with big agreements and remain accountable, but forgive us our scepticism. Most steps our governments make are small, and it’s almost always the public who are expected to change rather than the government or industry.
It’s the big things that matter. We’re already doing the small things. We can all do our bit – walk more, buy local, put out blue bags, and recycle. We hope our local council is actually recycling it. It’s been shocking to discover many Local Authorities pack up their recycled plastic, and send it to third world countries for processing, except that those countries lack the infrastructure to cope, and it just creates massive, problematic, mountains of waste in another part of the world.
Local Authorities, governments, and industry need to take big steps and take accountability. Money needs to be taken out of fossil fuels and plastic and put into solar, water, and wind. I mean, fossil fuels are literally running out, and we have more sun, ocean, and wind on our literal doorstep. But the general public can’t do this. It has to come from government and big business. Industry and Law has to change. We can recycle our plastic drinks bottle, but maybe the drinks company should be producing a more ecological bottle or packaging. We can try to buy food without plastic, but if our supermarkets and their suppliers don’t stop over using it, we have much less choice. We can only work with what they give us.
We, and governments etc, need to listen to activists and scientists. Activists will keep Climate Change on our radar, they will keep us aware, and scientists will move us forward with statistics, information, time scales, and directions on what we need to do to protect the planet. The older generation seems to listen to Sir David Attenborough, and he is God tier – to be protected at all costs, but they don’t like being told what to do by the younger generation. Greta Thunberg, Patience Nabukala, Brianna Fruean, and others repeat the words of warning at COP26 for climate change, and are fully backed up by Attenborough. A NASA article explains that 97% of scientists agree on the validity of Climate Change. United Nations, NASA, many organisations, and our governments all utilise scientists and their predictions, and we need to listen to them.
It appears the older, richer, and more powerful people aren’t listening, or maybe they just don’t care. An Oxfam report noted that ‘The world’s richest “appear to have a free pass to pollute,”’ Their report found that the richest 1% will have a carbon footprint 30 times higher in 2030 than what is needed to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5°C. According to the report the carbon footprint of the rich will always be much more than the poorest 50% who are on course to produce fewer emissions to align with the 1.5°C target. Think billionaires, millionaires, and those in the top 10% of global earning – anyone earning over $158K (£117K) – these are the people that need to change, to reinvest in ecological practices, to change the narrative, to save the planet.
The young, the rising generations, know what they’re talking about, and how dare anyone say they don’t. Back in the eighties when I was a teen Climate Change was taught to us. It was mainly about greenhouse gasses and the declining ozone layer, but we began to learn what we were doing to the planet and we began to want to change. We got rid of CFC’s and the ozone layer repaired itself. But it wasn’t just about CFC’s. And now, forty years later, we’re still fighting for change and the planet has declined even further.
The young today are taught from primary school. They know more about climate change, declining populations of animals, and about our earth from children’s books on the environment, than, it seems, our actual politicians do. They want to change. They want to save their planet. They are willing to do what it takes.
A friend of mine took her daughter, who must be a young teen, to the recent Glasgow COP26 protests, and I would put money on that young woman understanding more about the environment and climate change than our own Prime Minister.
I saw a meme the other day on Facebook, a meme that is oft repeated, but it makes me so angry.
It exonerated older generations, the Silent and Boomer generations, from taking the blame for plastic. It explained that they ‘courageously’ walked everywhere, recycled their glass pop and milk bottles, used cotton shopping bags, didn’t have plastic toys, or McDonald’s or Burger King. They had no polystyrene, wrapped their food in newspapers, and didn’t go on foreign holidays. It then went on to blame the younger generations, Millennial and Gen Z, for their culture of waste and called them ‘little shits’ for preaching to them about climate change.
It failed, in a huge way, to point out that if our children had been born back then they would have done the same – because plastic hadn’t been invented and wasn’t flooding the planet like it is now.
And guess who brought us plastic? It was the older generation, who fully embraced its convenience. We probably all would have done. But the fault doesn’t lie with a generation, not old or young, it lies with those who, once we knew of the dangers of plastic, continue to saturate the market, and the world, with it.
Plastic has become part of our world, and if it was easy to get rid of it, we would. But while those in power, both in government and industry, continue to pump money into it, plastic will not die.
The irony being that plastic, point blank, will not die. It won’t degrade and will continue to pollute for hundreds or thousands of years.
Plastic is a literal part of our world, and that is what needs to change. So, let’s listen intently to the young and the scientists who want to change the world, to save our planet, and let’s lobby parliament and industry to change. Vote for those who will take the money out of fossil fuels and plastic and put it into renewable resources. We’ve tried to change through recycling, switching to eco-friendly products, but it’s a world for the rich, and while they continue to flood the market with plastic, non-environmental products, and electric cars and heating pumps that are too expensive for most of us to buy, we can’t win. We have to vote, to be part of politics, to lobby for change before we run out of time.
