letter to a lover

i want someone to tell stories to. i want to walk nowhere in particular while holding hands, and i want to point things out and say what they make me think of. i want to talk to someone about why missing posters and sky blue make me cry. it feels like when you’ve been hurt and you have a band-aid and you’re waiting for someone to say what happened? i want someone to notice when my eyes tear up, when i flinch, when i tremble. i want someone to pay attention to the song i’m singing to myself and ask what it means to me. i want someone to know and understand me and not hate it. and i know that is too much to ask for.

happy valentine’s day! <3

the only date i have today is with my school’s guidance counselor. i have to register for next year’s classes and i have no clue which ones i want to take. i’d like to do a more advanced art class and band/percussion, but theatre also sounds fun.

i’m going on a youth retreat this weekend. i went last year, too, with my pal n (although i don’t think he’s coming this time). the lodge we’ll be staying at is up in the mountains, and there’s a forest, stream, and i think a meadow area as well. i’ll be bringing my camera, and if the retreat is as unstructured as last year, i’ll have plenty of time to take pictures.

last thing: my brother is in his school’s production of the sound of music. he somehow convinced the director to let him do a roundoff back tuck in one scene. the first performance is tomorrow and i think i’ll give him some fake flowers that i found in the attic.

xo apollo



blossoms from emily’s tree.

a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. (romeo and juliet)

roses in pennsylvania.

i’ll send you the sunset i love the most. (tokyo // owl city)

roses at a downtown café.

i am beginning to think
that i am a liar
i can’t open my mouth
without crooked words tumbling
over crooked teeth
like when i shrugged and said
we’re kids
we can’t love each other yet
and i felt aphrodite
dewy rose petals caught in her
dark dripping curls
twist her bruised lips in sorrow
because what is young love
but praying you’ll make it
while reaching for sweaty
shaky hands in the dusk

xo apollo

december memoir

documenting a month through poems and journal entries and song lyrics so it doesn’t get lost in the gray fog that is my life.

i. another year of loving something just out of reach. you are a ghost of a kiss.

ii. it hurts that you are replacing me and i have no one to take your spot. i am tired of missing you and not being able to do anything about it.

iii. i wish i didn’t really kiss the mirror when i’m on my own. oh god, i’m gonna die alone. (teen idle // marina and the diamonds)

v. i haven’t been this angry in a long time. i know that she is just trying to help, and that i am being completely unreasonable. but, god, she is ignorant and i want to break things.

vi. i don’t blame you for being you, but you can’t blame me for hating it. (a little less sixteen candles, a little more “touch me” // fall out boy)

vii. i ran across the city to get to you. cold air, street lamps, heavy breaths, tight chest, shoes pounding against concrete. with every step, i thought, i am getting closer to my future or closer to heartbreak. but i missed you. and i sprinted through the crowded sidewalks again before missing you a second time.

viii. i’d promise you anything for another shot at life. (disloyal order of water buffaloes // fall out boy)

ix. i had a dream where we danced together as it snowed. i have been smiling all day.

i just want to dance with you. i’ve never learned how and i don’t think you have, either, but it doesn’t matter. i want to hold your hands and sway and spin and have you fall in love with me again.

can we try? i don’t care if your palms sweat or if you step on my feet or if the music is bad. just dance with me, please.

x. and i’ve been talking to God, asking for just a little help with you, but it’s hopeless. it’s not the first time, but this one really carved it in. tell your new friends that they don’t know you like i do. it’s over. i wanna see you again, i wanna feel it again. (oh well, oh well // mayday parade)

xi. i am at a party with sweets in my hands, smiling with my friends, and something goes wrong. suddenly everyone is staring at me and expecting the right words from my mouth and the world is caving in, and i can run and cover my ears, but i can still hear the laughter.

xii. one track mind, one track heart. if i fail, i’ll fall apart. maybe it is all a test, cause i feel like i’m the worst so i always act like i’m the best. (oh no! // marina and the diamonds)

xiii. anger, even when it’s not directed at me, makes me hate myself. maybe anger is contagious. maybe one person’s cruelty sparks it in others until everyone’s fists are raised and tears feel like acid on your cheeks. if you could just say you’re sorry — would that be so hard? — i could lower my hands and leave you without guilt tucked into my suitcase.

