Monday, April 11, 2022

UPDATES! My new writing project + how to find me!

Hello, readers! I'm hopping on here to drop a note to say that, no, I haven't abandoned Writing Belle. I simply have begun to move my op/Eds and commentaries to a new platform where I can write in thematic topics without worrying about being censored. This blog (right here!) is hosted by Google, and so I've chosen to relocate my political commentaries elsewhere. However, I'll still be writing about storytelling and posting interviews with authors and editors HERE on Writing Belle! Stay tuned for more of that on this platform. For everything else, check out Substack. 

To sign up to see all of my editorials (I write 1-2 per week, depending on how much time I have!), sign up for FREE to my Substack newsletter: 

I also want to say thank you to everyone for supporting me for all of these years! As a writer, I have grown so much, and I have particularly felt like my writing and my passion has considerably evolved over the last two years. Interestingly, I started my writing career while I was in high school and at that time, I was entirely absorbed in discovering American history and studying American politics. I dreamed up a little blog called Liberty Belle and began writing about politics when I was around 16 or 17 (most people don't know about that!). Eventually, I ended up moving into the publishing industry instead and working as a fiction author and a publicist (and a writing teacher). I decided to change my writing brand from Liberty Belle to Writing Belle. In 2018, my writing manual, Prolific: Writing a Hit Novel, included an entire section about why neutrality was the way to go - and why a writer should always avoid getting political. I've changed my opinion on that, clearly, but I would argue that I'm not arguing for politics so much as I'm arguing for moral policy, and that seems pretty common sense. Also, I no longer believe that neutrality is safe. 
It's funny that my writing career has brought me full circle into the American political landscape, whether I like it or not! 

Of course, I'm not a politician. I'm just an analyzer and a woman who gets a kick out of studying women's issues and legislation in America. It's definitely been a wake-up call from God to get involved in this "information war," as I like to call it. I prayed for a long time, asking God to show me how I could help save our country - and he simply opened the doors, again and again, for me to be involved in writing news and sharing op/Eds. 

I am still in love with writing fiction and will continue to do so. Right now, I'm working six days a week and going to school (because I'm insane), and when I'm done with school, I think my next novel will be released, as well. 

Anyway, thanks for reading and stay tuned on Writing Belle for more authors and writing content. Check out my Substack for my commentaries on policies and culture. 

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Michael Jackson, Covid, and Universal Studios: A conversation with returning author JERRY GREEN!


You guys might recall that I've previously had the pleasure of interviewing Jerry Green here on Writing Belle before. Jerry has had an incredible career, and you can check out our previous interview, which centered on his experience working as the Entertainment Director at Universal Studios, right here

I was really excited to see that Jerry's memoir, Universal Studios: The Magical Years was sporting a new and updated cover - and there are lots of new pictures inside this book, too! I have been fascinated with Jerry's story and his background/career since we first crossed paths a few years ago, and I knew I had to get Jerry back on Writing Belle for a follow-up interview! 

Jerry brings a breath of fresh air into the publishing arena, and today we're talking about what writing projects he's been tackling lately, as well as how the Covid pandemic has affected the entertainment industry. 

You don't want to miss this! 

Without further's my interview with the man himself! 

Interview with Jerry Green


Thank you for visiting with us today, Jerry! We haven't had an interview since 2020, so I'm SO excited to have you back on Writing Belle. Tell us what you've been up to!

It’s always a joy to communicate with you, Summer.  You’re someone I respect and admire. Life has been pretty much as usual the past couple of years, except for dealing with Covid  this past month.  If given the option, I don’t recommend trying it. I’ve finished a few books since 2020, continuing to expand on the series I refer to as the  Stealing Series – “Stealing Dawn,” “Stealing Eagle Flats,” “Stealing Stone,” and now finishing the fourth one, “Stealing the Rapture.”

I’ve also started another series, more along the lines of a Hallmark Christmas story.  The first one is titled “Girl In The Cotton Castle,” and the second one, “Secrets Of Donovan Bay,” were released in October of 2020, and October 2021.

