Fairy Tale

Budgeting… Our Goals


As with anything we do, we need to set some realistic and obtainable goals.  Not a comfortable goal. On the contrary, our goals and plans should always be a little more, a little harder, and a little higher than our present comfort level.  We should always strive to do ‘more’ than our current level or else we are just treading water and getting nowhere. That’s not a way to find success. That’s simply surviving.

One of the keys to success is to always be rising, gaining, and moving toward the end of our agenda. We have to set our eyes on the finish line, the pinnacle of what we want to achieve, and then be able to see, understand, and recognize the path to get to that line.  This is where we often mess up and stumble, leading to our failure in reaching the goals we set for ourselves.

In no way am I saying NOT to dream big. On the contrary… dream big; dream really big.  Write those dreams down, even the ones that everyone says are impossible.  Even the ones we think are impossible or not for us. We can’t run a race without knowing what kind of race we’re in, or where the finish line is, otherwise we’re just running wild with no direction. We have to know where we are going in order to know if we’re traveling in the right direction.

Once we’ve written our list of dreams, we now need to take a step back, remove the emotion from those dreams, and start setting realistic, obtainable goals.  We have to take the big dream and identify step A and step Z. Those are the two hardest steps to identify – A. What is it and where does it begin?  Z. What does it become and where does it end? We can’t set all the goals between A and Z without FIRST identifying those two components.  Those are the base to our equation for success. Equally, this same equation can be used for every area of our lives.

Who am I?   –  Who do I want to be?

What do I weigh?  – What do I want to weigh?

What can I do?  – What do I want to be able to do?

Where am I?  – Where do I want to be?

How much do I have? – How much do I want to have?

How do I feel? – How do I want to feel?

Where have I been? – Where do I want to go?

What position do I hold? – What position do I want to hold?


You see what I’m trying to convey?  We have to first identify the truth of our present state and then set the goal of the state we want to achieve. But, we can’t lie to ourselves or else the goals we set will unravel.  They won’t hold when the pressure comes, when temptation comes, when the truth reveals itself.  The number one failure to any goal we set for ourselves is self-deception and dishonesty. We lie to ourselves more than anyone else lies to us, or even the lies we tell to others.

One of the keys of success for making a change to any of our bad habits and behaviors, failures and weaknesses, including taking responsibility for who we are, is being able to recognize the truth about ourselves.  We have to accept that truth in order to make a decision to change it. In order to enter the race to achieve any particular goal in our life, we have to first understand where we are, who we are, and what state we are in – and then recognize the goal of where we want to go, what we want to do, and what we want to achieve.  It has to be done in honesty.

Goals are all about change; changing our present state, our present atmosphere, our present company, to a different state in order to achieve a different result. Change can’t happen without honesty. Change can’t happen without recognizing the truth. But once we face the truth, once we accept it, and we’ve recognized our A and Z components, NOW we are capable of setting our budget of goals.  As with any budget we can over budget or under budget.  If we over-budget, we set impossible and unrealistic goals, and are not going to be able to meet those goals and setting ourselves up to fail.  If we under-budget and set too easy of goals, then it won’t be a challenge and we’re not really changing anything; only running in a circle of what we already have. This is the cycle that many of us often fall into – and if you take an honest look at your past behaviors these are the type of goals that leads to those spherical habits – what’s often known as yo-yo diets or insanity – doing the same things over and over and over and yet expecting different results, so we keep making the same mistakes and we keep failing.  It’s why we can’t beat our addictions or overcome our weaknesses. It’s why we can’t change our lives or circumstances because we can’t change our environment, change who or what we hang out with, whom or what we allow in our lives, who or what we allow to influence us and speak into our lives.

I.e. – if we want to be successful and responsible, we have to stop hanging out with unsuccessful and irresponsible people, or making unsuccessful decisions. If we want to be healthy and fit, we can’t surround ourselves with lazy, unfit people or regularly visit the fast food restaurants, stock our fridges and pantry with junk food, or eat out all the time. If we want to be kind and generous, we can’t hang out with selfish and hateful people.  If we want to be happy and faithful, we have to stop hanging out with unhappy cheaters.  If we don’t want drama in our lives, we have to stop inviting it into our homes. We are what we do, what we eat, who we hang out with, and what we spend our time and money on.

Once we face our truth, and recognize our A and Z, we need to set our budget – break down all the steps between A and Z (B-Y) into progressive, obtainable mini-goals.  First break them in half (B-M), then break those sections in half (C-G), then those in half (D & E), doing the same for the other side, and so on and so forth until you have a clear path filled with plans and goals that will help you reach success. If we don’t like any part of who we are, where we are, or what state we are in, then change it. Recognize our A and Z, make our goals, and then set a realistic budget to meet all the internal steps until we find success.

Here’s an example:

Face the Truth: Always dreamed of writing a novel, but after starting a dozen stories, never seem to finish them. Life always gets in the way, and nothing ever gets completed.

Dream: Finish a 50,000 word novel.

A – Start Writing Novel – “Once Upon a Time”.  Z – Complete Writing Novel – “The End”

B-M – Break the novel down into increments and chapters so that M= 25,000 words (half our novel) (averaging 2000 words per chapter for 12 chapters) and then set our budget to achieve a chapter a day, or a chapter a week.  Outline those chapters of what we want to achieve by that part of the story, and set our goals for each chapter.  Then, do the same for the other half of the novel, so that we have a complete outline of mini-goals we want to achieve from A to Z.

