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My Story

Rewritten

An Essay Collection

By

Tiffany Fulton



SMASHWORDS EDITION



* * * * *



PUBLISHED BY:

Tiffany Fulton on SMASHWORDS


My Story

Rewritten

An Essay Collection

Copyright © 2017 by Tiffany Fulton



All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.


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Contents:


Dear_Writer

Random_Rant

Worst_Artist_Writer_Ever_Rant

A_Plan_and_Rant

Thanks_for_Your_Patience

Self_Reflection_Time

Life_Updates_Weight_Loss_and_Diet

Tying_Up_Loose_Ends

About_the_Author

Also_by_Tiffany

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Dear Writer:

Originally published on FictionPress:

May 31, 2016


Just a letter to every writer out there. You're going to have bad days and some that aren't so bad. The point is that writing isn't as easy as everyone fantasizes that it is. I self-published my work 5 years ago, but that doesn't make me happy.


Dear Writers of every skill level and profession:


I have been a published writer since 2004.

I published a lot of poems and stories here on Fiction Press until 2011, when I read about a young woman named Amanda Hocking who self-published her work and eventually after working very hard, she got signed with a traditional book publisher.

I won't lie to you. I can only dream of working as hard as this lady does. Maybe you should look her up.

So I took my own stories down from here and uploaded them to Smashwords and Amazon's Kindle Store to see if anything would come out of it. I had no idea what I was doing then, just publishing my short work online. And for a while, due to my naïveté, nothing was exactly what I got. Later in 2011, Facebook blew up among my college classmates and I promoted my books there. I even did the same thing on Twitter and Pinterest.

The Internet stopped being fun after 5 years of boredom and a dying impact I was making. Everything on the Internet has been turned into a vessel for money-it feels like this to me. I make very little money if I'm lucky-most of the time, I don't. My work is still up where ever you buy your e-books from.

I get depressed thinking about everything that doesn't contribute to writing. I want writing to be fun and awesome in my life. But so much has happened to me that I can't remember how to write like the old me.

The point is that you're going to have some days or moments in your writing life where you feel like you suck at something you love, whether you get paid for it or not.

What follows are rants, joys, and frustrations that I have encountered on this journey of writing. My weakest moments as a writer were unveiled in 2016, and in May of that year is where everything fell apart. I had to stop and re-evaluate my life and goals, as I’m sure most of us do. I hadn’t published anything as an independent writer since that year, but I hope to change this soon. My goal with these rants was complete honesty about writing and its effect on my life so far. If it sounds too much like I was complaining—well, that’s because that’s what these reflections are in a way. Please stop reading now if that makes you uncomfortable.

. Something had to be done when I was in this depression. I took a year off from writing fiction and faced my personal truths about where I want to go as a creative person, and here they are. I have learned so much from these lessons and trials and will be writing fiction again very soon. Have you experienced these things?

Write anyway.

Love,

Me


****

Random Rant


July 3, 2004. (The date Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl was published)

I had a story with 4 years of history (which will be explained in the next essay) that needed a home. A home where it would be loved, possibly hated, and full of the naiveté of a first time fiction writer. I didn't think that publishing this story on the Internet would mark the first step in a journey that still continues today. (By the way, that story is available for you to read here on Fiction Press: Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl.)

I will get into detail about my past as a writer in the future, but let's skip to where the reality of creativity and passion crashed against a more "practical" thing: Work. Last year on April 9th, I was hired as a library technician—my first job out of college that has lasted for more than 3 months. I kid you not.

I thought nothing would or ever could get in the way of my passion for writing, but this job did—for 7 long months. It hurt to think about writing, and whenever I tried to write, I would cry and become a moody little girl instead of the 27 year old I should've behaved like. Not being able to express this frustration to anyone was more painful than anything. Family shamed me for sticking to something—not for money, but for my fucking sanity—and I almost destroyed my soul with my own negative self-talk.

The weird thing is…I've been here for a year and 2 months now, and the novelty of the "dream job," that I counted on as a fallback…you know, in case the whole-writing for a living thing didn't work out, died within the first three months of my being hired. It didn't take long for me to take the good with the bad…working with homeless people who have to get by and have a place to stay has opened my eyes, dealing with perverted homeless men who think they have something to offer me when they can't even take care of themselves, loud kids and even ruder parents, etc. All of that six days a week is exhausting and has become a routine. (No more waking up thinking, "Holy shit. I work at a library-this is fucking awesome." Now it's more like…"If I don't find a full-time job soon, I may only make it two years here,").

As much as I love this job, I have some gripes about it. First of all, it's not a full-time position. (I can hear the cries, "OMG, why is she bitching about that? A job is better than no job,") I've had 3 shitty jobs for the past for years that were part-time. I don't know about you, but I want my own roof over my head someday before I'm thirty…(Yep, I'm a Millennial—Get over it.)

There are other reasons, but I don't want to depress you. (Probably too late for that, right?)

Luckily, there's this cool writing community online and with Amazon's Kindle Publishing program, I was able to calm the fuck down and remind myself why I appreciate having writing to fall back on when I get mopey and depressed about this job.

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Worst Artist/Writer Ever Rant

Originally published on Fiction Press

Published: 08-17-16


I'm at work and it's 5:42 p.m. as I type this now. I went in to work at the library two hours early today…Hey, extra money, right? But's never enough, you know? That's sort of the point of this new record thing. I have my dream job, but the whole being part-time thing just sucks the life out of me every time something happens. Is it normal to reach this plateau of all of sudden reaching your goals and then wanting more?