 The last time we talked I think I mentioned a book I was working on called “Show Biz for Christians,” then retitled “A Christian’s Journey.”  After completing it I decided not to publish it.  It just wasn’t written the way I intended, even after several edits.  So instead, I shelved it and am taking a few of the subjects addressed in the book and turning them into ten-minute devotionals that will be on YouTube.  The title of the channel is “Frankenstein Devotionals.”  A weird title, yes, but I explain why I chose the name in the first episode.  We’ll see how it goes.


Today we're talking about the updated version of your book. What's new?

The updated version of my book is titled “Universal Studios: The Magical Years.”  It’s a revisit on “25 Years Inside Universal Studios,” which was actually the second book I ever wrote but the first one published.  I was working on “Stealing Dawn” but the publisher wanted to rush the Universal book first.  So the Stealing book got set aside temporarily.  The revised version – The Magical Years expands on the first one by almost double the amount of pages, plus I added about 70 photos.  The story centers on what many of us remember as the golden years at the studio.  It was truly magical.  Disney doesn’t hold exclusive claim to that word – Universal had it also.  It was by all standards, the greatest job imaginable.  We were going where no man had gone before - a line that actually played out on stage in a live show we did for a few years based on Star Trek.


I'm going to mix it up a little here. The entertainment industry has been hit really hard lately thanks to all of the Covid shutdowns and lockdowns. You have a history in entertainment, so I thought I'd ask: How can entertainers keep their creative spirit alive during times like this?

Good question.  The answer is, it’s not easy.  Production was limited, but still happening, although the government and the industry put so many restrictions on the studios and private production companies that budgets had to be increased significantly to accommodate the added cost of complying with the Covid rules, sometimes to the tune of hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars.  Actors had to scramble to find work.  Theme parks shut down for a year or more.  Universal continued to pay their employees for a while, but Disney and other parks laid off people until the restrictions were eased.

 As far as keeping the creative spirit alive I must say … if show biz is in your blood it NEVER goes away, literally.  It isn’t something you can turn off-and-on, you never get over it and are always chomping at the bit to get at it.  Anyone who can turn it off-and-on is doing it just because it’s a job, not because they have a passion for it.

 Do you find that the chaotic state of the world today inspires you to write more often than usual (I know it inspires me to both read and write - love to jump into another world!)?

 Hmmm, hardly noticed the world was chaotic.  He jests!  But I think you’re right, we folks who write can escape the chaos around us and find ourselves immersed in a world of fantasy, a world to our liking, one where we determine the outcome.  I think that’s why I enjoy writing in different genres.  The Stealing series is adventure, good guys overcoming bad guys, solving the world’s problems.  The Hallmark series, although I must admit, it has just a slight bit of good guy / bad guy heroism in it, are basically love stories, but, I must hasten to add, I’ve found that guys are liking the stories as much as the ladies.  Although I didn’t want to mess with the Hallmark formula, I did tweak it just a bit to include a hero.

 In 2018 you mentioned meeting both Ronald Reagan and Michael Jackson - two legends of Americana. Can you re-share a little about your encounters with celebrities for everyone who isn't familiar yet?

 Meeting President Reagan and Michael Jackson were special occasions.  I had just returned from working at Universal Orlando where I produce and train employees for several shows that were part of the Grand Opening.  President Reagan’s Museum and Library was about to open and Universal was a big part of the event.  Our CEO, Lew Wasserman, was a major player in the political circles, not only for Republicans but also the Dems.  That’s the way it works in the billionaire circles, they play both sides of the road.  Anyhow, opening day for the Museum and Library was a momentous event.  Universal volunteered to use our trams to transport guests from the parking areas, over a mile away, up the hill where the library is located.  I was asked to serve as coordinator for volunteers that day.  The event was one of the most spectacular occasions I was ever involved with.  The only time in history when 5 presidents have been together at the same time.


After the event the President invited the three of us who served as managers during the event to meet with him in his office.  He was most gracious and kind.  I’ve met countless celebs in my life, some who were obnoxious and rude, and others who were everything you would hope them to be.  Meeting President Reagan was more than could be expected.  He was truly a gentle spirit, overflowing with gratitude.  A week so after our meeting we each received a photo commemorating our time with him.