Then COMMIT to those obtainable, reachable goals we have set, create an atmosphere to fulfill those goals, budget the equipment and material we need to achieve them, and make the time and room to get them done. Without commitment, we WILL fail. Kismet, Murphy, life, God, the supernatural, and everything and everyone will present obstacles and temptations to get us off our goals, detour us from our path, lead us astray, or get us to give up.  Nothing good comes easy or without effort. We MUST have commitment or we have already failed.  Budget our goals. They’re important. We are important. Our dreams are important.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Life, memes, Muses, Musing, Philosophy, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Cinderella Getting Restless

I’m so discouraged.  I’m trying to stay positive, because those of you who know me, know that I’m always chasing rainbows and glass slippers despite the world constantly telling me I’m a fool for doing things the way I do them, or thinking the way I think.  This is also the same world that wants to teach me about love, show forgiveness, obtain success, and walk with integrity. Have you seen the world’s version of those things?  Have you seen their interpretation?  No way!  That’s not for me.

I’ve accepted the fact that I walk my own path, knock down boxes that people try to place me into, and swim against the current, walk the narrow path, shovel the ashes, and any other metaphor that will describe how odd and out of touch with what is known as common that I am. I am covered in cinder. (It’s no secret.  Some people try to be different, spend their whole lives in a movement (along with a billion-other people), trying to prove it.  I try to be common and normal, to fit in, to act the part, but I fail – according to the world. But…. BUT, I succeed at being me.

So, having said that, can you imagine how frustrating it is for me trying to date?

I’m going to pause there for a little while. I’ll try to continue this thought later. I’m sure as I try to sort this confusion and discouragement out, and try to get a grip on this thing called dating, I’m going to go through many stages. These stages are very like those that go through addiction and depression counseling. 

This is stage one – acceptance.  I accept who and what I am. I’m an odd duck.  Took a loooooooonnnnnnnnngggggg time to get there, but I’m there.  I’m a princess without a prince, a castle, a father’s love, or a mother’s touch. I’ve been abandoned in a selfish world. Now what? Where do I go from here? What does this mean for the relationships in my life? Will I always be the woman that most men find fascinating, amazing, love the way I think, appreciate the way I am, and value me for my character, my integrity, my creativity and talent, but fall in love with ‘common’ women?  I gotta think about this.  

Till next time,

~Lost Princess


24-Hours Later

Okay, I’ve thought about it. I’m sure there’s an odd duck out there like me who experiences the same difficulties I do, who dreams as I do, who dares to hope as I do, and refuses to give up no matter if the world calls them a fool.  I know there is a man out there that will love the way I love, who hopes the way I hope, who cares the way I care.  I don’t need a fairy godmother to give me a pretty dress and a pair of glass slippers to dance. But,  It doesn’t mean I’ll ever meet my Prince Charming and we fall in love with each other. There’s no guarantee in life. I’ve witnessed too many people die alone to believe that “other” fairy tale – that as long as I’m patient and show up to the dance that my ‘happily-ever-after’ will come along.  I not stupid.  I know damned well that I may never find my soul mate.  Actually, that’s not true. I’ve found my soul-mate twice already.  Once when I was a teenager, though a few years later he died.  The second time just recently, but he left.  I’m hoping the third time will be the charm… (pun intended).  But, I know free will, the ability to choose, determines much.  I can’t make someone love me, fall in love with me, want me, or choose me. I believe in magic, especially in the magic of love, but I don’t hold a magic wand. I refuse to manipulate and force a man to love or be with me in any way.  I don’t want someone because I need them or they need me, only because I want them and they want me.  I REFUSE to accept anything less.  That makes me odd.

I’ve had many opportunities to be in relationships, to not be alone, to have a companion, to have a lover, to have a convenience.  But, I believe I deserve so much more.  I want love. Real love. Deep love. When I love, I love with my whole heart, and so I want someone to love me with their whole heart.  I’m not their toy, their distraction, their fantasy, or their temporary place-holder.  I’ve been told so many times, and left behind for lesser women, that I’m loved, respected, admired, and valued, Bu……..t, they can’t choose me because I deserve better than they could give.

If I deserve anything, it’s simply to be loved. I don’t need anything to be given to me. I don’t need saved. I don’t need to be supported. I am not co-dependent, have low self-esteem, or incapable of doing anything for myself. I’m smart, I’m self-sufficient, independent, and driven.  I don’t need a man, a partner, a lover, or a friend.  I WANT one.  There’s a huge difference between need and want.  Someday… someday someone will ‘want’ ME, not my body, not my talent, or anything else I could give them, but want me, my heart, my mind, my love, and all my oddities. 

I’ve mentioned this before. I made a promise to myself, no a VOW, about 7-years ago, and it is still valid today. I have it posted on my refrigerator – “I will never again waste my time, love or energy into that which does not first invest those things into me”.

Oh, Prince Charming, come slide that glass slipper upon my foot and allow the magic to envelop us both, transforming us into something wonderful, and then let us disappear into the unknown to explore it together. I have my sword.  I’ve slayed a dragon or two in my time already.  I’ve got your back. 

Till next time,

~Cinderella getting restless

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Fairy Tale, Hope, Inspirational, love, Philosophy, Relationships | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Counting Stars

Counting Stars

By One Republic

I’ll get into the lyrics of this song in a minute.  I haven’t heard it in a couple years, but listening to it on my way home from work today brought me right back to a place in time when I was fighting for my life.  I can almost remember the very moment this song came alive to me.  I had heard it several times on the radio, and while I thought it had a catchy tune, it didn’t really mean anything. Yet, one afternoon I found myself sitting by the lake at my apartment on Alvin Street, watching the sun glisten on the water’s surface, ducks flying overhead, a cool breeze in the air, when a soft thought popped into my mind, whispering to me that nobody cared, that all the sacrifices I’d made in my life were for nothing, that all the love I gave was never returned, that I didn’t matter.  I’d just been invited to be part of an anthology with some of the writers I admired, had no one with which to celebrate my achievement. I thought I could easily slip into that cold, frigid lake and no one would even notice this selfish, rebellious, unlovable woman was gone.  I felt the pressure and judgment of the world on my shoulders.  All the voices of the people who told me I was making a mistake by getting a divorce, that I was disobeying and disappointing my god, that I was being rebellious and selfish because I wanted to be in love, that what I wanted was stupid, a fairy tale. I had the world.  I had a good career. I had a good marriage. I had a good family. I had a good inheritance. I had a good reputation. I had a picture-picture resume life.  My writing career was taking off, and I was beloved and respected by my community; a pillar they called me, a monument of strength of character.  I had everything a good Christian woman desired in her life. Someone told me once that I was selfish for not being content with the life I had, that my desire to want more, was an insult to the god I claimed I loved.  How could God love me for being so selfish? To want more was to distrust God.

