Creating My Space – Creating Me

Aiming Low has always welcomed guest writers to contribute posts. Today, we have the pleasure of featuring a Teen Guest Writer! Thank you for contributing to Miss Unlimited as our first Teen Guest poster, Gracie!

JW Moxie ~ Special Operations Editor

I think it started when I put the glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling. My room was my room, dammit, and I was going to make it look that way.

Birthday cards and photos I had taken, drawings from friends and little knick-knacks I hung where old picture frames used to hang. It was a disaster, really, and it still is, there’s no order and it’s not very pretty but it makes me so happy, makes me think of all the people that really do care about me. Then it starts to occur to me – hey, maybe I should be nice to myself too.

Then I went to boarding school. I don’t decorate my walls with posters, but rather with impermanence. I’m a visitor in my own home, and I’m certainly a visitor at school. But I haven’t yet been dissuaded from taping everything I can to my precious square feet of wall space. I have photos from when I was little, postcards, index cards with quotes (“Do you want this once more and innumerable times more?”), a gigantic Nirvana poster that is my pride and joy, the index cards and piece of lined paper that currently comprise my blueprint for my novel (thirty-thousand words and counting!).

Is it futile? Certainly. And when I tear it all down again come summer, maybe I’ll feel a bit silly. But I think I’m going to be sad, in the best way – sad that I’m going back to walls that are just as brightly decorated (and not this blah shade of a color so boring I don’t think it has a name, no, the walls of my own room are purple as can be), but maybe a bit outdated. So I think I need to tear it all down, tear down eighth grade a year late, welcome in the new. I’m happy about this, and a bit overwhelmed.

Of all the things that comprise my collage of joy, my favorite is a photo directly above my pillow. I’m maybe nine, wearing a pink dress. My calves look like twigs and my hair is a length it hasn’t been since third grade – all the way down past my shoulder blades, imagine that! I’m in my grandparent’s old house. It’s one of the best houses I’ve ever been in. I love it. There’s a lilac tree in the backyard that I used to climb. In the photo, I’m standing in the kitchen, looking back and grinning, and you can see about half of my dad, standing behind the fridge, and my uncle is sitting at the table and determinedly trying not to smile. It makes me feel whole.

About the Writer

Gracie is a fifteen-year-old with a lot of ambition who loves cats and her friends and Joy Division. Writing is her sport, and she’s on varsity.




Photo Credit

About MU Teen Writer


  1. Suniverse says:



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  2. Wendi says:

    Gracie, this is so lovely. And if you can write this well at 15, wow. Watch out, world.

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  3. Misfit Sarah says:

    Wow – you have 30,000 words at FIFTEEN? You’re a ROCK STAR! Kurt should have a poster of YOU on his wall, babe. I love your beautiful description of the photograph – and I love that it means so much to you. You are a young woman of much substance and great talent and I am looking forward to reading more of your work.

    Sarah xxx

  4. Poppy says:

    Home is always grounding. I loves this post :) I only copied poems out of 17 magazine when I was 15 which put me on the bench of JV :)

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  5. Alexandra says:

    Well, I guess I can forgive the Joy Division as long as The Cure and Depeche mode weren’t mentioned.


    Seriously, LOVELY writing. A mature voice for 15. Good head on your shoulders and evidence of some great writing in your future.

    At 15, you are eons ahead of the game here.

    Keep on writing…you do get better and better and better. Also, keep on reading…

    I hope you become a regular contributor at Miss Unlimited. This is just your style. This really was a very lovely read.

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  6. Wow, 30k of a novel at 15 is very, very impressive… Puts me totally to shame. Excellent post. I had posters that I moved from bedroom to bedroom, halls of residence to my first flat. They got torn at the edges, but I freaking loved them. I guess, they just made my room feel a bit more like me and bit less like they could be anyone’s room… Which is pretty much what you said. Only better…

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  7. Kelly says:

    I love this!

    I am the same way; my house is full of images of smiling people and places that make me happy. We should all surround ourselves with as many images of joy as we can.

    This was wonderfully put, Gracie. :)

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  8. I love that a ‘dammit’ was worked into the opening paragraph, just like her mama would have.

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  9. I want you to post here once more and innumerable times more…

    (No joke, lady. You can write!)

    There are so many great lines to point out, but I think my favorite words come from the description of the photo above your pillow:

    “You can see about half of my dad…it makes me feel whole.”