 A lot has been said about Michael Jackson and we can read into the news briefings whatever we want.  I will say though, meeting with Michael was a pleasure.  By that time I had been promoted to Director of Entertainment at Universal and was getting ready to leave the studio one evening when I got a call saying that Michael was coming.  They asked if I would stay and show him around the studio. I mean, really?  How would anyone respond to a question like that?  Sorry, I   know he’s the biggest music star in the world but I have to go home and darn some socks.  It was an easy decision, of course I’ll stay.  I met him at the gate, he and his entourage, but they strolled along behind while he and I walked casually around the studio and chatted.  There was no arrogance about him, no ego, just a couple of guys walking and talking, perhaps twenty or thirty minutes.  I was struck by an interesting dichotomy - on stage he was a dynamo with endless energy, but that evening he struck me as frail, almost fragile.  As a matter of fact at one point we walked down a dirt incline and he had to hold onto my arm to keep from falling.  As is true for most of us, I guess the adrenaline kicked in when he was on stage and the show began!

Michael may have had issues in his life, most of us do, but I can say that evening was most pleasant and enjoyable.  He was a gentleman, kind and caring.


Do you have any new projects in the works? Anything you'd like to work on this year?

 Actually I do.  As I mentioned above, I’m about 80% finished with my fourth in the Stealing series, one titled “Stealing The Rapture.”  I wanted to establish the characters in the first three books before shaking up their world in a cataclysmic event referred to in the Bible where tens-of-millions of people will suddenly disappear from earth.  Although the Bible doesn’t use the word “Rapture” we have adopted the word to sum up what will happen.  If you can imagine a time when everyone one you know and love will just suddenly vanish without a trace of what happened to them.  That’s what the two main characters in the new book have to grapple with.  The loss of  everyone they care about.  Plus the horrific events that follow The Rapture are like nothing ever experienced on earth, unimaginable things, unspeakable terror.  That’s what book number four, “Stealing The Rapture,” deals with.

 I’m also planning a third book in my Hallmark Christmas genre for this October.


Where can readers find your books to purchase, and where can they go to learn more about you?

The books are on Amazon.  I caution folks, be careful when looking for Jerry Green books.  There’s another author with the same name who writes a very different kind of story than I do, leaning toward the hard R or X rating.  I write stories that I call ‘reader-friendly’ without gross language or graphic sex.


Also, my website has all my rantings and writing –


The YouTube channel – Frankenstein Devotionals was supposed to air in February but Covid kinda kicked it back a month. My plan is to record the first and third episodes at Universal. Since that’s the home of Frankenstein I thought it would be the appropriate place to start.  My plan is to go there in the next week or two and get it done.  So hopefully they will begin airing in March.


Thank you SO much for joining us today, Jerry. It is a pleasure, as always. Blessings! 

 I just want to thank you Summer for your kind, sweet spirit, and professional attitude you  maintain.  I hold you in the highest regard.


Monday, February 14, 2022




The Truth about the California Exodus

A published Op/Ed

By Summer Lane


You’ve heard the line: “Don’t turn my red state blue.” Or, “Californians and New Yorkers are NOT welcome in my red state.” In fact, as I was working last week, covering a Save America rally hosted by President Donald J. Trump in Conroe, Texas, I noticed a few of the pre-rally speakers making disparaging comments about Californians who are fleeing the communistic policies of the Golden State and seeking refuge in strongholds for freedom and individual liberty, like Texas and Florida. Yet as I heard the comments decrying Californians who supposedly bring progressive policies with them into red states, I wondered: is that true? So, I did what I usually do…I dug in and did some research.

As a red-blooded California voter myself, I frequently tell people that, as a journalist and career writer and columnist, I am working “behind enemy lines” here in the Central Valley. In California, we all know that we not only suffer under the burden of a leftist-driven legislature and radical progressive governorship, but we also bear the brunt of disastrous immigration policies. In fact, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, under the embarrassingly absent Biden administration, America was flooded in 2021 with just shy of 2 million more illegal migrants…many coming to a city near you, thanks to California’s reputation for providing sanctuary for those seeking to enter our country without abiding by our laws.

