Cresting by Tabitha Makes

By Tabitha Makes

Read Tabitha Makes’ new short story published on Elephant words. Get inspired . Leave a comment, tell her what you think, and make a your own story.

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About Elephant Words

Elephant Words (est 2007) is all about seeing how different writers respond to the same image. Every Sunday a new image is posted, and during the week new short writing is posted inspired by that image. The writing can be any format or genre, limited only by imagination!(And a word limit)

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It begins with anticipation. There is a subtle feeling that builds in your stomach but cannot be specifically defined. There is an anxiety, a need, a longing for freedom, to be carried shoreward. Yet you are still on land. You step into the water and paddle against nature but not to defy her, to join her. You continue until you find yourself in a vast expanse of ocean on all sides.

Then you wait, focused on the horizon but aware of your surroundings. You are unplugged, prepared for all of your thoughts, and completely hinged. Everything on shore, all of your surroundings, melt away.

The anticipation turns to hope, or for some, arrogance. You want to stand or know you will. You want every wave to be the ultimate ride. There’s a need to capture the ecstatic beauty you feel each time but can barely define. Every wave is different and, therefore, every ride is different. And then you see the ripple under the horizon. You watch patiently as the wave swells towards you, knowing when to turn toward land. The anticipation, hope, arrogance build and you paddle. You find the strength to match the waters speed and keep pace with the wave. You have to catch it as it passes without being left behind.

There is a moment when your anxiety and desire turn to an insanity. It builds and crests with the wave. You catch the wave and your mind lets go. You work harder than you ever have, fully engaged, to hold onto that ride. Falling is the enemy. But you aren’t thinking about the mechanics. Your mind is free, flooded with endorphins. You’ve been captured by the euphoric disbelief of what you have done. Standing on the water, you glide forward.

And finally the arrogance. You feel that you have conquered but also convened with nature. But you have not. Nature is too vast to know you were there. She has continued on without you. You stole a ride in but she won’t carry you back out.

There is a greed that follows. You have to own that feeling again. You turn back and continue until you have nothing left to give. In your mind, there’s an agreement. You will give everything in exchange for that ride, even if the ocean laughs at your demands. A subtle reminder of that freedom will never leave you. It remains in the corners of your mind where you can’t reach it. It will call to you. You want to go again and you will.

How to Stay a Creative Genius

I think we can all agree kids are pretty slow.

They can’t draw worth a darn, they walk like drunks, and they definitely can’t talk right. No, I do not want “basgetti” for dinner.

They fail at everything they try. They fall down. They hit their heads.

They are ridiculous, persistent to a fault, exhausting, outlandish, wild, and sometimes downright annoying.

But that’s only because nobody’s told them to grow up yet.

“I think somewhere along the way, we just forget how to suck.”

This gem came out of a conversation I had on Anchor the other day.

“We forget how to suck.”

Yeah, I’ll say.

Our students are shuffled into “honors” and “remedial” classes on the basis of one test in middle school.

Our career tracks are dumbed down to “do this and then do it better and then do it until you die.

Our hobbies are “frivolous.”

What’s the point of sucking when you could WIN! Winning, after all, is what life is all about.

Be an idiot

When Netflix tried to sell to Blockbuster they were laughed out of the room

“The Internet is a fad” people said, probably chortling through fat cigars. “You must be joking!”

Ha ha.

Be terrible

I’m probably the worst with directions. I leave for a place and then pull up the map on the fly. If it’s wrong, I have no chance. If I think I know where something is, that’s a very good indicator I’m within 100 miles of an address.

Not quite as accurate as Siri, but hey.

Do you know what else I used to be terrible at? Writing. The pitch to my college newspaper had approximately one hundred million red marks through it. They let me in anyway because I had “potential.”

(As I later learned, it was actually because they had no staff. It’s fine, though. I’m not too proud to take pity).

I was terrible for a long time. Longer than I should have been. Recently some people have told me I’m not terrible, but now my definition of “terrible” changed so who knows if I will ever get over it?

Such is art.