    That right there is better than most of what most people write. Just so you know.

    Keep creating your space. It’s a place I’d love to visit. You know. Since I’m your new biggest fan, Gracie.


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  10. Tonya says:

    Beautiful post! A perfect description of how the walls around us – those temporary and those permanent – carry/display pieces of ourselves, the parts that change and those that remain fundamental to our sense of who we are.

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  11. Gracie, you have a talent for writing! I love the phrase, “collage of joy”.

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  12. Lance says:

    My daughter is 16 and shares your passion and talent. It makes me proud as I was a teenage writer at one time and I know how you must feel on fire with your words, right now.

    You did great. You should be proud of yourself.

  13. IWantMoreCheese says:

    Excellent post! I can see you hiding among the lilacs with a peaceful expression on your face. Keep writing. You are awesome!

  14. Wow, what an amazing voice. I can’t wait until the world sees your novel.

  15. Ms.Candia says:

    This is truly a great post! Way to go, Grace. I think we can all relate. You are indeed a wonderful writer.

  16. Helga says:

    What a wonderful post!
    I too loved to have crap all over my walls….it’s important to mark one’s territory,and as it isn’t quite cricket to pee on it,then of course covering it with ones favourite memories,words and pictures is the way to go.Beautifully written,you come across as a teen I could have a great time with!
    Rock ON!

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  17. Gracie says:

    Wow!!! Thank you all so much. It honestly makes me so happy to see you all being so kind and thoughtful – I’m really, really inspired. And I’m just so thrilled! I never expected this kind of positive feedback with such force – and, wow, you are all so lovely!! You’re the best. I really do love you all. I honestly can’t say “thank you” enough, I feel like I haven’t emphasized enough how grateful I am – but I’m trying! And I love all your anecdotes and witticisms. I’m glad I have readers who are as witty and snarky as I hope to be. Love you!!!

  18. JW Moxie says:

    Back off, Julie Gardner…I’M Gracie’s biggest fan (after her mom, of course)!

    Gracie, I’m SO THRILLED that you’ve had such amazing feedback from so many writers!

    I can definitely see you being a regular here at Miss Unlimited….

    We’ll stay in touch on that end, Gracie!

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  19. Leslie says:

    Okay, well, you had me with the very first sentence. What a grabber! Are you sure you’re only 15 and not some middle aged novelist who is posing as a teen for research on her next book? I don’t know any 9th graders who use words like futile and comprise and impermanence. (Big fan of the word dammit, by the way, nicely done!)

    Looking forward to more from you, Gracie, or whoever you are. ;)

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  20. Lori Dyan says:


    I look forward to attending your book signing in the future. Your words have power and you are a force of talent. Keep writing…no matter what.

    p.s. Anyone aspiring to snark is someone who I want to be around ;-)

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  21. Tami Evans says:

    Just shared you with the world Gracie – and the world is better for it!
    I just know you are going to give us all such beautiful words.
    Keep writing. Keep feeling. Keep sharing.
    Literary Hugs,

  22. Jordan says:

    G–thank you for sharing your youth, and reminding me of mine. Your words calm me, for as long as I know that at least one young person like you, who is aware of herself and her surroundings, permanence, and passion, exists in this world to lead, I know this world will be ok.

  23. Gracie this is truly incredible. I hope we are treated to more of your writing. xo

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  24. IzzyMom says:

    In college, I decorated my dorm room with all the stuff that made it mine and then had to take it all down every summer and go back to my dad and stepmom’s new home where there was nothing that felt like mine, even though I had a room there.

    That box of MY stuff that I put in storage every summer meant everything to me.

    Great post :)

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  25. Wow. You are well-named. You write with a grace uncommon to your age. My teenage self positively longed to sound like that. Hell, my grownup self still does! Well done…hope to read more.

  26. Amy Sherman says:

    Gracie is one hellova writer. Period. Thank you for sharing her piece and thank you Leslie Marinelli@theBeardedIris for leading me here.

  27. Ah, I remember when my calves looked like twigs. No, wait. That never happened. What I do remember is being jealous of the girls who had twig legs. I still am. Some things, unlike room decor, never change.

    Keep writing. I can tell you have many more good stories to tell. Also, cats are the best. Writing and cats … it doesn’t get much better than that.

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