Interestingly enough, California is perhaps the most geographically diverse place in the United States, boasting a wide variety of climates, from the burning Mojave Desert and the snow-laden Sierras, to the sparkling Pacific Ocean and the fertile farmland of the Central Valley. Thanks to its diversity, which has created a super economy ranging from agricultural goods to booming tourism, it’s no surprise that California has one of the largest economies in the entire world, and yet, it is also one of the most corrupt and poorly-run states in the country.

Californians in the Central Valley eagerly point to disastrously-led cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles as the source of their woes, and indeed, this certainly does seem to be the case. These behemoth population centers notoriously vote for socialistic policies and politicians like clockwork, therefore subjecting the entire state to damaging ideologically-based legislation.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, for example, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has odiously held on to his endless “emergency” powers in the state of California, haphazardly attempting to enforce ludicrous lockdowns, mask mandates, and vaccine requirements for California citizens and workers. In December 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reinstated an indoor mask mandate, which is slated to expire on February 15th…but we all know how that goes. Despite the hard, scientific data that clearly says masks do not protect anyone from transmitting or catching Covid, we are still being asked to wear muzzles like animals, dogmatically falling into line with what the “experts” tell us. SF Gate even reported in Dec. 2021 that CNN medical analyst Dr. Leana Wen said that masks have no place in preventing contracting Covid, and likened them to “facial decorations.”

And yet, in California, the bad policies seem to march ever onward, no matter how hard the millions of conservatives fight against them. This, of course, brings me to the reality that conservatives, who have fought long and hard against socialism in California, are finally packing up and leaving. This begs the question: are Californians who are taking flight in light of the horrendous policies in California fleeing to red states and corrupting them with blue-leaning policies? Personally, I believe this is untrue.

Let’s look at some statistics. Last year, it was reported that Floridian registered Republicans, for example, had surpassed Democrats for the first time in the state’s history. In 2021, Business Insider reported than an estimated 900 people were moving to Florida every day. Additionally, Texas has become an alluring location for freedom-loving Americans to relocate to, coming in a close second to Florida as a relocation area for inner-state migration patterns, according to It stands to reason that, as states like Florida grow redder along with this massive influx of new citizens, there is a causal relationship to be found therein, which suggests that there is indeed a correlation between those two things: voters moving out of blue states and moving to Florida, for example, and Republican voters outpacing Democrats like never before.

Here, I present a contrary theory to what you normally hear: I think red voters are fleeing blue states and turning red states redder. I think that, when you hear about Californians turning Texas blue, what politicians really are referring to are the California-based corporations who come to Texas seeking looser tax regulations and laws, bringing their leftist socialist doctrine with them. I think that, based on the data available to us regarding inner-state migration, we can see that blue states are not feeding blue policies into red states. If anything, escapees from the hellish economic and social landscape of California are contributing to keeping places like Texas and Florida permanent and irrevocable bastions of conservatism.

GOP establishment politicians need to watch their rhetoric when they are lambasting Californians who are seeking refuge in states like Texas and be sure not to mock or tear down American citizens who are merely looking for a place to live in peace with their families. There is a big difference between a megalithic corporation relocating to Texas and a California family who wants to give their kids a chance to grow up safe and free.


U.S. Customs and Border Protection. (2022).

Sargent, Joshua. (2021). Experts Warn that cloth masks don’t work. SF Gate.





Thursday, January 20, 2022



A Published Op/Ed


Summer Lane

It is a warm spring day. I stand in the parking lot with my daughter watching a surreal scene. Two women wearing cloth face masks are taking a walk on the public trail. Each of them is walking a dog. Amazing, I think, to see humans muzzled instead of dogs. And yet this is the sad reality of the world we live in; a world where the unique individuality of human beings is being traded for a collective, faceless badge of communism that is worn over the mouth and nose…and for what? A placebic sense of safety? A lofty attitude of doing your part to stop a virus that has a 99.9 percent survival rate? For this, we muzzle our children like animals and send them off to socially-distanced desks in failing, government-funded schools? For this, we acquiesce our children’s sense of security in the world and subject them to unnecessary anxiety and depression, feeding their yet undeveloped brains with paranoia about things like breathing air, and shaking hands and sneezing?