My job at the library is awesome, but I feel like the creative part of me has been thrown under the bus and then hit by the other vehicles on the road.

I feel so greedy when I think about it. It's pissing me off. I'm not talking about material things that aren't essential to life—I can get that stuff any time, but I would like more life enriching experiences or moments of clarity and stuff, like when I starting writing as a child. Going without fulfilling work for four years was soul-sucking and hard and depressing…it's like Dementors came and settled around my light until they ate everything that made me happy—the part of me who lives to make stuff…is gone.

I'm still hunting for a new program to replace the version of Microsoft Office that I deleted because MO is a pain in the ass- so I can type stuff again. The hiatus for La Daemon Royale is like an earworm now—I'm open to suggestions on that story because I don't see myself continuing it anytime soon. (I have one paragraph of a scene written for it—maybe I'll expand on that in a future outline.) I'm tempted to download Scrivener as a word processing replacement. It's $45—200 dollars cheaper than Office and all of my indie author friends use it and they like it—despite the learning curve.

I'm trying to write more, but that's easier said than done, and I'm grateful that people are still noticing my stuff—I'm just stressed out right now and there's no one outside of the Internet I can talk to who understands this stuff at all.

I'm also worried about my health, specifically my weight…I'm 30 pounds overweight for my body type (and here's how you know people without hypothyroidism don't know what they are talking about when they tell me, "You look fine! You're not fat!")….and I can't lose the weight because I'm not motivated to get off my butt and MOVE anymore.

FUUUUCCCCKKKKKK….I'm 28 years old and I'm having the crisis of adolescence again….I didn't even worry about this crap when I was a teenager…. :(

I don't know what to do. I want to scream.

RANT OVER.

HEEEELLLLPPPPP.

I'm having a lot of negative feelings. I'm a little grumpy and I don't know what I should do anymore. Are there any quizzes I can take or something? How do you know what you’re good at or where your hidden talents are?

***

A Plan and a Rant (Hypothyroidism)

First Published on Fiction Press:

09-14-16


I haven't been taking very good care of myself ever since I was hired at the library last year in April. It sucks when everyone else tells you that, "You're fine; you don't need to lose weight," or "I wish I had your figure; you're the perfect shape,"

It sucks even more when the people who say these things to you are strangers or just co-workers. It makes me feel disgusting when I think about how I wasn't even attempting to get to a certain weight loss goal as a child—hence the operative word being-child- I just did what I liked-riding my bicycle around our huge cul-de-sac in North Carolina, (born, raised, and proud to be a Tarheel, despite the homophobic, religiously zealous shit underneath that's been unraveled since I moved away 11 years ago now) played Hide and Seek and kickball with the other kids and went on long walks by myself every day. I didn't ask to like that—premature birth did that to me as well as unintentionally working my ass off.

When I moved to Louisiana in 2005, my Physical Education teacher would poke fun at me about my weight, saying that I needed to gain more and being here would fatten me up. I shook it off in front of her, but those teasing words still ate at my heart. My friends at school would wonder why I was so thin, like I was sick or something. In my two years of attendance at C.E. Byrd High School, one of the things I never did was eat school lunch. It was the typically gross and generic shit you'd expect. I got by with junk food, but in small amounts, and preoccupied the hunger away with lots of reading, solitary time, and goofing off with the metal heads at school. We would do strange stuff like have pretend mosh pits by "tossing" one person in a circle of the rest of us and torture our tongues with beer/margarita salt (EWWW).

I wasn't bothered much about my weight for a few more months until college started. Depression, friends, and Dominos pizza contributed to the end of my flat chested days and the beginning of my breasts, hips and ass. (Yes I miss those days.) They haven't gone away.

I don't recall the exact moment when everything about my weight started changing immediately. I just remember waking up one night in the dormitory and almost passing out because my stomach was hurting very badly. It hurt to move.

Fast forward: The next thing I remember is waking up and seeing a very long plastic tube in a woman's hand. They had to hold me down to put that crap in my nose and it reached down into my stomach. For two weeks, I was trapped in a hospital bed. Actively using my nose hurt. No food—for two fucking weeks. Cherry flavored laxatives for two weeks. And yes-pardon my grossness here, but I need to be honest—an enema (I dare you to Google it—you don't want one.) My intestines were impacted—yay—and I had to have a colonoscopy to get them cleared out.

When I woke up, the gastrenologist told me that I had hyperthyroidism.

Me: WUT?

Again, google it, because that's not the point of this rant right now. To summarize: Popping propranolol and tapazole for my rapid heart palpitations for a few months.

Fast forward: My legs and hands start trembling won't stop. Emergency room visit.

Doctor: Your thyroid will close around your throat and restrict your breathing if it gets bigger. It needs to come out. Don't worry; surgery takes a day and you'll be out in no time.

(Recovery time took three weeks. Liar.)

Day of Surgery: March 10th or 11th, 2011.

(Three weeks without bathing is the worst.—couldn't bathe because of the scar on my neck. Don't do it.)

My throat hurts for about a week and it hurts to swallow or talk.

Weight gain is at 170 pounds at this point. FUUUUCCCCKKKKKK….to the nth power.

Fast forward again: Weight stays at no more than 175 for a few good months. No one could tell I had gained weight, but I could and sure as hell can fucking feel it…because now my fucker of a thyroid is out and chopped into pieces, hypothyroidism has moved in permanently.

(FYI: Thyroid transplants are impossible for obvious reasons.)