We have to save the planet for those future generations – our children, our grandchildren – and those that want to live in a thriving world, long after we’re gone.
Crystal Grids have become an intrinsic part of my life, helping me meditate, use mindfulness, and set intentions. They focus me on affirmations, self-care, and ground me when I need it.
October, and Halloween season, offers itself to gratitude and appreciation of nature’s abundance, and this grid is my latest – entwining leaves and nature’s bounty with crystals that glow with fire and autumn colours. This Crystal Grid is for Grounding, Confidence, and Gratitude.
A central Pumpkin symbolises gratitude, abundance, and generosity. Surrounded by nature’s harvest of Oak Leaves for strength, and Acorns and Acorn Cups for growth and prosperity. The horse chestnut’s Conkers represent growth and attainment, and Sweet Chestnuts for wisdom and hope. Fire Agate represent autumn’s bounty with grounding, courage, and confidence, and Carnelian offers confidence, empowerment, and the pure energy of life with abundance and blessings from Mother Earth.
Samhain is also one of the grids in my The Wheel of the Year collection where I have created crystal grids for each Pagan Sabbat – seasonal festival and celebration – Imbolc, Ostara, Beltane, Litha, Lughnasadh, Mabon, Samhain, and Yule. You can buy art prints of these pieces at Amaranth Alchemy.
Stones, grids, and nature have made their way into my life, my writing, my books, my mental health, science, and the history of the world. I recently wrote an article published in Mom’s Favorite Reads, an eMagazine available for FREE on Amazon each month. You can read my article here, but do download the magazine for much more great content.
Let autumn’s gratitude fill your spirit and recharge you for the rest of the year.
Autumn arrives in a blaze of glory. It’s a time of reflection and gratitude, a time to recharge and choose your direction for the rest of the year, and to enjoy the bounty and abundance from Mother Earth.
I love that moment when I step outside and the scent of autumn is in the air, when the leaves are turning, and I can pull out my favourite jumpers, slip on my boots, and find my hats and gloves again. I love my autumn gems and pumpkins, and it’s time for hot chocolate and autumn treasures.
The moon fills the crisp night sky and the stars seem even brighter. I buy a new hat and watch the squirrels eating windfall apples in my garden. Autumn is a grounding time of year, and I feel my autumn stones, smoky quartz, black moonstone, lodolite quartz and the crystals that offer healing, protection and grounding.
It’s a time to celebrate the rich colours: bronze, orange, gold, and brown, and the glorious harvest of fruits and veg. I bury my head in a good book when the weather gets too wet or cold and start baking again!
Light that candle, so many fragrances for autumn: chocolate, caramelised apple, sweet pumpkin, vanilla bean, and berries. Apples and plums, not just for candle scents! Carnelian offers confidence and courage and fits the autumn colour scheme with its burning orange glow. And, lastly, you’ll find me searching the hedgerows, parks, and woodlands for its treasures, bringing home pockets filled with conkers, acorns, leaves, and chestnuts.
Autumn is me! What are your favourite Autumn treasures?
It was as black as velvet, thick with stifling heat, and she shuddered at the echoing drips in the narrow corridor. The breath she pulled deep into her lungs threatened to suffocate her in the clammy air. She shook her head, trying to rid her skin of the constant illusion of crawling ants, and tightened the frayed tourniquet tied about her left bicep. Yesterday’s wound was depleting more energy than she’d expected.
Today’s cuts and bruises were more superficial, and she took a swig of murky water from her canteen before stuffing it back into her damp rucksack. She was sweating more than she was drinking.
There was only one way into this broiling labyrinth of brick, and no other way out, and the men still waiting for her and the gem at the entrance knew it. She sighed and leaned against the wall, her head torch wobbling as she slapped the wall in frustration beside her. Her eyes stung as tears blurred her vision and defeat gurgled in her throat. The huge garnet jewel stowed in her canvas backpack, still grey with mud and dried moss, and heavy within its matrix rock, weighed on her shoulders and in her mind.
The gem, bundled inside her jacket, carried value she didn’t want to give up, but trapped inside the tunnels the stories she’d heard as a child were slowly resurfacing as desperation grew. Was the legend worth the aggravation? Could the myths carry truth? And, within the miles of hallway could she find the gem’s fabled haven?
There was always another way out, no one would ever build a labyrinth without an escape route; it was unheard of. And it was – except within the oppressive dungeons of Hades Oven.
She moved on, her fingers trailing over the ruby moss swathed brickwork. Never ending walls stretched through the obscurity, until she turned a corner and a silver doorway greeted her. The door stood ominously open, streaked with broken and decayed latticework shining in her torch light.