Be a dreamer

It’s odd, because somehow artists have gotten caught up in this entrepreneurial fad. Like we can hustle our way to a creative breakthrough.

But dreaming is not productive. It’s not supposed to be. But we try and pigeonhole it anyway. We have brainstorming exercises or idea sessions or creative collaboration events or whatever activity fits the buzzword of the moment.

Do you know what’s funny about people who are dreaming, though?

They are asleep.

Unaware of the world and unaware of a problem. Indifferent to business and hustle and work. Incapable of worry or stress.

You can’t dream on purpose.

That’s the whole point.

Be an explorer

And here’s the thing about exploration — it’s hard.

People are trying to go to Mars now. That’s hard.

In the 1800’s people went through grizzly bears and mountains and dissentary and eating squirrels to make their way out West. That was hard. (Trust me, I played and beat the Oregon Trail. I get it.)

Frontiers, whether literal or figurative, are difficult to reach.

But almost always worth it.

Be a self starter

Nobody will take your art deeper than you can. Not a guru. Not a role model. Not a mentor. Not your boss. Not your spouse.


And that’s hard too. Because some days you won’t feel like it. Some days you won’t feel like putting in your 750 words or mocking up a new design orjournaling.

Also, it’s lonely. People start to identify you by your work instead of your being.

And you go deeper still.

“I don’t get it,” they’ll say.

And you go deeper still.

“You don’t have to do this all the time, you know,” they’ll say.

Nobody will make you do it. But you’ll go deeper still.

Be an outcast

Creative people generally don’t fit in. That’s okay though. At least we can all not fit in together.

Here’s an interesting thing about the Internet — you are no longer condemned by geography.

What are you going to do with that freedom?

Be a kid

“I want to grow up”

We were at summer camp, where Max shot an arrow for the first time, climbed a rope up a rock wall, and made a friendship bracelet for his sister.

In the same day.

He did all of these things terribly. By the end of the summer, of course, he was better at them. 3 years later, he was an expert, and didn’t remember ever meeting me.

But I remembered him:

“I want to grow up”

When he told me this, I laughed.

“Trust me. You don’t.”

John F. Kennedy

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You!

Ask, “What You Can Do For Your Country?”

Martin Luther King


Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King!

Thank you for sharing your dreams and having the courage to Imagining a better future.


Robert E. Schmolze


United Imaging

Marketing Director, United Imaging Woodland Hills, CA 

  • Create graphics and campaigns for marketing and sales needs
  • Create and implement social media guidelines, newsletters, blog, and press releases
  • Update and manage United Imaging and United Interiors website
  • Track analytics for marketing and sales efforts for 20+ sales staff
  • Budget, create, and purchase promotional material
  • PowerPoint presentations, web and print proposals for clients, and internal use
  • Coordinating production and distribution of sales materials
  • Communicate with outside vendors for print, digital, and other needs


Mac / PC
Flash CS4
Microsoft Office
Photoshop CS5
Photo retouching
Social Networking Strategy
Illustrator CS5
Customer Service
Project Management
Four color printing
Dreamweaver CS4


Los Angeles City College
Los Angeles, CA
AA2BA Child Development Program

  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Branding
  • Logo Design

Corina Haywood, Modern Milliners
Los Angeles, CA

  • Website
  • Branding
  • Business card
  • Print catalog

4:13 Marketing
Los Angeles, CA.
Logo Design

  • Chatham University Press
  • LA Organize
  • The Baron Events

Nedd Footwear
Redwood City, CA.
Shoes for skaters,

  • Event planning
  • Displays
  • Email Campaign
  • Postcard
  • Poster
  • Print advertising

Los Angeles, CA.
Skin care products

  • Corporate identity
  • Trade booth
  • P.O.P
  • Catalog

Pit Bull Energy Drink
Los Angeles, CA.

  • Promotional calendar for Pit Bull Auto Racing

Community Health Council
Los Angeles, CA.
Healthy Families Campaign

  • Direct marketing mailers
  • Pay check stuffers
  • Posters
  • Corporate identity
  • Power point presentation
  • Workbook