Blog - GOING HOME - SPRING SEMESTER, 2015 by Hadley Ring, AKA The Seventeen-Year-Old Freshman   

      When I first moved into my dorm room, my RA glued cutout photos of Bet’s and my faces onto paper ducklings and taped them to our door. I remembered seeing a duckling snatched by a crow from its mother. It cried out until it went silent on the branch of an evergreen tree where the crow ate him. Bet’s Dad, Franklin Rhodes, was murdered on his way to work one day. They found him stuffed inside the trunk of his Mercedes. I had a friend in Boston who told me she saw the ghost of Bet’s Dad when she worked in the kitchen at the clubhouse of the Thump Golf Club. She heard the wind blowing, thunder cracked, then the creaking floors grew footsteps; she saw a bright light covering him in the doorway.  “You’re dead!” she tried to yell, but his scent left her gasping.

       Mr. Thump stole the place from Bet’s family in a short sale. Bets’ Dad had been forty-million-dollars in debt from building it when he was found dead with his head bashed in, his keys tossed on the tarmac outside his white trunk. Mr. Thump bought the place for one million, leaving Mrs. Rhodes owing the balance. Her family was broken by bankruptcy and grief; they would never be whole again. I knew this much about Bets before we even met. I studied her deep blue eyes, her head mounted a little askew on the duckling body and wondered what the rest of my roommate would look like. Then I opened the door to discover she was a tall blonde who called a toe-may-toe a toe-mah-toe among other things. After being my roommate for the school year, Bets was going to spend the summer on Nantucket as a nanny, away from everything that haunted her.      

    “You may be the only student here who’s leaving Jersey,” I said as I stuffed my down parka into one of the boxes on the floor between our beds.

    “You going to your Mom’s or your Dad’s?” she asked me.

    “I’m going home to the house I grew up in, not that apartment Mom calls home. How could I leave my backyard deck and the round metal table that’s as green as the lawn my dad’s always mowing? Maybe I’ll see the Heavenly White Deer in the woods behind our yard this summer; seeing him always reminds me of Derrick, my little brother, who died as a baby. I like to believe the deer is his spirit coming home.”

     I stood by my desk deciding which textbooks needed to be returned. Neuro-Psychology had been rented. I put it on the pile and told her, “It’s temporary. They’re getting back together. Writing Your Brightest Lines has a 90% success rate of getting families back together. That’s why I agreed to join. I got the email today.”


Date: March 20, 2015

To: Hadley Ring 

Re: WYBL Course

Dear Hadley,

Start writing to heal your heart. Your first lesson is now available on our Writing Your Brightest Lines website. Click here to access it.

Thank you for joining me in writing!

With love,




You can’t improve on the wisdom that’s already inside of you. As your coach, I will share my writing experience andguide you in writing from your heart--where your brightest lines are. It is from this writing that all healing takes place.

Your writer-self needs no improving. Writing is your truth. Trust that your family will heal from this. We are writers who have this very powerful human tendency to forget our writer-selves. And forgetting that we are writers is painful and feels very, very real. But we are still writers even when we are not writing. In this course, we are just revisiting what and who we are.

Trust that writing is what you are meant to do and that all the things you do to avoid writing will still be waiting for you when you’ve gotten a good start on your writing here. Post your response in our FB group using the thread #Response to Lesson One.


#Response to Lesson One


When I first met you I couldn’t stop thinking about you.  I even began dreaming about you. On our very first date, I took you to this little restaurant by the ocean. I knew all about wines and loved cooking, so I ordered for you. We talked and talked, and you just sat there gazing into me. I felt closer to you than I had to any other woman before in my life. I want us to go back to that and that is what I’m writing about. A part of us has to die to transform; and a part of us lives, but which part of us will save our marriage? When I think back to the thousand little deaths that happened daily every time I disappointed you with broken promises or had to say no to possibilities because I was traveling for work all the time, and I believed I was always right so I was cruel, so cruel, more cruel than anyone else could be to you. I watched the flicker of hope extinguishing the life of our by day. Today I embrace the little deaths of old attitudes, beliefs, and actions that no longer serve me and I walk through this day full of hope, love and gratitude. I hope you enjoyed the roses I sent you.



I project my past hurts and disappointment into my future--and as a result, I have no future, only a continuation of the past.

My father left us when my mother died. I hated him for leaving and taking everything. “It’s all mine,” he said. She died without a will and in NJ everything goes to the spouse. She’d worked all her life and saved for me to go to college. But he took every penny of my college money and spent it on himself and his girlfriend. Did this wound make me believe I’m not loveable? Solution: go back to that child and tell her it’s not true. Your father was a deeply wounded soul who never reached his potential for love but that is not true for you. You can heal your heart and move forward with this gift planted in your soul.