I didn’t want riches. I didn’t want fame. I had opportunity to have both and walked away. I just wanted to be loved, to be wanted, to be desired… to be heard, to matter, to make a difference in this cold world, for humanity to love each other, not hate each other proving who was right. I wanted fathers not to hurt their little girls, and mothers not to be ashamed and hide behind pills, and brothers that didn’t steal and lie to each other, or sisters who supported each other and not be in competition, and kids who didn’t take the strength of their parents as a sign of not caring, and parents who remembered their kids were not their property but individual human beings with their own thoughts, ideas, plans and dreams. I felt at odds with the universe.

I closed my eyes, felt the warm sun on my face, slipped my feet out of my shoes and edged by toes toward the cold water of the lake’s edge when this song suddenly came on my iPod and filled my ears, and the tears spilled down my face.  This was a song from me, to me, in that moment.  My inner-self called out to my spiritual-self, and the words never meant something more beautiful than what they did that cold, cold autumn afternoon.


Lately I been, I been losing sleep

Dreaming about the things that we could be

But baby I been, I been prayin’ hard

Said no more counting dollars

We’ll be counting stars

Yeah, we’ll be counting stars


Counting stars… wow! One of my favorite quotes in the world, something that gave me strength through the years was from A Knights Tale when a declaration was made to change a person’s stars, to change the destiny the world had given them, to be more than what society deemed as acceptable. Before that movie even came out, my best friend in the world – who became the love of my life, made a promise that we would rise above our stations in life and change our stars.   I fought my whole life to be more than what I was born into, more than what society dictated, and I worked hard my whole life to rise above my beginning, my inheritance, and my lot in life.  No one was going to tell me my limits.  I pushed them, and I soared well above them. When my drug-dealing father was arrested, I was deemed a miscreant, told by a bigshot D.A. at the age of sixteen I was going to grow up and be nothing more than one of my father’s whore drug runners, a high-school dropout, and in prison before twenty.   I changed my stars and proved them wrong, living a clean life, a vanilla life free of drugs, gangs, cartels, and miscreants.   When I lost a college scholarship because I became a teen mother, and chose to keep and raise my baby, I changed my stars by paying my own way through college, and working three jobs at the same time supporting myself. When the love of my life died in combat and left me alone in this world, I still remember the promises we made to change our stars. I never forgot. I will never forget.  I’m not counting one star… I’m counting on changing many, many, many, many, many more stars. I have, and I will change even more. I’m still counting them, baby.


I see this life

Like a swinging vine

Swing my heart across the line

In my faces flashing signs

Seek it out and ye shall find


Life isn’t about what comes at you or is presented to you.  You have to chase it down.  You have to go after what you want. You have to take a chance.  Yes, you can fall. Hell, you will probably fall a lot more than you’ll ever fly. Yes, you can grab hold of a weak vine and it causes you to crash to the ground, but that doesn’t mean you stop swinging.  It means you get back up and grab the next one and see where it takes you.


The old, but I’m not that old

Young, but I’m not that bold

And I don’t think the world is sold

I’m just doing what we’re told


Excuses.  The world if full of them, but we have to be willing to argue back with it, set our own limits, tell ourselves what we are going to do and how we’re going to do it.  We can’t be afraid.  We can’t think inside the box.  Don’t allow ourselves to be put in a box… too old, too young, too weak, too strong, too fat, too skinny, too uneducated, too educated, too smart, too dumb, too experienced, too inexperienced.  Tell the world to go fuck itself, and stop doing what it tells you.


I, feel something so right

Doing the wrong thing

I, feel something so wrong

But doing the right thing

I could lie, could lie, could lie

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive


You can’t change or count your stars if you’re too busy living under everyone else’s judgements, ideas, and limits.  You determine what’s right and what’s wrong for YOU and tell everyone else to go fuck themselves.  Am I disappointing my god?  That’s between me and my god and nobody else’s business.  Live your own dream.  Find someone that supports that dream, and made damned sure that if you’re supporting someone else’s dream, that it’s their dream and not yours for them. You’ve got no right to dream for someone else.


I feel the love

And I feel it burn

Down this river every turn

Hope is a four letter word

Make that money

Watch it burn


Looking for the world’s definition of love or success, it’ll never work, it’ll never satisfy, and it’ll always burn.  It’s fire, it’s poison, it’s shallow, and it stings.  Too many people fall in love with the idea, the dream, the image of what they believe is love, instead of falling in love with the real person right in front of them. When they get disappointment because the person doesn’t live up to the perfect image that was created in their minds, they blame the person instead of themselves for building impossible standards anyone could ever hope to reach. It’s not fair.  We have to come to a maturity in our lives so that when we look at someone we are not naïve to their flaws, but embrace them, and love them just as they are in spite of them, not only loving the truth of who they are, but for the potential of who they’re capable of being because they too hold the power to change their own stars. The first step to changing stars is seeing the truth, exactly as it is in all its ugliness. But when we can’t even see the truth of the stars in front of us, how can we expect to change anything?  We change nothing and then we live our lives chasing THINGS… things that will burn or turn to rust, things we cannot control, cannot contain, things that slip right through our fingers and burn in front of us. We exchange our stars for temporary things, for temporary love, for temporary people… ideals instead of reality, fantasies instead of truths, we lose out on real love for infatuation and lust.