Out of the blue, I hit 180—been there since 2012 and I have yet to lose it. My body won't gain anything over that; but it sucks because I'm 30 pounds overweight and older black women are claiming that they want to be "thick" like me.

"Thick" meaning: big curves are in. My body can't hold all the weight and I don't want it to. No one here in Lousyanna (my nickname for Louisiana) understands that while I don't want to be my stick-figure self, I don't want to have a few other curves, either.

I'm not happy with my weight or my feelings about what I see when I look in the mirror. So I hope I can do something about it here.

I'm not into social media or the Internet seeing my face unless I know you outside of it. But that doesn't mean I can't track my progress in some way. I can't talk about it to family or close friends because I'll get some obvious answers.

Ever heard of the saying, "It's easier to tell a stranger what we can't tell our friends?" Dude…TRUTH.

That's why I'd like you to help me out, if you even care. LOL

I need more exercise. I shelve books and walk around a bit at work, but it's not even close to enough, even though I do it four times a day if I feel like walking.

I'm sitting at my desk at work now. Just by writing a fitness journal, I guess you can call it that—I might get motivated to lose weight. I need to stop looking at the scale unless I'm at a doctor's office for a check-up. (I'll be doing that in 2 weeks from now, and even though it's personal, I wanna discuss because some people might not know about this kind of thing.)

I'll talk more about tomorrow—it's still manifesting in my head.

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10: 41 a.m.

Thank you all to the moon and back for your reviews! *Insert cute tears-of-joy emoji here* I was going to take that rant down because I hadn't meant to be so bitchy and whiny, but you all managed to change my mind with your suggestions. I'll do my best to implement what will work for me.

I hadn't played it in a few weeks because I ran out of the PokeBalls, but I think I'll start playing Pokemon Go when I start my morning walk tomorrow. (There are lots of PokeStops downtown where I work so I'll probably play PokemonGo outside instead of sitting in the lounge area—I draw when I come to work early and the library is the only place where I can focus.) I'll be out shopping anyway. I got my first I-Phone in the mail two nights ago and I'm kind of obsessed with it since I can play PGO the right way. It's only the Iphone 5s, but it's enough for me.

I can also keep track of how many steps I take. I took 7,062 steps yesterday. (My daily goal is at least 10,000.) I want to try to stop sitting so much as possible and stretch my legs. Right now, I don't leave to catch the bus for work until 11:30 this morning, so I'll be typing this and watching some vegan recipes being cooked on Youtube. I've eaten and made so much yummy food this year. Have you heard of Vegan Chickpea Stew? It's really good. I make mine with tomato sauce, black beans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, corn, string beans, carrots, onions, and some spices. You can add chicken or whatever meat you like if you don't want to make it vegan. Either way is tasty, but most of the time I like it without meat.

I've also been eating veggie burgers from Morning Star and Harvest Snap Peas snacks. If I can replace something with a healthier alternative that tastes good, then that's fine. I eat soy products in moderation because it affects my thyroid. Veggie chips are good, too. I forgot this one brand that I've fallen in love with recently, but I'll eat them like crazy. They taste like and have a texture similar to Munchos, but aren't heavily salted, nor greasy. I've been paying close attention to ingredient lists, too. If there's anything I can't pronounce/or want to try to pronounce then I won't buy it.

I'll start walking in the mornings during the week before work since I don't leave until 3:00 in the afternoon. I'll be recording my daily steps and stuff like that to start off with. If I cut bread out of my diet, that means no more Subway sandwiches, not even the Veggie Delight that I get. I can save money by making them into salads…cheaper and tastier. I have some flax seed, chia seeds, and hemp seeds that I need to start using again, too. I don't like the fruit smoothies that people drink lately. The banana smell overpowers everything else and makes me feel sick. I'll stick to water and lemon (I hear that's good for bloating stomachs.)

I ended up talking about food….hee hee. Morning walks and healthy food, cutting out pasta—maybe I'll buy some whole grain pasta and udon and miso soup. That's what I'm thinking about so far.



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Thanks for Your Patience & Understanding

First Published on FictionPress:

 10-26-16


Now I feel like crap because I haven't posted anything on FictionPress in over a month. A lot of stuff has been going on, more of stuff is about to go on, and I need a vacation, etc. Personal stuff that I can tell you about goes like this: If all goes according to plan, I will be a first-time aunt to a baby boy named Jordan Lee on November 23rd. Yay! Yes I am excited and I do plan on spoiling him like crazy.

I've been watching some great movies lately. After checking out Deadpool from work, I laughed my ass off and purchased the DVD/Blu-Ray from Walmart a few days ago. (I'll watch it on Halloween night.) I still need to buy The Nightmare Before Christmas, too. I have Hocus Pocus, Beetlejuice, and Teen Witch (an old 80s movie that's cheesy but I love it anyway because MAGIC, DUH).

Basically, my family is preparing for baby stuff and I'm still not even close to achieving a state of normalcy in my mind and heart yet. It feels like a depression, but I don't want to call it that. Last month, this guy I dated as a college student sent me a Friend Request on Facebook. I didn't accept it right away…I thought about this for 2 days at the most. Instead of immediately accepting it, I sent him a message. Have you heard of the classic ice-breaker game, 2 Truths and a Lie? (Google it if you haven't it, and try it when you're introduced to people you have to get along with but don't know at all.)