She tried to see beyond the darkness, but the rays bounced off the walls, artificial light glinting like a dead end. Fatigue pounded and her sweat turned cold. This was it, the end of the eternal hallway. There was nowhere else to go, nowhere else but back.
The noise of her own blood pumping through her veins thundered through her head as she gazed at the mottled silver smeared across the walls like fog, like ice. A wry smile flickered across her face. Her final moments of torture, as she baked beneath the earth, would be the imagery of ice, of mist, and of cool water running down the bricks. An illusion in her rattled and ragged dried out mind.
Then she moved across the threshold into the tiny room, and pulled the door closed, its hinges creaking tired and worn, until it clicked shut. She slipped her backpack off her shoulders and smiled at the weightlessness she felt as she slipped to the floor, the bag landing with a thud beside her. She took a last look at the small room, the beam of her torch flashing over the silvered bricks, and she switched off her light. Darkness enveloped the room and she sank into the corner to await her end in death’s antechamber.
It wasn’t completely dark. A burgundy glow emanated from her bag. Even through the thick canvas and dirty jacket the garnet smouldered. Trembling fingers tugged open the bag and turned it upside down. Dust billowed and the gem bounced on the concrete, and in the red light a tiny switch shone. She grabbed it and as the lever came away in her hand, bricks crumbled. Light, as white as heaven, flooded the tiny space, blinding her. Then the dust settled and running water crashed past the opening. Still squinting, she pushed out and gulped in cool fresh air. Without another thought she stuffed the gem back into her bag, and stepped out beneath the torrents of waterfall. A valley stood before her, miles away from the labyrinth’s entrance, and offering freedom. She’d found the haven and Hades would have to wait.
Really wanted to write something for this photo provided by Miranda’s Mid-Week Flash Challenge prompt. Something suffocating about this image, by Svetlana Sewell, that needed a story.
Write up to 750 words inspired by the prompt photograph.
At first, I called this post Rediscoveringmy Authenticity, but that quickly switched to Recoveringmy Authenticity. To learn how to be myself and to be able to live authentically I had to recovermyself. I had to recover what had been lost.
When I was a young child I knew who I was. I delighted in bluebells, fairies, snapping pea pods, dragonflies, curling up with a book, climbing trees, drawing, swinging as high as I could on the garden swing, but very quickly those simple pleasures faded as I concentrated on fitting in, being conformed, and moulded into what other people wanted me to be.
As an already world and trauma weary seventeen-year-old, I once wrote: ‘I’ll open my heart and show you inside, but don’t let me know what you’ve seen. I want to be everything everyone wants me to be, but I’m not sure I know how. I don’t even know how to be me…’ (Sept 1989)
I spent my childhood being groomed into an overly conscientious teen, bombarded with responsibility and emotional pressure, with a built-in inability to rebel. I spent my twenties trying to be perfect in a world where perfection is unattainable. In my thirties I broke down, but that didn’t stop the internalised and external burdens, and in my forties I began to say no, to question blind obedience, and to realise just how important it is to be exactly who I am. To be who I was born to be.
Now, thirty-two years later, I know exactly how to be me.
It takes great courage to be who you are, to stop masking in a society that wants you to behave in their chosen acceptable ways, to reject conditioning – both social and in a faith setting, to step away from that narrow path and live life, to embrace who you intrinsically always were, are, and want to be.
I could lament many things, and some I will, but, as half a century creeps up on me, I’m learning that life is too short to waste. Life really is about bluebells, dragons, good food, curling up with a book, climbing trees, painting, losing myself in the other worlds that I write, and swinging as high as I can on a park swing! It’s also about stars and the moon, acorns and acorn cups, and dreams. It’s about gems and crystals, mindfulness and crystal grids, magic, and dusky roses. It’s about Coldbackie beach and Greenwich Park, animals, and running with wolves. It’s about walking through forests, splashing through oceans, and standing on mountains. It’s about fighting for equality, for mental health, for loving those you love. And it’s about knowing who you are and being exactly that person, with no apologies, no resentment, and never needing anyone’s permission to be you.
I’ve recovered the little girl who believed in magic, who thought dragonflies were really baby dragons, and who wandered through bluebell woods looking for fairies. Irescued the child who didn’t need to be perfect, who didn’t even think about her flaws, and loved who she was. That child no longer needs perfection; she doesn’t want to conform, she wants to rebel, and she can! She can see the world as it is and be sad, but also hopeful. She can walk through mossy forests and see Mother Nature smiling back at her. She can gaze at the stars and know that she can reach them in so many ways. I can be exactly who I want to be, because I know how to be me.