What I don’t want. I don’t want to believe that all men will be like my father and let it keep me from asking for the love and connection my heart desires.

What am I afraid to know? That I can’t love myself because I’m too wounded to trust another man?

What am I hiding? I know how to love myself. I’m deserving of love and forgiveness.

What do I almost know? It’s okay to let go and not yet know how I will receive this love from a man.

What can I eliminate to get clear on what I want and how to get it? I have to be open to all paths and just start WYBL.

My father’s voice is my most common boogieman. It tells me repeatedly that I can’t have what I want. So don’t get your hopes up or I’ll come back and take it from you!!!! His whiskey breath howling back in with the wind through the open window, in with those curtain rods hitting me over and over, again and again as I write down every reason I can’t have it…every fear of not getting what I want and my fear of losing what I have. Now I need to know what’s true…




To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven.



    Soon my dorm room will be someone else’s. I’m removing my elephant collection and the photo of me going stag to my prom, surrounded by friends, all of us in pink dresses to make a statement for Megan who was in the hospital with breast cancer and was too ill to come. The photo is of us with Megan at the second prom they had donated for her that summer. My fan fiction poster of Olivia is an original drawn just for me: Jack in my favorite pose, looking out at me from the driver’s seat of his red Ferrari, his hair perfectly in place, his dark sun glasses, his trademark smile. Everything will be taken down to the bare cinderblock walls for an incoming freshman that’s still deciding which dorm to live in. One day the place is yours and the next it’s that stranger’s. Ladybird Johnson sent her decorator to start redoing the White House the day after JFK died I read somewhere. Bets said that when her family’s home went into foreclosure, they left so much behind, living like nomads in rented houses where the walls had to remain bare for prospective buyers. So they left her dad’s portrait on the wall of Bet’s big house. People say that house is haunted just like Thump’s Golf Club. Neighborhood children climbed through the fence, the high grass, and broken windows, the floor creaking under their feet as they explored. They flashed their bright lantern on Bet’s American Girl Doll, Elizabeth, her head smashed still lying on the table in front of Franklin Rhode’s portrait. “The doll’s head moved!” One boy screamed. “No it didn’t, you baby!” The big boy jeered. They both stood watching as it moved for certain. This time, their mouths dropped as a hazy figure materialized out of the portrait, fumbling with a piece of the doll’s hairy skull, placing it just so until Elizabeth’s head was made whole again. “Run!” the big boy screamed, desperate to be the first one out.

      I think Thump had a hit man kill Franklin Rhodes and he quashed the investigation, had them list it as an accidental death. Who does Thump think he’s fooling? Does he think we believe Franklin climbed in there, shut the trunk after hitting his head and dropping his keys when he hit the ground? Only Thump could tweet a story like that.

       I sat on my bed with my MacBook Pro in my lap, writing fan fiction to post on Wattpad for the writer Gram Lee’s book Twelve Reasons Why.



From Twitopedia, twitter’s encyclopedia tweeted by followers

The Following tweet is about the novel Twelve Reasons Why.

Twelve Reasons Why is told from both the Mother’s (Barb) and Father’s (John) points of view in Facebook posts that become vengeful accusations of each other as they tell the story of the breakup of their 20-year marriage. Each partner claims to be the victim but the true victim of their emotional abuse is their only child, Olivia.

Gram has received criticism about glorifying bullying, and schools around the country have issued warnings to parents:  “The book’s message is dangerous to potential victims of bullying because it will motivate others to use words as weapons, bullying other kids into going through with committing suicide.” The author says that he aspired to educate students that this kind of behavior is not okay and to defend themselves like Olivia does if they find themselves face to face with a bully. Nonetheless, many readers report feeling deeply disturbed by the book on many levels.


    John was trying to hit Barb in the head with his golf club, shattering the windows of their BMW when she ducked. Olivia was ten-years-old and sitting in the back seat. “Mommy! Daddy!” she cried like a chirping duckling with no one to protect her from the shards of glass raining down, piercing her skin until she was covered in blood. That was the first reason why…

From Chapter 1, Twelve Reasons Why, copyright 2015 by Gram Lee



Wayland, MA (AP) – Douglas Thump owns another golf club.

Thump calls it "the best course, by far, on the outskirts of Boston." When he first got a glimpse of it a year ago, he knew he wanted it.