We played that for a little while as a way to catch up on each other's lives. We still play it on occasion. I have learned a lot about him in the past few weeks than I ever did while I was dating him in school. I really have to remove the filter from my ears. My point is that we all need to be open to the truth, no matter how ugly it is or if it will hurt our egos. We made a crap ton of mistakes by fearing the other person's opinions of our true intentions. It was a mess that has been forgiven, but not forgotten. All I can do now is support him from the sidelines.


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Self- Reflection Time

I'm a big believer in that thing that Socrates says about the unexamined life not being worth living ( as a writer, the muse refuses to let me sleep a wink because she thinks it's amusing to force me to relive every moment of the day before I can sleep), and I do that a lot. When my thoughts overcrowd my brain, I have to write them down. So here goes.

I've changed a crap ton—more than I first thought. As a writer, the first thing I thought about writing on my own was a series—because I read a ton of series books as a child. I thought my first original work, Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl, was going to be that first series. (It probably would've been if it hadn't gone through ten years of trauma that you can read about in one of the essays I've posted at the end of SERG.) I don't even read series books anymore because most of them are boring Young Adult/Teen books that don't cater to my interests.

On this name, as Sakura Reyna—I'm not thinking about abandoning it for a second, because if you've noticed, I've taken stuff down and re-uploaded it with major life changes. But surprisingly enough, I've still got readers and supportive reviews and I really missed that because as a self-published author, I find myself unable to write anymore. I haven't published anything since May of 2016. Nothing good will come out of forcing myself to create stuff when I simply don't have the energy to devote to it.

So I'm leaving my work online. If people ask me about it, I'll tell them about what I write, but I won't stress about it anymore.

The Internet has dropped from a place of fantastic creative release to an advertisement-filled shout-fest. It's annoying. I'm just so glad that FictionPress isn't like that and never has been.

Thanks so much for being patient with me. It will be a while before I can write fiction again, but this is helping me get some other more personal fustrations out—you may be able to relate to some of them. I don't want to write something that I can't finish or put my whole heart into. That would make me want to quit writing forever.

As a person—and 2016 isn't over yet—the things that I'm really happy about that have changed about me is how I think of food now. I've gotten to taste and eat so many different foods. (I'm cheering up just thinking about it.) I am enjoying vegan/vegetarian alternatives to most of the crap I used to eat now—almond milk and more recently rice milk are two substitutes that have become staples in my diet. (Before you ask, no, it is not an ethics thing with plant/animal based food—it started with my desire to eat healthier and more naturally.)

I'm addicted to vegetable lasgna…if anyone knows of any good recipes, PM me please or let me know in a review—we had some catered at our Staff Development Day on the 10th and it was the best thing ever. I also love chickpeas and black beans. I made them in a stew with other veggies and tomato sauce.

I also tried some of my favorite Japanese foods like udon noodles, soba, and nabe—hot pot—so good. I hate the instant ramen that we eat here in America—I want Japanese ramen now.

Mostly my year so far has been full of food—and oh yeah! I'm losing weight! I've lost six pounds so far thanks to my bike riding and being more active at work. Hee-hee! I haven't been riding at all this week because I'm working more and I have to watch our friend's dog this week, but I'm going to get back to it when she leaves on Saturday.

That's all I've got to say for now. I should have more to post—I hope—when we get closer to the baby's arrival and stuff. Thanks for reading!

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Life Updates: Weight Loss and Diet

First Published on FictionPress:

12-20-16

I don't know how I did it, but apparently I must be doing something right. I finally dropped those 20 pounds I've been complaining about for the past 4 or 5 years…YASSS! I'm still not at my ideal weight for my body type and I need to work on muscle tone, but this is a major victory for me. I can attribute it to my daily bike rides (which I have been slacking on because of the blasted winter chill and picking up extra hours at work), and I've also been eating a lot less meat, walking more as I take my time shelf-reading at work, and going vegan, so awesome!

Except lately I haven't been eating much vegan food, so I'm going to get back on it since the sight of meat makes me sick to my stomach (except white meat chicken breast, I haven't let go of that.) I can handle more soy based products… (Tried baked tofu two weeks ago…yummy). I think I'm going to make some chickpea stew for lunch again. (I also need to break the candy habit…Japanese sweets can take care of that for me…I mean, wagashi (和菓子) , traditional sweets made with red bean paste and rice flour….yummy).

My English is getting worse while according to my neighbor, my Japanese is getting better…(_);; I've been ordering Japanese fashion magazines like Vivi & Eternita, slowly reading hiragana much faster, but I need to pick up on kanji for fun and a brain exercise. Hoping that these changes in my life will be worth it.

I am so glad that I have the 26th-the 2nd of January off. I need to take a digital vacation unless absolutely necessary and spend time with my family. I'll update here again soon, and check out Broken Flowers if you need story ideas. The ones I came up with have retired in my mind. Thanks so much for reading and reviewing my stuff, everyone!


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Tying Up Loose Ends:

2016 Reflections


I don't have any true memories of my childhood to write about. I've been thinking about my life much more in my late twenties than at any other time. This thoughtful part of me will finally be revealed. So, considering that, I only have a timeline of emotions, reactions, and occasionally confused ramblings of a child who is still lost in an adult world—in an adult's body. I don't have a clue about my true purpose here on Earth or even if I'm doing it right—like I'm sure everyone feels this way at one point in their lives.

All I have are memories of feelings that have fragments of scenes in my personal life to attach them to—temporarily. My feelings are always transforming—shedding old skin that's as warm as happiness, worn out like vehicle tires, and sometimes silently dominant like death. How I thought I felt will conflict with how I'm feeling now as memory dusts it off and come out of hiding.