And yet, here we are. A society hellbent on victimizing the most vulnerable population in the world: our youth. With our keening, dogmatic devotion to “following the science” of the political imagination, we have taught our children to live in fear. To live inside. To stand six feet apart from their neighbors. To hide their faces in restaurants. To panic with every runny nose and cough. We have, as a society, taught our children to live as compliant, well-behaved little communists who trust fully in the all-powerful state who will surely save us from this never-ending drama; this fifteen-day pandemic that has lasted for two years.

 Imagine this. You stand in a crowded grocery store, waiting your turn in the check-out line, when you see it: a toddler wearing a cloth face mask. The mask is too big, covering more than half of his face and hanging loosely around his cheeks, obscuring all but his bright, curious eyes. Your gaze meets his, and as a smile touches your lips, his hidden face remains obfuscated behind the cloth mask. This interaction signals a cataclysmic break in what communications professors would call the transactional model – that is, the cycle of communication that occurs between two individuals, a process of encoding, sending, and decoding. Only, without nonverbal communication – in this case, facial expression, which is often more telling than words – true communication cannot and will not occur. And even if the message is indeed received and understood, the emotional intent will never be fully translated.

The psychological damage inflicted on a child who is being masked is hefty. According to an article written for the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, Neeraj Sood, PhD., and Jay Bhattacharya, MD, PhD., assert that masking is not only a psychological stressor for a child, but it reduces the ability of a teacher and a pupil to communicate in the classroom. This, of course, should come as a shock to no one. How many times have you had to ask a cashier or a secretary to repeat something they said to you simply because you couldn’t gauge their message thanks to the mask they were wearing?

Sood also says that masking the face eradicates all vestiges of positive emotions such as smiling and laughing, while simultaneously amplifying negative ones. Additionally, masking increases the chances of a child developing anxiety and depression. Honestly, is anyone surprised by this? Does anyone, in any sane universe, believe that muzzling a child like a circus animal will actually do anything positive for his or her psyche?

We live in a time of false stress. The television tells you to be afraid, and so you are. Your social media friends echo in robotic unison, “Mask up! It’s what nice, caring people do!” So, you do. The sign outside of the clothing store says to wear a mask…so you put one on. Get in line. Put on your badge of communism. Keep your head down. Do what you’re told. And don’t forget to put a mask on your two-year-old. That, of course, is absolutely essential.

I present to you an alternative path. A path of quiet but effective rebellion against the tyranny of our times. In my opinion, there is far too much acquiescing to the iron-fisted rule of fear that is being pressed down upon us. There is no reason – none – to mask a child. Not for a minute, not for an hour. Not ever. Masking up for Disneyland? Ask yourself if it’s worth it. Is it worth it, parent, to teach your innocent child’s still-developing brain that wearing a face mask in public is even relatively normal? Acceptable? Commonplace? A child’s view of the world begins forming immediately from birth, and you are tasked with protecting your child from the abuse and chaos of our corrupt and sodden culture.

Will you stand against the tide, a pebble in a stream, and give your child a sane, normal childhood? Or will you go with the flow and hope, with time, that it will all just “get better,” all the while halfheartedly “wishing” that your school district will allow your child to show his or her face in public? Parents, speak up for your children. They are the hope and future of tomorrow, and if you do not protect them, absolutely no one else will. Like it or not, it all comes down to you. Do not fail them.



Sood, Nareej and Bhattacharya, Jay. (2021) USC Schaeffer. Mandatory Masking of School Children is a Bad Idea.

 All opinions are my own. All images shared on this website are royalty-free, license-free images. 