I could lie, could lie, could lie

Everything that drowns me makes me wanna fly

Take that money and watch it burn

Sink in the river the lessons I learned

Everything that kills me makes me feel alive

Songwriters: RYAN TEDDER

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


Can’t you feel it?  This song reminded me of the promise I made as a hopeful fourteen-year old girl, sitting with her back against her locker next to this dorky, long-legged awkward boy named James, dreaming with our young, naïve hearts of how we were going to change our stars. I felt that promise that day by the cold lake through this song, and it stirred something deep within me, and it’s stirring something else within me today.  I heard that familiar whisper during my flu delirium, reminding me that my love hasn’t found me, that though I’m loved, I’m never chosen, I’m never fought for, and that if I want anything in this world I’m going to have to fight for it on my own or provide it for myself. I understand now, I need a star counter, because I’m a star counter.  I could never be content with someone that can’t even recognize their own stars, much less who isn’t constantly counting new ones.  I won’t ever be silent. I won’t ever be content. I am bigger than this life, much more than the boxes offer.  I am at odds with the universe, because I too am expanding, seeking, and counting stars… and it’s time I got back to it.

I too am a star.  My own sun, shining brightly, soaring in this universe, But I’m not one to be caught so easily. If you can’t even see me, the real me, then maybe I’m just a little too bright or a little too hot for you, or you just don’t belong in my universe.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Review, song, Song Review, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment



Yep.  I don’t know why it comes as a surprise for some people, but you really ONLY get ONE life.  Yeah, yeah, I know… some of you believe in reincarnation, life after death, transformation, transcendentalism, etc… all those other “possible” conclusions.  But, I’m not talking about those right now. I’m talking about the 50-100 meager years we get to walk on this planet.  Well, some of us crawl, some of us run, some of us spend it on our backs, while others spend it on our knees, but you know what I mean.  One life.

So, let me ask you… what are you doing with your life? Are you even living it, or are you just existing? Do you just go through the motions, or do take charge and move through the universe experiencing everything you can while you can?

People, we get one shot at it.  Just one. 

There have been some low times in my life where I wanted to end it, when the pain was too much to bear and I just wanted it all to stop. Abuse. Cancer. Death of a love. Divorce. Break up with a soul mate. Times I’ve felt so lonely, so lost, so unwanted, so unloved, so rejected, so unnecessary, that I just ached inside. Of course, my love for myself, for my family, for my friends, and for life itself always stayed my hand during those low points, but I’ve been there.

There have been some high times in my life where I never wanted to end, ones I wished to live over, and over, and over again.  A kiss that melted me from the inside out. A touch that still gives me butterflies today. A hug that felt like it held together all my broken pieces.  A moment of my hard work being recognized. The birth of my children, holding them for the first time. Laughing so hard I peed myself. Jumping from 2.5 miles in the air.  Racing down white rapids. Watching an ant meander through the grass and meeting God. Writing. Playing my guitar. Kicking alien ass on my Xbox.

Life. A series of moments.  Good moments. Bad moments. Loud moments. Quiet moments.  I’ve lived a lot of moments. I’m not guaranteed one more.  So, I want to make them count.  Love the people in my life.  Live my life being happy. Loving and being loved. Discovering and being adventurous.

I can’t imagine trying to numb my life with hate, drugs, alcohol, or behind a thick wall never letting anyone in, or with condescending judgment.  It’s not always going to be sunshine and roses, and there are still dark days and dark moments ahead, but there’s always good moments, and bright moments, and life and love. 

Be silly. Laugh. Take a chance. Jump. Kiss the girl (life).  Dance. Dream. Sing. Touch. Smell. Stop hiding. Stop running away. Throw your hands into the air and let it go.  It’s your choice. No one else to blame but yourself if you’re too coward to embrace life.  For fuck’s sake… SMILE!

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, family, friends, game play, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, memes, Muses, music, Musing., Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Falling in Love… Day 7


Sometimes, as men, women… humans, we can be terribly blind.  We are often so busy in life, looking ahead, looking behind, looking all around us to be in the present, and yet still be ignorant to what is standing right in front of us.  It’s not because we can’t see, it’s most often because we’ve created this ideal in our minds of what we’re supposed to see, that we miss the reality, or better yet, the potential. 

Hindsight is a bitch.  She’s that nasty, arrogant know-it-all that shouts, “I told you so.”  I despise her.  I work so hard every day to not let her get a leg up on me, but I often fail.  It seems the more I try to open my eyes, the more I miss.

Life is so fluid.  People come and go, some are only around for a small flash of time, while others who’ve gone before stop by, come right in without knocking, and kick their feet up.  We deceive ourselves into thinking we can control the flow, but that’s another lie we tell ourselves.  We even wrap those lies in commitments, promises, vows, and contracts, but all can and are often broken, because life isn’t something we can control.  We can’t promise tomorrow, because tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and doesn’t belong to us. We can’t make people stay, love us, fight for us, or even remember the promises they’ve made to us… or the promises we’ve made to others.  We can only determine how we respond to the changes as they happen.

Today is a sad and happy day for me.  One friend is leaving today, and it breaks my heart something terrible. He was a source of comfort for me at work, yet life changes. I wish him a lot of luck in his adventures, and hope the best for him. I’m also happy today because a boat load of my crazy writer friends suddenly showed up out of the blue.  Though we haven’t really gathered together in a very, very long time, the chemistry is still there and it’s like we never left.  I’m so excited to have them back in my life again.  They were such an inspiration to me.   

I’m sure there’s a reason my Insomniac friends have popped up lately.  I’m learning there’s a time and season for everything.  I’ve been avoiding my greatest gift for the longest season, but I know it’s time to get back to it.  There are no coincidences.  It’s not an accident that the last couple of weeks, I’ve been contacted by different members of this group in various ways.  I’m not the same person I was. Life has changed me, but it didn’t change my gift.  I recently removed “author” from my profile because I felt like such a failure for neglecting my gift for so long.  I felt I let my fans down because I allowed the heartaches of my life to keep me from releasing my work.  I felt I let my friends down by running away. Yet, here they are… as if it were yesterday.