If you are as old as I am and are living in a developed country with a vast wealth of technology and Internet access, you probably remember the social network that started it all: MySpace. (It still exists and you may have access to your old account if you know the email address and password that you used to join it, apparently.) MySpace had these quizzes that you can find if you do a Google search for them. They had questions like: What's your favorite color? What bands do you listen to? I loved answering them just to see which answers would stay the same and which would change over the years. Sometimes answering the questions made me feel like a celebrity—it was easy to pretend that people who checked out your profile were intrigued by you.

I'm fond of the quote by Socrates that goes," An unexamined life is not worth living," Personality tests, no matter how playful or serious, consume me with so much poking and prodding at the darkest and unknown parts in my mind that it has driven me to depression and self-loathing most of the time.

Have you ever stayed up late questioning everything you've done or said in a day? That's my brain in overdrive and crash mode all the time.

Do I regret all that thought? Nope. Most people never take even a minute to be alone and just think—even the pain from your negative self serves as a release—because you have an inner light that'll banish those uncertainties away—even for a short time. Even with all of this, I am swept away in a private relief from my own madness.

I'm not writing this book to look cool or earn places at certain tables. It's finally hit me—what I need and want myself—and I want to share it with as many people as possible—I'll do my best to be logical without losing my poetically honest self. I'll try not to worry so much about consistency. Like I said, my feelings will change rapidly as I recall them.

I've thought too much about myself—even when I was a child in the third grade who kept a super cute Lisa Frank diary. I wrote every meaningless detail about my days in there. My next diary I remember having was a Precious Moments diary. It had those cute kids with the big eyes on it—and angel wings. It was a pure white color that I couldn't bear to get dirty—and came with a lock and heart-shaped key. I carried that one with me to school. Perhaps I wrote in it during classes and while I ate lunch.

Diaries like that only lasted in elementary school.

Now I'm starting this again, but it might be my last one. There's no way I'll be able to confess as much as I have again-not for another few years, anyway.

No matter how much my feelings change, I'll always be honest with myself.

I've always been an impressionable child, and that tendency has yet to go away as a 28-year old woman. I'm grateful, because I don't want to stop learning or reading books. Just understanding certain things and emotions makes me giddy. My eagerness to go beyond the surface of all things makes me feel better when the world is thrown into nonsensical chaos. I've been naïve about this quest for knowledge—I've used it as an excuse to quit trying new things and run away.

I hate the pain and frustration that overcomes my body and soul when I can't figure something out right away. In my time as a working employee, I have been forced to face this weakness and accept it. It's an unbearable fit of gross sobbing, feeling like a failure, and hopelessness. (It's a bit dramatic, that's how overwhelming it is to me.)

I remember reading many books, choosing to isolate myself from others to think about things and imagine another life that wasn't mine, and writing fan fiction and short stories. Excelling in school, with the exception of Math, being thought of as a particularly bright child, a little on the slow side in common sense and social skills…lonely, but not alone-It was my decision to be as I am now. I haven't changed in 28 years and this is the only thing about me that I can smile about.

As a teenager, I had friends that I talked to in school. Most of them lived a bit far from me. When I was 15 years old, I moved to a capital city with my Mommy and sis because Mommy got a new job, I think. It was easier to just move there instead of driving an hour between two cities. I attended three different junior high schools and spent my first two years of high school in this city. Those last two years would be my last ones in my home state.

During that time, I learned that relationships don't last forever. Holding on to people while you can still see them and talk to them and know that they are breathing the same air as you is important. I have always had more acquaintances than close friends. It honestly feels like I don't need people as much as people tell me that I do. Other times, I think I'll die out of loneliness.

People give other people purpose—like babies give new parents' a purpose for living. I haven't found that person or people who I can give that to yet—outside of my family, of course. It's hard to think about things like that when everyone leaves or you end up leaving them.

I hate small talk. I'm not good at it. I'm not great at initiating conversation with strangers. Voicing how I feel has been one thing I really suck at. I'm shy and embarrass myself with the things I want to say sometimes. I feel like everyone judges me after I talk about something I'm passionate about. (Objects of my passion can be a little strange, but as I've grown older, I've learned not to care about what people think.)

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About the Author:


Tiffany Fulton is a library technician and life-long avid reader and writer. She writes short fiction, poetry, and fictional travel essays. All of her work is heavily influenced by Japanese pop and traditional culture, including Japanese animation and graphic novels (manga). 
She likes to read manga, self-help books, and nonfiction in her spare time. She likes cooking and enjoys playing JRPGS on her Playstation 4.


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Also by Tiffany:




Figure I

 by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 6,280. Language: American English. Published: May 22, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » New adultFiction » Romance » Short stories

18 year old Isabella just graduated from high school. Her proud parents gave her a year off to relax. That would be great, but Isabella isn't sure of her plans for the future. She enters a random contest on a whim, and the next thing she knows, she's off to the beautiful island known as Saipan to meet the model of her dreams! Can she fulfill his wish and become his modeling partner?


Daylight Dreams

Words: 10,510. Language: English. Published: January 4, 2011.

This is a vivid collection of poetry covering a range of emotional trials in the span of one year. These were written in the poet's third year of college.

Healing in Color by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 4,020. Language: American English. Published: April 8, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists

Art is healing for everyone. We often use drawings to communicate when words cannot or do not serve our purpose.