Friday, January 7, 2022


Finally! That's all I can say. After what seems like forever (in my world),
Vengeful Dawn is officially on the market. The last time I released a book was in 2020, so for me, it's been a hot minute since I've published anything. Vengeful Dawn is a big deal, because not only does it cap off the Resurrection Series (which began in 2018), but it also concludes Cassidy Hart's wartime adventures. I don't want to spoil anything for anybody, so I'll just leave it at that and finally confirm that Cassidy will return (eventually) in a trilogy of political thrillers. But as far as Cassidy being in the field, on the front lines of a major apocalyptic wartime event...Resurrection is literally the end! It's bittersweet but I'm looking forward to developing Cassidy's character as she continues to get older in later books. 

A few notes about the release: 

- The paperback will release in a few weeks. This is a "soft release," which means it is all digital. 

- There will also be a digital tour for the book in a couple of weeks, too! 

- I had some problems while uploading the book to Kindle, so if you bought a copy of the book and it had formatting errors, I'm sorry about that! I have a formatter working on it right now, and the issue should be rectified ASAP! 

In the meantime, my next project is - you guessed it - Expedition 99, the new Legion Collection that I've been working on behind the scenes for the past two years. I am finally in the home stretch of getting my B.A., so I likely will not release the book until after I graduate. However, I won't guarantee that I won't...because with me, you never know! 

I just wanted to commemorate this occasion because Vengeful Dawn marks my thirtieth published book. I feel like I need to pop some champagne or something now, seriously! I began publishing novels nine years ago this month...and I can't believe how many books I have released since then. It feels like a lifetime ago and a blink all at once. I am forever grateful for my readers. The fans are what made Cassidy Hart a success, and I will never NOT be humbled by that. I'm just so grateful that I get to write books that I love...because at the end of the day, it's just plain FUN. 

I will keep you all updated on Expedition 99 as I can. Currently, I need to write about 250-300 more pages before the book is finished. It marks a brand new series, brand new adventures, and a brand new storyworld. For me, it's been really fun to be able to create an entirely new story setting from scratch after working in the same story universe for a decade. So, that being said, I'm REALLY excited about Expedition 99 and all of the adventures that it will bring, too! 

BUT YES: Cassidy Hart WILL return. She won't make an appearance again until AFTER I release Expedition 99, but I've already got timelines and storylines cooking right now. I've always had Cassidy's story and life mapped out, so I'm just grateful and excited that my readers love her enough to ask me to continue the story. So I will!



It all comes down to this.

This moment. 

This fight. 

This opportunity to avenge the fallen and restore the republic.

This is my war now, and mine alone.

Cassidy Hart is broken but alive.
After emerging from a bunker in the Yukon wilderness, Cassidy is once again united with the Freedom Fighters of the militia. Shattered from a gutting loss and struggling to readjust to life above ground, she is shocked at how much the world has changed during her time in Silo Nation.
The world is tightly controlled by a technologically advanced AI army that answers to the terrifying and evil globalist kingpin, Ares. Cassidy’s three-year-old daughter, Penny, has been taken by Ares’ forces, a crucial political hostage. Cassidy will stop at nothing to get her back.
For Cassidy, the war isn’t just about freedom anymore: it’s about vengeance. It’s about rescuing her daughter from Ares’ evil influence. It’s about taking the post-apocalyptic world back from a diabolical madman and his seemingly invincible forces. It’s about finding the ability to love again, accepting past deaths, and facing her first love, Commander Chris Young, once more. It’s about bringing the fight for independence and liberty to a final close and making the ultimate sacrifice.
This is the end of the line.
This is the world’s vengeful, burgeoning dawn.

The final, thrilling installment in the bestselling Resurrection Series, by Summer Lane.

Here's what reviewers are saying about the Resurrection Series:

"Another amazing book by Summer Lane!"

"Wow just wow. Summer has taken us on a wild ride, one that cannot be predicted."

"Lane’s writing has become intense and descriptive since the first book “State of Emergency”. She’s killing it (pun intended)."

"Resurrection was a rollercoaster that I did not want to get off of. I honestly didn't want to finish it, just because I knew once I did I would have to wait so long for the next one!"