There is was right in front of me all along.  I didn’t realize I felt all this disappointment in myself. I thought my writing was suffering because of space.  True, lack of space hampers, but I used to write anywhere.  I was blind.  In my quest of falling in love with myself, I didn’t think I’d have to deal with this part of my life, but this is a very big part of who I am.  I am a writer. I am a scribe. I am silver-tongue. I am a record keeper. I am a steward of imagination and creativity.  I must forgive myself for my neglect.  My imagination and writing gift was, is, and will always be my first love.

I have no idea what tomorrow holds. I cannot control life, love, or time.  But, I can choose to decide to love myself, and love the gifts I have been given.  We are to value the things we love.  Just as we value the people we love in our lives, how we consider their needs and do what me must to meet those needs, so is the same for every part of us.  To love myself completely, I have to love all parts of me.  Believe me, there are many parts.  Many, many parts.  I may not be ‘hard to carry’ (btw – I misquoted my friend yesterday.  He didn’t say I was hard to carry (that’s what I heard), he said I was hard to keep up with, that someone with my level of ambition would be hard to keep up with unless my partner had a similar level of ambition for themselves.  That while that enthusiasm is attractive at the beginning to any many, unless they were my equal, they would struggle to keep up with me and I’d have to carry them.  In other words, I’m too much for the average guy- he’s going to have to be strong and something extraordinary – my superman), but I’m great at flying.   

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Dream, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Faith, friends, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, love, memes, Muses, Quotes, relationship, Relationships, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Dragon Point


Well, I’m writing a new story, and I’m really excited about it.

Here’s just a snippet to get you started.

“I saw a dragon today. It’s not every day a girl gets to see a dragon, but I’m not your typical girl and this isn’t your average dragon. Before I get into the details of the mysterious beast and the amazing story of what happened, I must take you back to a beginning. All adventures should have a good beginning, and this one has a most curious one.”

 It was a cold, windy day and not a single cloud appeared in the bright azure sky. Baby cobalt kissed the horizon, while deep cerulean ruled the atmosphere. The golden sun god sent its rays in fat, voluminous beams coaxing thousands of sapphires to sparkle upon the rippled water. Poseidon’s presence was felt as the Renascence cut through the dark waters disembarking from Waterline Marina, slowly meandering around Ballard Park, and then into the beautiful Indian River. 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Fairy Tale, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Howl of the Moon Goddess

Howl of the Moon Goddess

Thump. Thump. The speakers vibrate as the heavy bass blares throughout the small apartment. Each beat moves Luna, stirs her soul, and stimulates her imagination.  Her head slightly bobs and she taps her foot to the steady beat, sometimes even moving her shoulders with each progression, but her mind isn’t on the music, she doesn’t even hear the lyrics she finds herself singing.  Her thoughts are on him. They’re always on him, or at least it seems that way to her lately.

“Concentrate, damn it. You’ve got a deadline.”

Luna’s fingers sit idly on the keys as she stares at the empty page on her laptop screen, but she doesn’t even see the white empty space.  She can only see flashes of his black eyes, those mysterious, sexy, exotic eyes, staring at her, undressing her, her wolf hungry and filled with a need to devour.

Butterflies flutter inside her, the music takes her deeper and deeper into her day dream.  She closes her eyes, leans back in her office chair and with the tips of her fingers she lightly touches her forehead, imaging it’s the soft, warm touch of his beautiful full lips.  She moves her middle finger between her brows and down to the tip of her nose and pauses.  She can see him clearly now in her mind.  His forehead rested upon her own and his dark eyes staring into her own, his warm breath upon her own lips, the tip of his nose pressed against hers. One hand cradles her head, while his strong thick thumb slowly rubs against her jawline.  She can feel him peering into her eyes, deeply, beyond her hazel irises and into the very depths of her soul. 

“I love you,” her wolf whispers.

Her breath catches.  She wants to say those three powerful words back to him, but she can’t breathe.  She’s paralyzed, filled with both fear and overwhelming emotion.  She’s longed to hear him say those words, but at the same time doesn’t trust them.  Too many other wolves have said them to only have never meant them, never even knowing the power of what they meant, and in their blindness walked away beneath the power of the moon. Staring into those black eyes, she knows she loves the spirit behind them, more than any wolf she’s ever loved before, yet she knows that someday he too will walk away. The wildness within him will howl, and he will run, just as all the wolves before him.

Warm tears well in Luna’s eyes as she opens them and stares once more at the empty screen in front of her. She covers her face with hands, props her elbows on the end of the table and lets the cries of pain escape through her lips, a howling cry, a wearisome wail. 

Why does she cry?  Luna knows she’s wild, and something truly wild cannot ever be caged, cannot ever be tamed, cannot ever be possessed – only equaled by something just as wild, just as strong, just as powerful, and just as free.  She is a she-wolf that needs to run and not be caged. Her coat is beautiful, yet delicate.  She’s been broken so many times before by violent teeth, iron bars, and messy nets.  She is now tattered, torn, and frail, but she can still run, it’s all she knows.  Her strength comes from the earth.  Her heart comes from the moon.  The stars call to her and guides her toward her destiny.  The waves sing to her, telling her of the deep things.  The wind speaks to her and howls her name.  The rain washes the heaviness from her soul. The thunder and lightning energizes her and fills her with strength.

Luna wipes her face, takes a deep breath, and once more sets her fingers to the keys.  She knows she’s going to run.  Perhaps she knows her wolf won’t run next to her, but she can’t let his choice stop her.  The moon is calling her.  Her destiny awaits her.  She is a she-wolf goddess and her throne waits for her to return. Her scepter is the words she writes.  Her crown is her vision and drive.  It is a heavy crown and comes with much sacrifice, but she knows nothing great comes without a great cost. She also knows to be part of a pack is the easy way for an ordinary she-wolf, but she’s not ordinary and cannot ever be ordinary.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.  Luna’s fingers fly across the keyboard.  With each stroke, her heart beats just a little bit faster.  Her hazel eyes widened with excitement.  Her gift flows through her, filling her, stirring her, pouring into her at the same time pouring out through her fingertips. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. The heavy beat of the music behind her moves her, pushes her, builds the moment must like the way her wolf makes love to her… building within her an explosive pressure, leading her toward a great release.