xiv. the best way to make it through with hearts and wrists intact is to realize that two out of three ain’t bad. (i’m like a lawyer with the way i’m always trying to get you off (me & you) // fall out boy)


xv. i am afraid i will not go to heaven. i have been told so many times that i do not deserve it.

xvi. mama who bore me, mama who gave me no way to handle things, who made me so sad. mama, the weeping. mama, the angels. no sleep in heaven, or bethlehem. (mama who bore me (reprise) // spring awakening)

xvii. i woke up before dawn and ran outside in my pajamas to watch the sunrise. water dripped down my forehead  and the sky was pink and orange and i was freezing. it was beautiful and you never realize just how little you matter until you are huddled under a watercolor sunrise.

xviii. i’m just a moment, so don’t let me pass you by. we could be a story in the morning, but we’ll be a legend tonight. (outlines // all time low)

xix. life goes on. life goes on, even when you don’t want it to, when you want to pause it and live in that moment because things are good.

things were not good, but i had you and a dream of leaving, and that made them good. i do not want life to go on if you are not in it. i want to live in a moment when you are still here.

xx. best friends, ex-friends to the end. better off as lovers and not the other way around. (bang the doldrums // fall out boy)

xxi. my friends and i cuddled on the fold-out bed in the basement that creaks when you move and pokes you with its springs in the most tender spots. we were laughing, hands intertwined, radiating warmth and lazy joy. i said that i could never be the one to end things because i wouldn’t be able to live with the guilt of breaking someone’s heart, and they agreed.

i didn’t know that you were thinking of ways to say goodbye. i wonder if it would have made a difference if you’d been able to hear us sift through our memories and remember how things began. i am both angry and relieved that you do not seem to bear the same guilt that i do, and i don’t know how that can be.

xxii. i would’ve married you in vegas, had you given me the chance to say “i do.” (vegas // all time low)

xxiii. i said that 2016 was the worst year of my life, because i lost you for the first time and nothing had ever hurt more. now i am saying that 2017 was the worst, because i lost you again and it hurt more than before, more than i imagined anything could hurt. today, it is 2018, and i am afraid that it will be the worst year of my life, because i think i am going to lose you again, permanently. maybe i will recover from this, but not if you are gone forever.

xxiv. i came out grieving, barely breathing and you came out alright. but i’m sure you’ll take his hand, i hope he’s better than i ever could have been. my mistakes were not intentions, this is a list of my confessions i couldn’t say. pain is never permanent but tonight it’s killing me. (december // neck deep)

xo apollo

november memoir

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documenting a month through poems and journal entries and song lyrics so it doesn’t get lost in the gray fog that is my life.

i. i have a loft bed. when the lights are out and i’m climbing the ladder, the bunched up blankets take the form of someone curled up under the covers. a monster, something that looks like me, has stolen my spot.

but then i think, perhaps i’m the monster and the girl in the bed is the real apollo. i’ve always been sure that i’m the human one, but maybe there’s no way to know.

there’s never anything in the bed, of course.

ii. don’t depend on me to ever follow through on anything, but i’d go through hell for you. (going away to college // blink-182)

iii. there is a boy that i’m very fond of. he goes to a church close to my house and sometimes my mom will take me to see him after the service. i haven’t gone in over a month, i guess, even though being near him is all i want.

i have a reason. i was upset at myself, and i thought the best punishment was to stay away from him. and i was right, of course. nothing hurts more than having a chance to see him and saying no. and he won’t read this, but i’m sorry. i’m so, so sorry.

iv. you were the last good thing about this part of town. (grand theft autumn/where is your boy // fall out boy)

v. i keep having to stop and think about how familiar everything feels. i think it’s the sweatshirts and autumn air and shoes against pavement and the loneliness.

vi. think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts. ((headfirst for halos // my chemical romance)

vii. i don’t really talk to myself anymore. i talk to you, in my head. you never answer, of course. so in that way, it’s not very different from talking to you when you’re next to me.

viii. i need you to believe me, can you trust me, that what you see is not what i see? the reflection in the mirror’s telling lies. cause nothing you have done could change how much i love you. (invisible // disciple)

ix. i am too quiet. i am too sad. i am too slow. i am too small. i am too difficult. i am too little or i am too much. i am never enough; i am never just right.