"Summer has wrote an amazing character with Cassidy and with everyone else in this story. When they go through their emotions you go through them with them. She knows how to tug at your heart in your chest.
She has a way of writing with her characters, story and world building that is second to none."

Monday, December 20, 2021

Butterfly Wings in the Hall - A Short Story

There are butterfly wings in the hall. There’s glitter on the couch. A highway of unrolled wrapping paper winds throughout the house, strewn with tiny cars and mismatched pairs of socks. The Christmas tree is decorated haphazardly, candy canes hung in crowded clumps and glitter balls fastened to too-small branches. Dried specks of play-doh dot the carpet, coupled with stolen kitchen items like spatulas and kabob skewers. Couch pillows are thrown to the ground in an unceremonious heap. Tiny feet leap from cushion to cushion. “Look, mommy,” she says. “I made a house!” 

There are the days of endless energy and rainbow-colored art projects. Days of glue and pom-poms and popsicle sticks. There are the days of runny noses and tired eyes and long, steamy baths with overflowing bubbles. There are the days of dirt and grass and chasing cats and riding bikes. There are days of crying and throwing things and fighting. There are the days of endless pleas of, “Play with me, mommy!” Days of frustration and sadness and time slipped away in the thankless maw of career and school

She makes me food. A restauranter proudly serving her most loyal customer. “Coffee for you,” she says cheerfully. She pours me a cup. “It’s hot,” she warns. “Blow on it.” I do. She makes me chicken and beans and gives me a chocolate donut for dessert. “Wow,” I say. “This is really good.” She replies matter-of-factly, “It is.” 

When I make dinner, she brings a step stool into the kitchen. “I’m going to help you!” she exclaims. Her favorite phrase. 

“I want to do it,” she adds. “Let me do it. I want to help.” There is no task too daunting for her curious hands. “Put these potatoes in this bowl,” I tell her. 

“Of course!” she says. She looks for seasoning. She finds cinnamon and sugar. “This will be just perfect,” she tells me. 

“Potatoes and cinnamon,” I reply. “Interesting.” 

“Build a house with me,” she demands. Another favorite request. Building and fixing and figuring out how things work. She fits together a meticulous piece of construction. “It’s a carwash,” she says proudly. “Wow,” I tell her. “That is a great carwash. You are so amazing at building things!” “Yes,” she agrees. “I am.” 

We are arguing about something and Daddy turns to her and says, “Hey, I made you so that means I’m in charge.” She turns very serious, contemplating this. “No, daddy,” she replies, frowning. “God made me.” We both fall silent. What can you say to that? 

At night when we say goodnight she asks for books and songs and squishy hugs. Bedtime is a last-ditch effort to squeeze more awake-time out of the day, to delay the inevitable moment of turning off the lights and closing her eyes. “What song would you like me to sing tonight?” I ask. She holds up her hand. “A lot of songs,” she says. “This many.” I sing her Happy Trails and Away in a Manger. “Okay, goodnight,” I say. “I love you.” Sometimes, she says she loves me too. Sometimes she says she loves me most. Sometimes she doesn’t say anything at all. 

But, at the end of the day, when she is asleep and the house is quiet again and I’m left wading through a sea of toys and ponytails and princess dresses, I slip down the hall and I think about the silence and the void that it leaves. I think about the future and the impending quiet of my someday house, when butterfly wings and glitter trails are remnants of days past; vestiges of bouncing curls and late-night hugs and chubby fingers in cookie dough. I think about these things as I walk down the hall, and instead of picking up the butterfly wings, I leave them where they are and step around them. I want to remember them forever, I decide. I want them to stay just as they are, for as long as they can, until chubby fingers turn to slender hands and princess dresses turn to prom dresses. I want all of it, for as long as it lasts, for always.

little princess

A short story by Summer Lane. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce without express permission of the author. Sharing or quoting is permitted. Thank you. 

Monday, December 13, 2021


Frigid, unforgiving wind swept across the ice-crusted Delaware River as General Washington surveyed the darkness. It was madness, impossible. What they were about to do…could not be done. Unless…by some stroke of luck…or perhaps the merciful hand of Divine Providence…that this ragged, threadbare, blood-caked regiment of Continental soldiers would make it across the dangerous, murky waters in the dead of night.