The words pour from her like a great river following around bends, navigating through rocks, and then plunging down over great falls.  Her imagination runs through the forest of fantasy like the spirit of her she-wolf, her feet barely touching the moss-covered ground, her heart racing as she dodges in and out hidden trails, inhaling the earthy scents of the forest, seeing all the vibrant natural colors. How wonderful would it be if another ran and witnessed the same beauty, but Luna knows only a wild wolf possesses such vision.

Ring. Ring.  Luna snaps out of her vision and her fingers rest once more on the keys.  She reaches over and pushes the power button on her iPod and silence fills the air that was just pulsating with heavy bass and erotic, tribal percussions.  Ring. Ring. Ring.

“Hey, babe,” Luna answers, eyeing the name of her wolf flash across the screen of her phone.

The tone of his voice through the phone tingles her ears, much like the way the drum beats just did a few moments ago through the music and she can’t help but smile. His soul draws her out of her imagination, leaving her wild trails to fade back into the recesses of her mind. Her mind now focuses on him, the memory of his touch, the intoxication of his scent, of the wildness inside him that is an explosive combination when it comes together with her own.  His bite is infectious.  His growl is erotic.

“What you doing tonight?” Luna’s nipples begin to ache and her breath shallows. Her soul knows it’s a new moon and she wants to howl tonight, to run and hunt with her wild wolf.

“I’ll be waiting for you.” Luna laid her phone down on the desk, glanced at the black font filling the page and smiled. Her wild-woman hazel eyes glowed as she shut the cover of her laptop. 

Categories: author T.L. Gray, Blog Post, Fairy Tale, Flash Fiction, Independence, Inspirational, Life, love, Philosophy, Relationships, Romantic, Short Story, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Good Morning, My Love

Good Morning My Love

Shhhh, Baby, don’t open those dark, commanding eyes of yours.  I couldn’t take their penetrating gaze at this moment.  I’m too weak, too much under your power, too lost in admiration and worship of you. My breath has caught deep in my lungs, and I’m so overwhelmed at the moment, and can’t breathe.  Please, please don’t take this moment from me. I’m captured. I’m mesmerized. I’m shaking.


Keep your eyes closed, Baby, please. You just don’t understand. The Moon Goddess has captured you in her silvery gaze and opened my own eyes to the wonder and beauty of you.  Her powerful and majestic light spills through the open window and caresses you ever so gently, light a million light fairies dancing on her beams as they pour down onto your body.  Do you know how beautiful you are to me? I could watch you forever.


Don’t move.  Sleep, Baby, let the cloak of Night cover you, let her continue to hold you securely for a little longer in her arms.  Your breathing calms me because it is so peaceful. My eyes water as I watch my warrior slumber. Rest, Baby, beneath Night’s sanctuary.  Let her hold your sword and your armor for just for a little while longer as she sends rejuvenation and strength into you. Do you know how safe you make me feel?  How much strength you give me? How much courage you pour into me to face this brutal world?  


Can you feel my warmth? Do you feel the heat of my whisper upon the shell of your ear?

Can you feel the tender touch of my fingernail as I trace the outline of your handsome, strong, chiseled face beneath the silver radiance of the moon?  If you could see how she illuminates you, cloaking parts of you in mysterious shadow and outlining your smooth curves and sharp edges with her silvery beams.  The dark lines of your tattoos are light scriptures written on the temple walls, telling of the love and warnings of the wrath that dwells inside.


Do you have any idea what it feels like to touch you? To have you touch me? It’s magnetic.  I’m drawn to you, connected, electrified. You make me want to do things I’ve never imagined.  You make me feel so alive, so aware, a part of something more, something bigger, and something so good I can’t contain it. I once had defined lines, clear edges, a mask behind which I could hide.  You’ve blurred the lines.  I don’t know where I start and where I end, like I’ve shed the skin of this body and am a part of everything, yet nothing at the same time.  When you look at me, I melt beneath your gaze.  I get lost in your dark eyes, Baby, so keep them closed right now.  You’ve yanked my mask away and there’s nowhere to hide. I’m naked and bare before you.  The Moon Goddess has illuminated your glory this night.  Don’t move, Baby. Don’t wake. Let me worship you just a little longer.


My warm breath slowly escapes my lips, Baby, thinking of your kisses.  I can’t get enough of them.  They pull me, like a hook in the center of my belly, it yanks at me, hard. Can you feel me lightly kiss you? I love the taste of you, the scent of you, the feel of you.  I want to kiss you all the time, softly and hard, forever and ever. They make me feel so loved, so wanted, so desired.  I lose all control beneath them. Their touch on my skin burns right through me.  Kiss me, Baby, and don’t ever stop.


I’m shaking, Baby.  The Morning and Sun gods are demanding their time, and the Moon Goddess and Night must continue on their destined journeys.  Your eyes will open soon and this moment will pass.  You will once again put on your armor and pick up your sword and fight the battles that Day brings.  He’s a ruthless god, but I’m thankful I had this beautiful, magical moment.  It has filled me to full, and makes me feel like I’m dangerous, brave, cloaked in your armor, safe behind your sword, protected beneath your cloak, and I smile. Open your eyes now, Baby.

Good morning, my love. 