x. if you died i’d hope you’d haunt me, cause you know i’d miss you bad. (i’ll always be around // waterparks)

xi. i am tired and i don’t want to go to school tomorrow and i don’t want to keep thinking about you, but i know i’m going to anyway. i am so tired. i want to cry but there’s nothing there.

xii. shatter your skull, fight pain with more pain. forget who you are, unburden your load. forget in six weeks you’ll be back on the road. (freeze your brain // heathers)

xiii. please don’t leave me completely. you know that would shatter me and all my hopes for the future. i would miss you forever, even if you don’t miss me.

xiv. allow me to exaggerate a memory or two, where summers lasted longer than, well, longer than we do. when nothing really mattered except for me to be with you. but in time we forgot and we all grew. (folkin’ around // panic! at the disco)

xv. this season has been ruined for me. everything that happened in these colder months a year ago are still haunting me. i catch myself staring at calendars and remembering how each day felt like the worst one i had ever survived.

xvi. when you go, just know that i will remember you. if living was the hardest part, we’ll then one day be together. and in the end we’ll fall apart, just like the leaves change in colors. and then i will be with you, i will be there one last time. (it’s not a fashion statement, it’s a deathwish // my chemical romance)

xvii. i read a book where two best friends ran away together. they stayed in a crappy hotel by the ocean and drank and planned their future, listening to the sighing of the waves drifting in through the window. they slept side by side, dreaming together, content with their nearness. i cried for hours after i read it because that is all i want for you and me, and even something so simple is out of reach for us.

xo apollo

nano progress report

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hey, guys! here’s some news on how my nano project is going. (making this post is just another way that i’m procrastinating. help.)

word count

i’ve written 10,591 words out of 15,000!

according to some graph on the site, my daily word count is a bit screwed up. sometimes i’ll write a few hundred more words than is necessary. others days, i’ll reach the bare minimum. i don’t know why i do that, but i’m currently about two days ahead of schedule, so it’s cool.

the first week was really tough. i hadn’t written anything since nano 2016, so my skills were a little rusty. i had to discover my style again, but now it’s going smoothly. well, as smoothly as writing can go, which isn’t really saying much.


i wasn’t able to do much plotting before nano because i switched stories last minute. when i write, i like having something to follow, so i started freaking out when i reached the end of my preplanned plot in chapter three. i have this huge empty space in the plot (between my characters leaving titan and reaching earth) that i’m not sure what to fill with. guess i’ll just wing it.


i finally decided on a name for “tommy,” the annoying kid that sneaks onto their spaceship: keirnan. he’s named after this kid in my co-op who was a couple grades below me. i’m pretty sure that boy and his siblings are demons, but *sips tea* that’s none of my business.

i didn’t flesh out my characters very well before i started writing, so it’s exciting to see their personalities develop as the story progresses. zen is a sweet, soft child that must be protected at all costs; taz is already done with everyone’s crap; and lulu has somehow morphed into izzy, my best friend (brilliant, kind of rude, has crazy ideas). a good thing about this is that if i ever get stuck on what she would say/do in a certain situation, i can text izzy and get her opinion.


some of you asked me to post an excerpt for my novel, so here you go. this is where i am in the story right now. it’s not the greatest thing i’ve ever written, but i’m ok with that, because i’m more concerned with getting the words down than if they’re good ones.

Sleep has almost wrapped its soft arms around me when there’s a thud close by. Then a moan. I open an eye and glance around. Zen is still out cold in the front, likely getting drool on the collar of his favorite sweater. He probably wasn’t the one who disturbed me, then.

“Lu?” I rasp, my voice scratchy and too deep.

“Nope.” She sounds tired. It must be awful, having to pay attention to the creeping traffic for this long. “I thought it was you?”

I shake my head. Not that she’d be able to see.

Maybe it was Zen, after all, twitching in his sleep. Or it could have been the ship. I don’t know. I lay my head back and yawn.


I jerk up. There it is again. “Lu –”

“Check on the engine, would you?” she asks distractedly. I can practically hear her fighting off a nap, struggling to keep herself aware of the pilots around us.

“I don’t know how –”

“Just do it! Unless you want to fly?”