The date was December 25, 1776.

Christmas Day, early morning. Freezing cold. Dead of winter.

Washington’s soldiers were running out of supplies. Morale was depressingly low. The Declaration of Independence had been signed just months before in a fever pitch of patriotism and independent zeal, but now, in the thankless, deathly colonial winter, it was difficult to remember exactly what they were fighting for.

Freedom. Independence. “Liberty or death,” as Patrick Henry so eloquently expressed just one year before in his timeless speech delivered to the Virginia Assembly in 1775. Now, perched in the wilderness, Washington was forced to make a difficult decision. His American forces desperately needed a victory to boost morale, and the nearly 1400 Hessian troops (trained mercenaries) at the fort in Trenton across the river would be an easy target for his considerably bigger force. However, the Delaware River had turned into a churning deathtrap of ice and snow…and what’s more, the Hessians were aware of Washington’s presence, as well as the possibility of an attack from the beleaguered American forces.

But no one would be crazy enough to cross the Delaware. Especially on Christmas Day.

No one, of course, except for Washington.

Despite insanely cold weather – a storm blew in that morning that pelted the troops with hellish snow, hail, and sleet – they managed somehow to get their boats into the water. Hours of fighting the ice, rain, and freezing elements finally yielded results when the troops touched the banks of the other side of the river, exhausted but alive. Once on dry land, they marched to Trenton, where they swiftly and easily overtook the shocked Hessian forces, scoring the Continental Army their first major victory of the American Revolution.

Washington’s gamble had paid off. The American Revolution was well underway, and his men were flying high on the ecstasy of a long-awaited victory, which would also strategically serve to encourage more troops to enlist to fight for the cause for independence. It was a Christmas miracle, but it would not be the only miracle that occurred throughout the course of the War for Independence. In 1779, General Washington and another officer rode between Brandywine Creek in Philadelphia and General Howe’s British camp. While riding, four British sharpshooters sighted the Continental officers, and, as the story goes, Washington turned and met the gaze of Major Patrick Ferguson, who for some inexplicable reason decided to spare the lives of the men in his sights. Later, Ferguson would learn the identity of the man he locked eyes with, remarking later that “I am sorry that I did not know at the time who it was” (Medved, 2016).

Yet another astonishing miracle is recorded in history when Washington and the Continental Army found themselves in a tight spot in Brooklyn Heights, where they had been working on defenses all summer. In August, British General Howe struck the Americans with riotous force, driving them back onto the bluff, boxed in by the river. There was no escape…and yet another American miracle prevailed. The next day, the temperature dropped and a freak thunderstorm swept into the harbor, preventing British ships from sailing to shore and lambasting the sopping, exhausted Continentals. Another miracle was yet to be had: as the weather died down, an intense, soupy fog rolled across Brooklyn, providing Washington’s men with the perfect opportunity to retreat across the river, invisible to the enemy that was pressing in on them from the front. Washington led his men in a successful retreat, and once again, the Continental Army escaped nearly unscathed (McNair, 2006). Without the perfect, well-timed intervention of weather and wind, the Revolutionary Army would have been squashed that day.

America itself, from the first moment that the Pilgrims placed their worn boots on Plymouth Rock to the blood-soaked battles that won the Revolutionary War, is a country borne from more than simple grit and determination. Like the divinely-appointed birth of Christ, whom we celebrate every Christmas season, so America’s very conception seems to have been stirred by God Himself. Between miraculous, last-minute escapes to the seemingly supernatural protection over Washington’s life, America exists because miracles exist, and because God, in his gracious mercy and goodness, gave humble American colonists the chance to live free – a chance that many generations of Americans after have relentlessly continued to preserve and protect through both word and deed.




Crossing of the Delaware. (2021). Washington Library. Mount Vernon.

McNair, Rod. (2006). Brooklyn Heights: The Dunkirk of the American Revolution. Tomorrow’s World.

Medved, Michael. (2016). American Miracle.