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Right-Hearted by Daniel Wallock
updated: May 17, 2014, 1:00 PM

By the Dedicated Staff of edhat.com

Local 18-year-old writer, Daniel Wallock, has recently released his book, Right-Hearted: Finding What's Right With A Wrong-Sided Heart, detailing his journey through life with severe heart conditions and finding love. Read an excerpt below to learn more about his book.


It was dark outside when I got out of bed. I made some black coffee and sat down at my roommate's desk. Though I was alone, my burning coffee somehow made me feel as though someone were there with me. With a single bright lamp I wrote for three hours straight. Every so often I would make more coffee, but otherwise I concentrated on my writing.

After breakfast I played a soccer video game with one of my three roommates. That's when my phone buzzed. She was on her way. I dropped the controller and began walking down the path that led to the school parking lot. On my way, I found myself appreciating my surroundings: trees, squirrels, nature. The thin flip-flops on my feet were the only thing separating me from the moist bark that covered the ground. With every step I left a small imprint that changed the ground beneath me. Nervousness swirled through me like a bad storm.

Her mom dropped her off. I walked over, unsure of myself. My voice shook as I said, "Hello. So, you want to go on a walk?"

While walking on the concrete we talked about trivial things. Both of us could feel heaviness in the air. Neither of us knew what we were doing or what we wanted. We didn't know what to expect or what the other person would be like.

Everything changed when we stepped on the dirt. That's when we both began sharing. Sheltered under a bridge, we sat down on some rocks. A small stream separated two different steep rocky sides of the giant trench. We were surrounded by graffiti, which we both admired. Under the bridge the sounds of running water and birds helped my thoughts drift away.

With curiosity she turned to me and inquired further about my life. She must have liked the letter I had written because she asked a lot of questions about me. I was accustomed to telling my life story, but I was hesitant. Gradually, though, I shared my journey with her. She looked at me horrified when I spoke about the tragic events that had shaped me. She was completely motionless. Stunned by my blunt honesty, she listened intently. Feeling misunderstood by her facial expressions, I said, "The last thing I want is for you to feel bad for me. I want to share about myself because I understand that to the same extent I have struggled is to the same extent I have experienced life. The last thing I want is pity. I want people to understand how amazing it is to be breathing and how amazing it is to be alive."

I stood up and walked over to skip rocks in the small creek. She followed and began sharing some of the events that had shaped her life. It was a story of loss. A story of abuse and a story of uncontrollable events. A story of missing people and unanswered questions.

When our conversation came to a natural stop, we both enjoyed the tranquil atmosphere. I skipped rocks and she casually climbed up a wall on the other side of the water. Each time we looked at each other we cracked a smile. It was only a few minutes until I decided to go sit next to her. I sat with my legs open allowing each one to hang over opposite edges of the wall. She sat the same way. Maybe a few squeaks were made, but mostly indescribable soft noises. Nonverbal communication. I guess that's romantic. She started to speak, then stopped as if what she was going to say would upset me. I gave her a puzzled glance.

She then softly said, "I'm bad with words… Umm… Can I kiss you?"

Summary of book:

Standing before the sky I had little idea my next two weeks would be overwhelmed with wild love, lust, confusion, tears and a beautiful girl. She and I would share the stories of our hearts...our right-sided hearts. Right-Hearted: Finding What's Right With A Wrong Sided Heart is the story of two lustful teenagers who together confront their life-threatening conditions and learn to embrace their broken hearts.

About the Author:

Daniel is an eighteen year old writer who's been traveling the country learning to deal with his seven heart conditions, doing community service and meeting new people. Daniel grew up in Santa Barbara and loves to call the Jesusita trail his home. His writing has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal, Paragraph Planet, Wild Quarterly, and The Bolt Magazine. He's received four writing awards including first place in San Jose State University's Nonfiction Short Story Contest. He also received a Gold Key for nonfiction, the highest regional honor, from Scholastic's Art and Writing Awards.

Daniel's website: www.danielwallock.com

Buy the book on Amazon: Right-Hearted


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