黒人女性 (Black Woman: An Art Book) by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 2,830. Language: American English. Published: February 23, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists

Kokujin Josei, (Black Woman) is Tiffany's 8th art book. This book is full of color, specifically focusing on the beauty of Black women through the artist's eyes. She found a way to combine her love of Japanese animation and art styles and who she is as a black woman. She uses her usual inking and pencil methods, smartphone apps, and Manga Studio 5 in her techniques.

Artistic Influences by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 1,960. Language: American English. Published: February 2, 2016. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists

If you like anime or manga (Japanese words for animation and comic book, respectively), then you'll enjoy this book! Using both digital and traditional tools for her art, Tiffany's 7th art book contains works that have been influenced by her favorite artists: Takeuchi Naoko & Tanemura Arina.

Fresh Faces: An ArtBook by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 3,390. Language: American English. Published: August 18, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists

Previously published as a Sarah's Short Travel Blog: A new art book to signal a new direction and use of new mediums in Tiffany's usual art style, influenced by her love of Japanese animation and manga style.

可愛い LIFE (The Cute Life): An Artbook by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 600. Language: American English. Published: August 15, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists

可愛い LIFE (The Cute Life): An Artbook is a slightly more "adult" version of Tiffany's cuter art books. This one contains some bikini-shot art, make-up, and the usual "kawaii" (Japanese word for anything cute, adorable, or childlike) style in her interpretation. This book is a tribute to Japan's manga style of cute. RECOMMENDED FOR AGES 18 & UP

Digital Heart: An Artbook by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 480. Language: American English. Published: April 13, 2015. Categories: Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists, Nonfiction » Art, Architecture, Photography » Artists

19 full-color illustrations with notes from the artist. A small collection of digitally-painted and colored pencil sketches done by author and artist Tiffany Fulton. This art book contains original work done with Manga Studio 5 EX software, Paint.net, Photoshop, & traditional Crayola colored pencils.

Lightning Pancakes: Arian Restaurant & Food Review by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 3,600. Language: American English. Published: March 14, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Cultural & ethnic themes » Cultural interest, general

This is a short restaurant/food review for the Arian restaurant called Lightning Pancakes. It's all about the cuteness of pancakes, as well as how delicious and fun they are!

Amateur Dreams: A Mini-Artbook by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 730. Language: American English. Published: September 26, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Contemporary women, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Graphic Novel

Amateur Dreams: A Mini-Artbook is a compilation of color illustrations drawn by Tiffany Fulton. The pictures are drawn by hand and decorated with the enhancement of Photoshop. This is her third art book.

Aria Diamonds: Exchange Student Essays by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 7,660. Language: English. Published: July 23, 2014. Categories: Essay » Sociology, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban

Aria Diamonds: Exchange Student Essays is a collection of 4 fictional travel essays and 1 interview-essay about the individual experiences of 4 American college students who are studying/living abroad in the country of Aria. Includes a Bonus, In Depth Interview

Chazine Dreams by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 1,500. Language: American English. Published: July 15, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban, Essay » Sociology

Nirvana is an American who works as a translator, interpreter and talent scout for the media conglomerate, Aria Audio Visual while living in Aria as a recent college graduate. This is a Question and Answer Essay about her life and work. How did she come to work in this country? Why didn't she move to the capital city of Avalon like most foreign students do when they come to Aria?

Nice to Meet You, Natalie: A Short Essay by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 740. Language: English. Published: June 2, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban, Essay » Sociology

Natalie is another American exchange student in Avalon, Aria. This is her self-introduction to her professors back at her university in America. Find out Natalie's basic information, such as her interests, likes and dislikes, and why she's in Aria. What is about this country and its people that has captivated her so much?

A Flower Blooms in Aria by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 2,140. Language: American English. Published: May 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban

Theresa is a 24 year old American university student studying abroad in Avalon, the capital city of Aria. She has one assignment: To participate in the culture and take notes. Follow her as she eats, shops, and writes in the Arian English language.

Diamonds in Hell: Short Travel Notes by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 2,100. Language: English. Published: May 16, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban, Essay » Sociology

Diamonds in Hell? Where are they, exactly? How can there be anything of value in a place like that? Avalon, the capital of Aria, has been split into 2 parts known as Heaven and Hell for as long as anyone can remember. Not many people live in Hell, but 26 year old Laila volunteers to live there during her time as an exchange student at her university. What will she find there?

American Arian Exchange: A Short Diary by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 1,620. Language: English. Published: May 9, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Chick Lit, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban

This is a fictional travel diary of an American college exchange student in my fictional country called Aria. A short account of Aasiyah's first few days in a foreign land. She's been learning to read and write in Arian. Includes a copy of the alphabet.

Amateur Beauties by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 890. Language: English. Published: March 31, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Manga, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Graphic novel

This art book contains 11 hand-drawn color illustrations and sketches by Tiffany Fulton. These are drawn to show the artist's cute, amateurish style in a fun way. It includes the artist's notes on each picture--expressing emotions or thoughts she had while drawing each sketch.

Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl Illustration Book by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 1,110. Language: English. Published: January 23, 2014. Categories: Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Manga, Fiction » Graphic novels & comics » Manga

This is the official art book for the novella Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl. It contains 15 assorted digital and hand-drawn illustrations by the author herself. Each illustration is captioned with tidbits and trivia about each character. *****

Red Lily Nights & Other Vignettes by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 6,890. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Short stories - single author, Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction

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Red Lily Nights and Other Vignettes is a modest anthology of flash fiction and vignettes that span fantasy, romance, and the paranormal. It's experimental fiction that takes you to different locations and magnifies moments in time.