Last Thursday, the real estate mogul finalized a million dollar deal to buy the Isle Golf Club, which he immediately renamed the Thump National Golf Club-Wayland.

The club opened in 2008, and had been weighing offers to sell because the 550-acre, 18-hole course was experiencing financial difficulties. In February, when Franklin Rhodes, the 51-year-old builder and owner was found dead, Thump made a deal to save the club.

He currently operates eight golf courses across the country and two in Europe.

Welcome to Wattpad–where fans post their different realities, fan fiction of the books they love. We accept great stories. Post yours here.

–Wattpad homepage welcome message,

                                 retrieved January 2, 2015

Fan Fiction on Wattpad By Hadareason

There are a bunch of new comments on my page because I haven’t posted a new chapter of fan fiction for Twelve Reasons Why in the past few days. Family stuff. When I post, beware because just like in Gram Lee’s writing, there are three people each with twelve different reasons why. In mine, you also never know which of my characters is telling the truth. Remember it’s their behavior, not their words that defines what’s true. I’ll get to the bottom of things in my next post. No worries. I promise you that I’ll be posting soon. Chill out! It’s worth the wait.

Posted February 2015


Dear Hadley,

Time to write again to heal your heart. Your second lesson is now available on our Writing Your Brightest Lines website. Click here to access it.

With love,




 “Mirror, mirror on the wall. Am I the most loving one of us all?”

#Response to Lesson Two


I’m suffering from a trauma spell. All I can think of is shattered glass raining down on me, piercing my skin until I saw blood. I hid under a table, shivering. I don’t remember how old I was--only that it was dark. Who was I so afraid of?


We were enjoying a nice Thanksgiving dinner cruise on the Hudson River when this crazy woman began breaking wine glasses. She lunged at us, trying to kill your father with a shard of glass. She had super-human strength and cold grey eyes. I could barely stop her from slitting your father’s throat. It took all of my strength to hold her back while he got away, then she started punching me in the head. By the time the police boarded, blood was pouring out of me. You had hidden under a tablecloth, you were shivering when I found you there. She believed you were her daughter; that’s what she kept screaming to the cops. She was holding an envelope full of pictures of her dead son.  I heard someone say that the crazy lady had been in an accident, hit her head against the windshield, and never been the same since then. The captain said she paid to be on the boat ride, been on it with her little boy for the last two years, this was the first time without him. Her clothes were dirty, her hair was uncombed, and her eyes glazed over like someone on drugs.


It all began when I asked the crazy woman to leave you alone. She was showing you photos of her son and telling you how he died. “You’re scaring my daughter.” She said, “A son is a son until he takes a wife. A daughter’s your daughter for the rest of your life,” picked up a champagne glass and broke it. Then came at me with its razor-like edge. Candice grabbed her but the crazy lady had me pinned against a table yelling, “Don’t talk to me like that! She’s my child. A son is your son until he takes a wife. A daughter is yours for the rest of your life.” As soon as your mother forced her to let go of the glass, she picked up another and smashed it. Then she lunged for me with it, barley missing my throat as I dodged her again and again. She filed charges against us, saying we attacked her. Candice had passed her address book around; nearly fifty witnesses had given their phone numbers to verify our story. The crazy lady had to plead guilty to disorderly conduct for ruining everyone’s Thanksgiving and nearly killing me, not to mention the thousands of dollars in legal fees we had to shell out.


Fan Fiction on Wattpad By Hadareason

    “Mommy! Daddy!” Olivia cried like a terrified duckling with no one to protect her from the shards of glass raining down, piercing her skin until she was covered in blood.

     “Who’s throwing broken glass at me?” she asked, peeking out from under the white cloth draped to the floor around the round table where she was hiding. It was snug and safe; even the sound of breaking glass was muffled. The white twinkle-lights on a potted evergreen blinked and she saw her, the crazy lady with that brown envelope. A photograph fell out, floating down to Olivia like a dead leaf; only it wasn’t a leaf; it was the photo of a small boy, the son who died.

From “The First Reason Hurt People Hurt,” posted February 2015


From Hadley’s College Application Essay submitted April 2014

Cut off from all electronics, all of my familiar modes of communication while on a mission with my church in Costa Rica, I became a birder. Watching birds was soothing and I felt like a small child looking at them for the first time with amazement; nothing like it was when Dad took me birding as a small child and I looked at him like he was a crazy embarrassment. He grew up in India before the Internet, when birders communicated with birds through their songs; and he knew each bird’s song and how to call to them. I never understood why he bothered to know this until I was cut off from all the electronic noise surrounding me and forced to listen to nature. It was like hearing a symphony for the first time. I was truly humbled and began enjoying the sound of my heart beating, fluttering like a bird and wondered why I hadn’t taken the time to turn everything off to really listen to myself before.