Categories: Blog Post, blogging, Dreams, Fairy Tale, Life, love, Musing, Relationships, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Panacea Princess

Since finding myself single again, I’m trying to take a different look at who I am, perhaps evaluate myself objectively and see if I can help identify why I’m so difficult to love. I am difficult, mark my words. To love me is a challenge, and not for the faint of heart.  I can’t simply be put into any particular box. Though I want a fairy-tale kind of love, I’m not a fairy-tale kind of princess. There isn’t just one dragon to slay in order to reach me, but an army of them. So, I’m thinking of my new dating profile and what should it say. What would ward off predators, players, men who haven’t let go of their last relationship, or men who can never be satisfied with just one woman, liars, con artists, or cowards? It would be nice if all my exes could write it for me – to warn the next man that dares to cross my path of just exactly what he’s getting into, what to do or not do. I honestly don’t know if I can open my heart again. Do I have any of it left since so much of it has been broken? I’m an open book, but the text inside is quite hard to read. So here goes…

Life is fluid, ever-changing, filled with both joy and despair, love and heart-break, evolutionary and quite contradictory. If we ever get to the point where we think we begin to understand it, life will always come in and test our faith, test our thoughts, and test the motives of our hearts. We are not who we say we are, nor are we often who we think we are, because we are all liars and deceivers, always believing the best or worst of ourselves. But, the truth … the truth resides somewhere in the middle of our best intentions and our worst fears. Truth is also in what we do, how we react, and how we respond to the situations in our lives, not in what we say or think. I’ve been wrong so many times. I’ve been hurt even more. Not because I had dared to dream, but because I dared to dream big and fell far. I’ve soared to great heights… and I will soar again. I’ll never stop trying, never stop dreaming, never stop hoping. I believe in love. I believe in a forever kind of love. I believe in deep passionate love. Some say I’m a fool, and that what I’m looking for in love doesn’t exist, but I know it does because it exists in me. If I can possess that kind of love, then it is possible for another to have it too. And if it exists… that’s the only kind of love I want.

Who am I?

I’m honest, not just of my great attributes, but also of my flaws and weaknesses. I am quick to apologize when I’m wrong, and always strive to communicate to understand when I’m confused. I’m a cheerleader, encourager, rescuer, and a defender. I’m unique, think outside the box, color outside the lines, try to see the beauty in the worse mess. I’m wild, adventurous, persistent and truly care about the human soul. At the same time these are my weaknesses, because I’m also bold, outspoken, driven, and a perfectionist. I will wear myself down, break my back bending over, push myself beyond my limits for those I care about, often to my own detriment. I’m often naive, but not stupid. My trust is easily gained, but also easily lost. I don’t need to be saved, but sometimes I do need to be held, to be cherished, to be wanted, and needed. Respect is important to me. I’m faithful. I’m courageous, especially when I’m terrified. I over-think everything, and have OCD tendencies toward cleanliness and organization. I’m creative, artistic, talented, and I see the world through those artistic eyes – both the beauty and the ugliness of it. I often feel responsible for others and neglect myself, putting their wants, dreams. and desires before my own, but I’m learning to put me first. I’m witty, smart, sarcastic, silly and playful, but I can trash talk during game play any day. I love and thrive toward a challenge, even while I stress and freak out over them at the same time. I’m complex, yet simple. Classy, yet brash. Serious, yet silly.

I promise, if you get to know me, you will one day say, “I’ve never met anyone like you before.”

Don’t try to change me, change will happen on its own. Don’t try to determine if I’ll fit into your life as it is now, but be willing to open your life and allow me to become part of it, as you become part of mine, and we make room for each other. Don’t play with my heart, because it’s a shattered mess. But don’t be afraid to touch it, because shattered glass is also a beautiful thing. Don’t expect me to be perfect, to have all the answers, always know the right thing to do, always make the right decision, always step in the right direction. I’m fickle. I run away as much as I run toward. I will never be where I’m not wanted, so don’t make me feel unwanted. Don’t shut me out, because I’ll walk away.

Life is a great adventure – full of glory and pain, confusion and discovery. It’s the greatest adventure. We only have so much time of it here on this blue planet before we are gone. Don’t waste it. Live. Live out loud.  Don’t be afraid.

Till next time,

~Panacea Princess

Categories: Blog Post, Fairy Tale, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, memes, Muses, Musings, Philosophy, relationship, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

The Zombie Killer


I will admit, I’m really confused this morning, which isn’t to say that I’m not confused most mornings.  My thoughts are always deep, always reflective, and most often beyond my comprehension as the new day begins.  Sometimes I love this about myself because it’s a reminder I’m much more than this meat suit I’m wearing.  I’m deeper.  I have a mind, a soul, and a heart.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only one. I know, I know… I know I’m not, but sometimes it’s just so hard to see them in a world full of zombies.  It’s so hard to love those zombies knowing they feel nothing in return.

When I’m referring to zombies, I’m not talking about the walking dead like in the television show. I’m talking about people who live in this world but they’re not really living, only existing. They don’t think about anything but themselves – what they want, what they need, what they hope to the point they can’t see the living around them, and in essence due to their selfishness, destroy that life by infecting it with their disease. They walk through life existing, doing what they need to do to get through the day, through the week, through the month, through the year, doing the same thing over and over and over, wanting more, desiring more, but doing nothing more to change anything. They’re waiting, sleeping, hiding and hoping that someone will come into their life with a cure and magically wake them up, and their life will change.  They’ll get that new job. They’ll win the lottery. They’ll fall in love. They’ll write that book. They’ll take that trip. Their estranged family members will forgive and reach out to them.  Lost loves will return and love them again. This reminds me of a meme I once saw with a group of people all walking in the same direction, but every one of them was looking down at their phones and not seeing they were part of a group, that others walked beside them.

