LM Preston is the author of the book The Pack. I read and reviewed this book and really enjoyed it. You can read my review here.


Being a teenager that had all of the odds stacked against her from the start, I am a true, real life survivor who pulled from within herself to be a leader. Then later, through writing, I became a super-hero and so much more. Here's a fun biographical story about a turning point in my life when I realized that even though I was a kid, I had stregnth and the power to change my destiny, even though sometimes it hurt.


When I sit down to write my novels from a teenaged perspective, I have a lot of material to pull from. I was called all sorts of names, teased, and jeered at. I wasn’t the lowest on the totem pole, but I was somewhere near the bottom middle of the middle school pecking order. Yet, through these experiences I learned something about myself. I was a survivor and I was never a follower.


The kids in my neighborhood would spend tons of time making up games. One we played was truth or dare. Usually, I wasn’t invited to play because I was the youngest kid in the neighborhood. However, this particular time, they allowed me to play seemed like the best day of my life. I was going to play with the big kids, and no longer follow behind them. That day, nitaworm (my nickname) had arrived.


The game went on as usual. Dare’s were made, secrets were told and the bottle spin. Finally, it was my turn. My moment, my acceptance, and then it came. The kid that had made the last spin, looked at me with a sneaky grin, and I knew immediately that I was doomed.


“I dare you to eat this beetle!” the kid said. He held a skirmy, squishy, huge beetle and from experience I knew he would hold me down and force it into my mouth if I let him. I gulped. Then I compared the penalty for not going through with a challenge. The penalty was to let every kid spit in your face. The decision was difficult, the choices were both gross. However, I refused to be made to eat something that I didn’t want.


At that moment of recognition, I felt strong and fierce. Ok, no really I was scared to death. However, I stood and said , “I renege on the dare!”. There were gasp, snickers, and whispers. I held my ground, stuck out my chest and licked my lips. “You know what that means don’t ya?” the kid with the fat beetle snickered.

“Yeah, and I don’t care!” I said, and swallowed as a tear ran from my eye. Man I was so angry. The other kids bustle to stand in line in front of me. Never before in our game of Truth or Dare had someone challenged their fate. I was the first, and they relished in the chance to demean me further.

There I stood, as each kid gathered as much saliva in their mouths as possible and spit in my face. My eyes closed as I felt the thick, cool, wet globs slid from my forehead, down my nose to my lips. I held back a gag.

Finally, it was over. My best-friend, who was last in line did a fake spitting sound that held little or no power. Then she took out a tissue and wiped my face. “Why didn’t you just do the dare? “

I opened my eyes and smiled at her then said, “Cause I didn’t want to.”

That was the deciding moment for me. When I realized that no one could change the inner fire within me - no matter what I had to endure, I would survive and become stronger. I did it - and you can too!

by: LM Preston, author of THE PACK and EXPLORER X-ALPHA, www.lmpreston.com and http://lmpreston.blogspot.com


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