“Uh, I can take care of it. No problem.” The engine is hidden in the floor, concealed by a trapdoor. It’s located right next to the emergency exit, which means that if I accidentally pick the wrong door, I will be sucked out into space and hit by the ship behind ours. That would be an unfortunate way to end the trip. “Lu –”

“Left one.”

“My left, or . . .?”


“Right, right.”

“No, left.”

I decide to shut up before we get any deeper. Yanking up the trapdoor, I bend close to the engine, craning my ear toward the whirring gears. Heat radiates up from the cavity, warming my cheek. “It sounds fine,” I tell Lulu, shrugging.

She growls in frustration. “Still. Try whacking it with my wrench. The toolbox is in one of the cabinets.”

I let the door fall. “Which one?”

“How should I know?”

I don’t even bother this time. I work my way around the ship systematically, opening each cabinet in turn, giving myself no more then a second to scan the inside for the toolbox. When I’ve peeked into all but the two closest to Zen, I hear a cough from the nearest one. And this time, I’m sure it’s not the engine, or any of us. “Lulu, there’s . . . ah, well, there’s someone in the ship with us.”

Lulu tenses, her back straight, her hands tightening around the yoke. She speaks slowly, her voice low and strained. “I can’t help you right now. The traffic is letting up. Don’t do anything till we get close to the police ships up ahead, where the accident was. They can help.”

I face the stowaway’s hiding spot, preparing myself to strike. “We can’t. No offense, but the fake IDs might not be convincing enough. We can’t risk it.”

She snarls again. After a moment, she breathes in a trembling voice, “Open it.”

Whoever is in here is scaring Lulu. I can’t allow this. I reach forward, rip open the cabinet, and launch a kick into the small space.

“Ow!” the intruder yelps, followed by whimpering. “Holy Pluto, dude, what was that for?”

My mouth drops in disbelief. Curled up in the cupboard is none other than the bratty nephew of our neighbor Nadala. “Keirnan?!” I sputter, letting go of the door in my shock. It catches his finger as it slams closed.

“Ow, ow, ow!” he wails.

“Lulu!” I screech, rousing Zen with my cry. “Keirnan’s in our ship! Our freaking ship, Lu!”

Suddenly, we’re picking up speed, everyone’s screaming, I’m losing my footing and toppling over. The world inside our fixer-upper, peaceful just moments before, is in utter disarray.

“Zen, take over!” Lulu orders, leaping out of her seat. “It’s just like driving your hovercraft. Well, not really. You’ll figure it out.” She tugs me off the ground and we crowd around the cabinet.

My brother, having just returned to consciousness in a loud, confusing world, sobs as he throws himself at the controls. The ship rears up and down, the result of shaky hands. Vehicles around us blare their horns irritably.

i need to write some more today and decide keirnan’s fate.

anyway, how are your nano projects going? do you think you’re going to reach your word count goal in time?

xo apollo

tips for writing stuttering

i thought i’d post some writing tips in honor of nano. i’m going to be talking about stuttering, because that’s something that lots of writers get wrong.

i’ve seen stuttering done like this countless time: “w-w-well, i . . . i m-mean, you k-know . . .” and it bothers me, because that’s not how people actually stutter. not how i stutter, anyway. it might be different for others.

i don’t trip over my words aloud as much i used to, but i still do it all the time when i’m thinking. i’ll just be talking to myself in my head, and then i’ll reach a mental roadblock. that’s what it feels like. i know the word, i know how to say it, but my mind won’t let me. i’ll just trail off instead while i try to force it out. i usually end up having to change the way the sentence is worded so i can avoid the one that my brain isn’t letting me say.

when i’m stuttering out loud, it’s not just because i’m nervous/shy. sometimes i stutter when i’m excited, when i’m angry, when i’m talking about something personal. and like i just mentioned, i’ll reach a roadblock. if i try to say the word, my throat feels tight and i am literally incapable of saying it.

here are some alternative ways to write stuttering, besides the classic way:

– have them repeat some words

– have them trail off and restart their sentence

– show them getting frustrated/embarrassed

– have them begin the sentence one way, then reword it

– have them pronounce a word incorrectly a few times before getting it right

– have them mix up their words: “i played with my cat today” becomes “i played with my today cat.”

i hope this was helpful! if you’d like to add onto this, leave your tips in the comments.

xo apollo