I understand the disease of zombie-ism.  I lived as one for a little while.  Well, lived isn’t quite the right word.  I closed my heart, and hid deep inside because I was so hurt and so afraid.  I walked away from a man I was deeply in love with because I was trying to be selfless, yet in turn became selfish. For the first time in my life I was a coward.  Fearing death, I became afraid to live.  Since then, I’ve been hoping someone would come along and help me feel alive again, be the spark that would bring me back to myself, resurrect that woman living out loud. Yet, that kind of external spark doesn’t give life, it only creates a monster that doesn’t understand it’s a monster until confronted by a hateful, prejudicial, and judgmental world.  In ignorance, there was a false and temporary sense of happiness. (I’ll get back to this subject in a moment.) The true spark of life had to come from within myself. I knew this, but in my zombie state I had forgotten.  There were other things I had forgotten as well, such as how it felt to have someone treat me like I didn’t matter, like I was unimportant, and unwanted.  He was right.  I don’t matter to HIM, and he now no longer matters to me.  But I thank him for being the asshole he was, because he reminded me that I do matter, I am important, and I am very much wanted – to ME.  He’s the one that’s lost something wonderful –  he lost a cheerleader, a friend, someone that would’ve given him the world.  Fuck him. His loss is my gain.  His actions of shutting me out, fueled me inside and finished waking up that sleeping giant.  I don’t wish him ill, though. I do love him very much and no matter how he treated me, I honestly hope he finds the happiness he’s looking for but couldn’t find with me.

That anger is still fueled inside me.  It’s reminded me how my ex-husband treated me as inconsequential for twenty years.  Yes, he was a great father, good provider, steady hand in a world of uncertainty, but he was a zombie and a terrible and lousy husband who nearly every day of our marriage let me know I wasn’t what he wanted, but a responsibility, a promise, an obligation.  I can say this one thing about him, which is really, really, really rare in the world today, he at least kept his word. The world is so full of liars.  I’m so sick of liars.  I heard he’s getting remarried soon. With all sincerity, I do hope he’s finally happy.

But, what is true happiness?  Who really has it?  Is it found in something tangible, in a kiss, in a life event, in a moment? In money, marriage, security?  Another friend of mine wrote a thesis for his college paper and asked me to review and edit it for him, and I can’t get the idea of this pursuit of happiness out of my head.  Perhaps in combination of the many changing events in my life these past few months it’s all coming to a juncture and has my mind whirling at the moment.

I know a man that tells me he’s happy, yet his actions confuse me.  He’s married to a beautiful woman, but she isn’t enough for him and he has girlfriends on the side.  Yes, yes… I can hear my guy friends right now saying, “Sounds good to me… I’d be happy too with a wife and girlfriends too.” I don’t understand why this is a man’s fantasy. But, are they really?  Is the lying, cheating, sneaking around, being deceitful, and possibly breaking the heart of the person or persons they claim to love really what makes a man happy? Is that true happiness or just another lie they’ve told themselves to appease a guilty conscience, a false reality, a fantasy?  Do they have a conscience? Are they not just a zombie feeling nothing but the desire to feed their own needs, their own wants and carnal desires, with no regard to the destruction they leave behind, or realize they’re infectious and spread their disease to the very people they claim to love?  This particular man calls me a fool because I hold onto the belief that I will one day find real love, the kind of love found in heroic stories and fairy tales, a forever kind of love, that one day someone will love me as honestly and as deeply as I love them. So far the world has proven me wrong and him right, but I’m still holding onto that hope – that one day I will find that love. I know that kind of love is possible, because I have that kind of love.  If it is possible in me, then it is possible in others.  Or, is this some false reality I’ve created for myself?  I’m telling you, it’s getting hard to believe these days.

I’m often told I’m weird, odd, and different.  While I know they mean this following statement as a compliment, but when I’m told, “You’re like no one I’ve ever met before,” it makes me want to cry because usually what follows soon after is, “I love you, but…”  The funny, well, not so funny, thing is… they really do love me. Most of them are still part of my life because they love me as a person, as a friend, they just didn’t choose me.  I used to think that something was wrong with me, that I wasn’t enough, that I was just too strange for them, too unpredictable. I suppose that stems from all the years of being told I wasn’t what they were attracted to, or I’m too wild, too rebellious, too opinionated, or they chose the safe route, the sure thing.  But I believe it’s because they realize I want more than they could offer.  I don’t dream little, I dream big.  I am a fighter and I don’t sit on my ass waiting for my dreams to come true, or someone to come along and hand my life to me. I take it. I make it happen.  I have soared to unimaginable height and accomplished some things most only dream about. I’ve also fell to great painful depths, and experienced true horrors, yet in the face of them possess the ability to still love, to still hope, to still dream.  They’re right.  They don’t deserve me. I deserve a true hero, someone that isn’t a coward, someone that is willing to risk everything for me – because they love me, because they know I love them and will risk everything for them.  I deserve what I’m willing to give – and that’s going to be a whole lotta man and some big ass shoes to fill.   Cowards need to just run away, because I could never choose a coward, because I’m not a coward.

So, in consideration of my friend’s thesis on happiness.  I have found my true happiness comes in the everyday little things of life.  I appreciate life in so many different ways. I find beauty in the simple things – like a father horse-playing with his children, a friend spending hours playing a video game as a distraction for their heartbroken friend, best friends arguing over who’s turn it is to do the dishes, yelling at other drivers because you’re late for work and your bestie backing you up with sign language, a friend listening to you butcher practicing your daily Spanish lessons, getting unexpected, silly or inspirational text messages through the day, friends reading their favorite books together and then having long discussions, playing a game together, cooking for one another, dancing while cleaning, singing out loud and off key in the car.  These are the true moments of happiness…. And these moments can only be experienced when we live in the moment – not lost in the past, not hoping for the future… but in appreciation of everyday little moments, being considerate of those we love, inviting them to share in our lives… all of it… our hopes, dreams, pain, doubts, fears, objections, wants, etc.  Sharing life – looking up and noticing the person next to us is a breathing, living, person with emotions, thoughts, feelings, and ideas.

I see you.

Do you see me?

Or are you a Zombie?

Till next time,

~The Zombie Killer


Categories: Blog Post, blogging, Dream, Fairy Tale, family, Hope, Hurt, Inspirational, Life, love, Musings, Philosophy, Relationships, Uncategorized, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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