Sweet Phantasms (A Mini Anthology of Vignettes) by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 3,070. Language: English. Published: December 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » Fantasy » Short stories

Learn about 3 fairies who are getting adjusted to their powers and possible dangers that may lay ahead for them. Written for fun.

Goofy Lesson: A Vignette by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 3,180. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Urban

Patience is Heaven's newest teacher, but these kids are driving her crazy. A short vignette, companion to SERVE ME LOVE.

Serve Me Love (A Vignette) by Tiffany Fulton

. Words: 3,540. Language: English. Published: November 30, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Anthologies » Flash fiction, Fiction » Romance » Adult

Nadia has wanted Anthony ever since he transferred to Avalon Private Academy for the Gifted, but many things set her apart from her desired one--the most striking being economic status. Nadia's friends are convinced that her "crush" on Anthony is just a phase, but even if it is, she'll do ANYTHING to be with him. Her chance to snag him comes during one of the craziest weeks at the Academy.

Vagabond Lovers by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 5,050. Language: English. Published: November 9, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Short stories, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary

Vagabond Lovers is a short story of 5035 words. Amaranthine is an exception to a mere mortal’s standard of beauty. She actually meets other standards for crazy. On the outside she’s a goddess. On the inside: not so much. When she meets Kyle on her search for inspiration, she becomes dangerously possessive and has no plans on letting him go.

Weight of Her Heart: A Poetry Collection by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 4,310. Language: English. Published: October 16, 2013. Categories: Fiction » Poetry » Themes & motifs, Fiction » Poetry » Contemporary Poetry

A few poems about the desire to protect the people we love, from one woman’s point of view... EXCERPT: ~Safe Haven~ Are you in pain? I want to hold you. I want to do something for you Supporting you gives me warmth and courage

Sophia's High: A Short Story Words: 4,930. Language: English. Published: August 31, 2013. Sophia's a former drug addict whose been undergoing 4 years of rehab in a laboratory in downtown Avalon, also known as Hell. At least, that's what she was told when Dr. D.K. picked her up then. When she finds out the lethal truth about her treatment, it's time for her to leave. But can she truly escape the lab after being too-far gone in her body and mind?

Maybe You're In Love by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 90,510. Language: English. Published: July 14, 2013

Shaylee doesn’t understand why the Academy’s most popular guy would even look at, much less talk to her. In fact, every time she’s around the smart and sexy Nicholas, all she can do is blush and get tongue-tied. There's a reason for that, but...

A Loner's Effusion: A Short Diary

Words: 4,170. Language: American English. Published: May 30, 2013

There’s nothing remarkable or particularly interesting about 22 year old Bronsyn Lee, besides her unisex name. She’s still trying to figure out who she is as she enters her second year at Aria Central University, and her plan is to stay invisible while doing so. Being bilingual and wearing wigs doesn’t really help at all. In fact, it makes her stand out even more to a certain Casanova on campus

Lovely Soldier's Idol Ride (A Mini Anthology)

Words: 50,800. Language: English. Published: April 15, 2013.

Being a college student isn't so lovely when you've got hypothyroidism or best-friends-turned-lovers-turned exes who want to drag you into the dark abyss with them. Being a college-bound high school graduate would be a lot more fun if you didn't have to worry about giving birth to the universe's demise.

Starlight Gifts (Soldier Evolution's Origin Story)

Language: English. Published: February 14, 2013

Bunny Lilka is just an ordinary, cute teenager with a big appetite. (Even though she forgets to bring her lunch with her to school sometimes)…When her mother is brutally murdered by a creature called a Lesser Demon, Bunny’s life is no longer quite so ordinary. And as the mysterious talking wolf cub named Kamyu reveals, her life was never meant to stay that way.

Fluttering Souls: A Short & Bloody FairyTale

Words: 11,240. Language: English. Published: December 31, 2012.

An ending of something usually signals the beginning of something else. When Yasha’s father executed her for the death of her sister, her soul was split from her body and reincarnated on Earth as a human of all things. What is the soul of a demon doing on a planet she abhors? Includes illustrations

An Episode of Writer's Block

Words: 1,310. Language: American English. Published: November 7, 2012.

Have you ever thought about turning your moments of Writer's Block into a story? This author has. Sometimes our most frustrating moments can make excellent stories. This is a one-plot kick-in-pants for fellow writers.

Ride on Morning Star by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 8,670. Language: English. Published: September 3, 2012.

How do you live in "Heaven" when the people who you call family are the ones you should be running away from? 18 year old Katherine lives in Heaven, but she feels no love in this Paradise. One night when her stepfather’s drunken attempt to molest her fails, Katherine runs away—only to wind up in the arms of Austin, the current leader of the country’s most feared motorcycle gang of thieves.

Crushed Flowers

Words: 2,780. Language: English. Published: June 28, 2012.

Shira Nelson just won Aria Audio Visual's Debut Author contest, but everyone won't shut up about her victory. After a moment of reflection on this, she hears a voice calling her name. Problem is, she lives on the other side of the city of Avalon's Golden Gate, nicknamed "Heaven," where the clean, wanted, and rich citizens reside.

Divine Jester by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 2,860. Language: English. Published: May 4, 2012.

16 year old Arryn and her friend Briana are thick as thieves, and nothing could tear that apart...unless you count a force beyond the Earth's comprehension into the picture. Arryn has a pearl necklace that's attracted a ghost who is hell bent on killing her. This is a one-act screenplay.