Fan Fiction on Wattpad By Hadareason

There are a bunch of new comments on my page. Is that you Bets who posted, “I need my daily Jack fix?” Some of you say I’ve lost touch, others say they can’t wait…what happens next, whatever. I want to remind you that the characters belong to Gam Lee. I’m just borrowing them to tell my story or to paraphrase Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, I’m kidnapping Olivia and raising her like my own. So I want to give you a heads up about my upcoming posts for Twelve Reasons Why coming in the next few days. Here’s The Big Question: does a car make a man or does a man make a car?  Enjoy!

Posted March, 2015


Jack drove a Tesla. Olivia, impressed by a car you plug in and the special parking spots around Boston reserved only for electric cars, fell for Jack. He just pulled his sleek black car up, parked it overnight, and it was good to go. It was so economical and environmentally friendly. She overlooked everything else about Jack. He was superficial, selfish, and had a bad temper. She only thought about the car and the cool parties he could drive her to.

From Chapter 14, Twelve Reasons Why, copyright 2015 by Gram Lee



Bets: That was me that said I need my daily fix of Jack. What’s going on? I’m waiting for you to write the scene where she dumps Jack. LOL

Hadley: My Fan fiction is getting too big for me. I have a following, six thousand people a week! I can’t respond to all their likes and comments. Some want more of Olivia as a victim. Others want her to declare her independence. Everyone, including moa, wants a crack at that rumored spot on that digital video network, a chance at getting paid for my fan fiction.

Dear Hadley,

Time to write again to heal your heart

With love,




Write every day! Turn off all electronics and simply write!

#Response to Lesson Three


Jim was obsessed with his hair, always combing it so that even a strand   never dared to stay out of place and he wore those dark glasses even on cloudy days. He wanted me to wear colors that coordinated with what he was wearing. He’d call me up and tell me, “Wear that red sexy top of yours today.”  I told him nicely that I didn’t want to go out with him any more. I needed time for myself -- to hang with my friends and wear what I want. Besides, he goes to TCNJ and I go to Rutgers and he’s anxious all the time! Those pills his mother forced down his throat—Valium, Paxil, Zoloft—left him in a constant state of anxs. Just saying “no” made me feel like I wasn’t nice, even though I told him as nicely as I could. Then I put on my white t-shirt and jeans. I began to unwind with my headphones, and meditated. Then how much Jim needed me became something in my past, and it wasn’t draining me like it did when I was with him. Then I realized it wasn’t about being nice; it was about setting boundaries; listening to how I feel. He wasn’t good for me so I ended it.


He was so good looking: tall with that black hair and those baby-blue eyes and he had that Ferrari. I could see why you liked him. Still, I felt sorry for him, and I wanted you to have a good relationship. I’m your mother. I need to believe that I am a good mother; that we were good parents, even if we’re not good for each other. My whole identity was built around this. I’d spent too much of my life being nice, accommodating, and taking care of others—trying to avoid disapproval, anger, and rejection. I’m finally letting go and just letting things be. I’m letting you fly and you’re landing on your feet. I’m so proud of you.


I think you did the right thing. You should go to college thinking about yourself and concentrating on your courses; not wasting your time on Jim. I want you to have fun, go on lots of dates, and get to know yourself. I’m not good with people but you are. Study hard and meet lots of interesting people. I’m your Dad and I will do anything for you. You know that, don’t you? I’m proud of you, too.


Fan Fiction on Wattpad By Hadareason

Olivia never had a boyfriend before she met Jack and she loved the red Ferrari his dad had given him. That’s all Jack ever got from his dad who lived somewhere in New England. Jack doesn’t even know his dad’s address because he hardly ever saw him. Jack’s dad hated Jack’s mom. He said his mom only married his dad for his money. His mom was always upset by Jack’s high energy and took him to doctors complaining that Jack was hyperactive. She went to multiple doctors and got multiple pills-- Valium, Paxil, Zoloft! She had Jack wash all of them down his throat with his morning O.J., so he’d sit still in school, and never stand up to her at home. One day Social Services came and took him from her. Jack saw his dad for the first time in years when they placed him with his dad’s parents in the next town over. His father said, “I can’t take you in, Son. But take the Ferrari.”  He handed Jack the keys and left, just like that.

From “For Haven’s Sake,” posted March, 2015