A Time for Sharing by Anna Marie Kittrell
Today’s special guest is Anna Marie Kittrell, author of one of my favorite (yes, I’ve read it) young adult novels: Witcha’be, which released on December 11, 2013. Anna works as a middle school secretary in the same small, Oklahoma town where she grew up. There she resides with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, Tim, and their sixteen-year-old daughter.
Anna has written stories for as long as she can remember. She still has most of her tattered creations—leftovers she was unable to sell on the playground for a dime—written in childish handwriting on notebook paper, bound with too many staples. Her love of storytelling has grown throughout the years. She is thrilled her tales are now worth more than ten cents.
At the age of six, I received a wonderful surprise. A genuine dream-come-true. My dad asked my best friend’s mom to marry him, and she said yes. The happy couple broke the news to us on an outing at the local park. Kelly and I widened our gazes at one another, clasped hands, and ran toward the swing sets giggling, calling each other “sissy.”
With long, dark hair hanging down both our backs, and only two months between us in age, people often mistook us for twins. Similar in size and stature, we even wore the same size clothing. Blending our closets to make new outfits was fun and exciting…at first, but quickly became a source of resentment. I happened to like my clothing, and didn’t take kindly to Kelly’s falling down on the playground and ripping giant holes in the knees of my favorite floral bellbottoms.
And clothing wasn’t the only thing I was expected to share. My bedroom, toys, hair accessories, pets, and even my friends, became communal belongings. It didn’t take long to realize having my best friend for a sister wasn’t the never-ending slumber party I’d imagined.
The Christmas that broke the camel’s back arrived when Kelly and I were ten. Under the decorated tree on Christmas morning, we found three lovely boxes. A present labeled with Kelly’s name, a present labeled with mine, and a present—by far the largest gift of all—labeled with both of our names. Another something to share. Humbug.
As we sat on the tree skirt shaking the packages, Dad ambled into the living room, scaring us both to death. He was nearly unrecognizable, his normally hairy chin now smooth as a baby’s bottom. He claimed Santa Claus had sneaked into the house and shaved off his beard while he slept.
“Open them,” Dad yawned, as my stepmother joined him on the sofa.
We seized our presents, shredding giftwrap like a couple of kittens in a yarn factory. Seconds later, we excitedly yanked from the tattered boxes… matching bathrobes. Sigh. At least there were two of them. Kelly’s blue, mine pink. We shoved them aside and tore into the large package bearing both of our names.
“An Atari!” Kelly shrieked, her wide smile perforated by toothless gaps.
“An Atari?” I cried, knitting my eyebrows together and crossing my arms.
Just as I predicted, the game system brought my stepsister joy beyond measure. And infinite humiliation to me. The thing was relentless, as if it could somehow feel my hatred and held a serious grudge. At dizzying speeds, asteroids crashed into my spaceship, blowing it to smithereens, while Kelly’s ship glided easily between space-rocks that moved in slow motion.
Seriously? An Atari that played favorites? Definitely not in my letter to Santa. So sad to learn the jolly old elf was ho-ho-hoing at me, not with me. (It took months for me to discover Kelly was setting my controller to “advanced,” and her own to “beginner.”)
Kelly and I are all grown up now, with adult children of our own. We dropped the step from sisters long ago. These days, we share a wonderful brother, a loving friendship, and a whole bunch of crazy memories I wouldn’t trade for the world. But most importantly, we share a love for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Sisters on earth as we shall be in Heaven. And Heaven is the one great big gift with both our names on it that I won’t mind sharing.
Is the power of forgiveness really stronger than a Witcha’be spell?
New to the small community of Redbend, Molly Sanders is delighted when she and Lenni Flemming become instant friends during the final weeks of her first Oklahoma summer. However, Bianca Ravenwood, Lenni’s best friend and self-proclaimed witch in training, is less than thrilled. In fact, she’s cursing mad, vowing to destroy Molly while honing her craft in the halls of Redbend High School.
Molly’s new school becomes a waking nightmare as Bianca, beautiful wannabe witch, targets her in a jealous rage. Plagued by terrifying, inexplicable occurrences and an embarrassing case of panic-induced hiccups, Molly is unable to escape Bianca’s snare.
But if Bianca refuses to back down and Molly refuses to stand up, not only will Molly lose the best friend she’s ever had…she may also lose her sanity.
Purchase Witcha’be here.
And check back with us the week of December 30, when Inner Source will welcome, Molly Sanders and her author for interviews and another guest blog post.