Restless Summer

Words: 2,700. Language: English. Published: April 21, 2012. \

Erica Smith came over to the countryside to start a new life-new career and everything. But a deadly fire might leave her dreams up in smoke, and perhaps a little more than she expected...Short Story

Secret Lovers: Short Smut by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 4,480. Language: English. Published: March 23, 2012 Arielle and Owen unknowingly give each other support and will do whatever it takes to be able to do so, even if it means that Owen must cheat on his girlfriend and Arielle will betray her conscience. Rated for sexual content. Short smut

Absolute Virgin: A Short Story

Words: 5,410. Language: American English. Published: March 15, 2012.

Anai has always loved to dance--ever since she was a child and has never questioned it--until now. "Dancing is the ultimate expression—it’s the only one you have,” She told me when I was six years old. I haven’t forgotten it. My name is Anai, and I dance to live. There’s no other choice for me. If I don’t dance, then I’ll become one of their dolls."

Perfectly Cute

Words: 3,670. Language: English. Published: February 18, 2012.

This is a 580-word essay about a cute cafe the author discovered the in realms of her imagination and the city of Chazine in Aria. The cafe is called Perfectly Cute (written in Arian as ǝʇnƆ ʎlʇɔǝɟɹǝԀ). This was a fun place for girls and young women who want to be cute, as well as eat cute things.

Idol Dreams by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 15,210. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2012.

Idol Dreams is comprised of two previously published short stories: Idol Siren & Idol Scene. This is your backstage pass to the world of 2 very different teenage celebrities. What do they both have in common? Never mess with a determined girl, especially when she's an idol.

Idol Scene by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 8,040. Language: English. Published: January 22, 2012.

17 year old Amaranta is living the teenage dream. Three years ago, she was chosen out of 1000 applicants to play the part of her childhood heroine in one of her favorite comic book-turned-live action dramas. Now you can read part of Amaranta's blog with a following that matches her career--which many aspiring starlets can only dream of.

Lovely Delirium by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 5,610. Language: English. Published: January 12, 2012.

23 year old Reyna isn't your typical college girl. She's sweet, but a little naive, and she doesn't seem to have much going for her. Reyna knows exactly why she came to Aria Central University--to get the skills needed to become a better writer. But will the stress of bickering friends-turned-lovers, an unpredictable roommate, and an autoimmune disease with no cure drive her up the wall?

Weird Pictures: An Artbook by Tiffany Fulton

Language: English. Published: January 2, 2012.

Weird Pictures: An Artbook is Tiffany's 4th artbook. The pictures are drawn by hand and decorated with the enhancement of Photoshop.

Idol Siren Words: 10,540. Language: English. Published: September 28, 2011.

16 year old Alicia is trying to find her niche in life according to her dead mother's wishes as well as for the father she never knew. So how does she expect to do that when the all-girls' school she attends is as stiff and dull as the headmistress who runs it and her heart isn't exactly set on fulfilling anyone's expectations but her own? Easy. Alicia decides to turn another world upside down.

Acid Dream: A Poem

Words: 3,000. Language: English. Published: July 22, 2011

"Not all those who wander are lost."― J.R.R. Tolkien. The narrator saw a supernatural vision-was it a Higher Power or something else? Maybe it was just a dream...or it might be the drugs. A short poem.

Up All Night: Conversations with Kassy

Words: 2,850. Language: American English. Published: July 22, 2011.

Conversations with Kassy is a fictional transcript of a television episode of the popular late-night TV program from Aria Audio Visual, UP ALL NIGHT. This episode features Arielle Greta, also known as the popular poet star Kassina (Aria's equivalent of popular singers/songwriters). She talks about her childhood, little things that make an impact like her speech, etc.

Short Character Study: Malaika

Words: 5,390. Language: English. Published: May 17, 2011.

A short peek into Malaika's general interests. This is a sample blueprint of how Tiffany explores character motivation for her stories. Use this an inspiration for your next character!

Cherry Blossom Lust: A Poem by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 3,050. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2011

Our female narrator accepts and buries her lustful emotions--as well as her guilt--in this poem. Sensual and short.

Azure Gifts: Poetry Inspired by the Sky

Words: 5,590. Language: English. Published: March 17, 2011.

A small collection of poetry with imagery of the sky, wrapped carefully around some of the poet's strongest emotions including self-induced heartbreak, intense bursts of happiness, and friendship.

Soldier Evolution Revolutionary Girl by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 17,090. Language: English. Published: January 30, 2011.

Bunny Lilka thought that she was just another high school student bound for college like anyone else. She couldn't have been more wrong. This year is the one she and her friends were supposed use as vacation time from being superheroes--a sort of reward for stopping Lord Vinsfeld's plot for world domination. But he's back, and he wants much more than the world: He wants HER. But why?

Adult Struggles: A Poem & Monologue by Tiffany Fulton

Words: 3,740. Language: English. Published: January 20, 2011.

Noreen graduated from Aria Central University two years later than she anticipated--and as luck would have it, she finished school in a recession! She wastes her time shopping, taking photos of herself at Avalon Prime Mall, and sleeping with older men for money. When her mother decides to kick her out, it means she has to fend for herself. Can she do it?

Short Character Study: MaiRead

Words: 4,730. Language: American English. Published: January 17, 2011.

MaiRead (pronounced MAY-READ) is an Aria Central university student with many plans for the future. This is a sample blueprint of how Tiffany explores character motivation for her stories. Use this an inspiration for your next character!




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