Hangin’ Out With Atreyu

By Milli Thornton

Apart from the June 10K Days, the Fear of Writing blog has not seen much activity since mid-June, when I left for my vacation in New Mexico. The vacation only lasted a week . . . but I caught a bug while we were there. I didn’t get much chance to rest during our family visit and travels, so when I got home I collapsed into bed and let the bug overtake me.

After the worst of it was over, I couldn’t seem to snap back to my normal energetic and enthusiastic self. I took an extended amount of time off from my blogs and other online pursuits until I felt 100% myself again.

(If anyone is interested in the fatal mistake I made and how I *know* I could have avoided getting that sick, check out my article 5 Highly Effective Natural Remedies to Pack When You Travel, which opens in a new browser tab. Next time I’ll be packing more carefully!)

Now, to rattle this blog out of hibernation, I want to introduce you to a guy who is in no way related to the topic of writing (at least, not yet—but maybe he’ll grow up to follow in my footsteps). However, he’s a live wire and one smart little dude. We all need some of those “characters” in our real lives to feed our writing, right?

The character to which I refer is my four-year-old grandson, Atreyu. Get ready for some completely biased commentary from Gigi (my offline identity) as I share some of the best Atreyu photos from among the jillions I took.

Milli Thornton with her grandson, Atreyu

Atreyu and Gigi

Ohio being a long ways from New Mexico, and the cost of airfare high, I had not seen Atreyu since he was 10 months old. Some of my online friends know how nervous I was about whether he would accept me. He had always loved talking with “Gigi” by Skype and phone, right up until he got old enough to want to assert his independence. After that, when asked whether he wanted to talk to Gigi, for a long time his answer was “NO!” I didn’t know how he would take to me in person, but it turns out I had nothing to worry about. Whew.

Left: With his insect-sucking gun | Right: With the football he got for his birthday

We planned our trip to coincide with Atreyu’s fourth birthday party. He actually got to have two parties—one at the waterpark and one at an amusement park—and he got an absolute ton of toys . . . but this made up for the years when his parents were struggling financially (and so were we) so presents were not as abundant.

Playing Wii

This was an experimental photo. I had never actually been exposed to Wii before and I was fascinated to see how it works. I took this picture while Atreyu was doing his moves to make Sadie the dragon dance around. If you look closely, you can see Sadie near my feet.

Nerf bullets and candy floss

These two are among my favorite pictures of Atreyu because they show his mischievous side. In the first one, he’s looking smug with his ammunition—a bit of a James Bond, ready to shoot someone (Brian, actually) with his nerf bullets. In the next shot, he knew I wanted a photo of his messy face after eating cotton candy at the amusement park, so he turned and gave me a cheesy look for the camera.

Dipping Dots and water at the amusement park

It was really hard to choose a shot from this sequence! Here he is with his Dipping Dots (weird little ice cream pellets) and his bottle of water (he’s a kid who LOVES to drink water: quite strange in my experience). In the other three shots, first he gave me a radiant smile. And then he looked over at the Froghopper ride—which he is afraid of—and made totally comical faces of fear as he described why he was not intending to ride the Froghopper.

My daughter Bonnie with Atreyu after bathtime

One proud momma with her cutey son. My daughter Bonnie lives with her partner Jerimi and his daughter Elise (Atreyu’s lovely half-sister) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In case you’re wondering where he got his cool name: Atreyu is named for one of the boy heroes in the movie NeverEnding Story.

Thank you for allowing me to indulge my grandmotherly adoration. For my next post we’ll get back to writing topics!

Milli Thornton, Fear of Writing Blog | Fear of Writing Online Course

Milli Thornton


Milli Thornton is the author of Fear of Writing: for writers & closet writers. She is owner of Unleash Your Writing! and the Fear of Writing Online Course, where her mission is to put the fun back into writing. Milli also blogs at Screenwriting in the Boonies and Milliver’s Travels and coaches writers at Writer’s Muse.

25 Responses to Hangin’ Out With Atreyu
  1. Patti
    Twitter: pattistafford
    July 10, 2012 | 8:28 AM

    Love it! Thanks for sharing. He’s such a cutie!

    So sorry you caught a bug, but glad you are feeling much better.

  2. Carole
    Twitter: cjtreggett
    July 10, 2012 | 9:07 AM

    Milli, it looks like you had a wonderful reunion with Atreyu and Bonnie indeed! What a charming dynamo your grandson is, seriously 🙂

    Glad to hear you’re feeling a bit better now and even more tickled that you took the time to share this post with us. Loved the great photos too!

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 6:22 PM

      Dynamo is a good word for Atreyu. He had me playing baseball and football, trying to keep up with him in the pool and even assembling one of his games because he was too impatient to wait for his Dad to get home from running errands. 🙂

      • Atreyu Thornton
        July 9, 2020 | 1:02 AM

        Wow Gigi I see how it is

  3. Tania Dakka
    Twitter: TaniaDakka
    July 10, 2012 | 9:47 AM

    Awesome, Milli! He is sooo adorable and I bet you have a follower of your foot steps on your hands! The trip looked like loads of fun and I’m glad you’re feeling better!

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 6:23 PM

      Tania, thanks for reading and checking out my photos. You couldn’t tell me too many times that Atreyu is adorable. Loved hearing it! 😀

  4. Estrella Azul
    July 10, 2012 | 1:00 PM

    The best way to get back into the swing of things: posting precious photos of Atreyu!
    Love this post, I’m so happy you had such a wonderful time together after so long!

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 6:24 PM

      Thank you, Estrella! I was hoping you’d come see him. I’m glad you agree that my Treyu photos are precious.


  5. Sandra Williams
    July 10, 2012 | 1:59 PM

    Loved the pics and narration. Glad you indulged us! What better subject for writing than one near and dear to your Gigi heart!

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 6:27 PM

      Great-step-Gigi Sandra! I found a way to coax you out of the woodwork: post my Atreyu pix. I hope you’ll be able to visit us in NM and hang out with me and Atreyu in the not-too-distant future!

  6. Charlotte Rains Dixon
    Twitter: wordstrumpet
    July 10, 2012 | 3:20 PM

    Oh goodness, he is so cute! And he looks like he adores his Gigi. I’m so pleased to have you back on blog and twitter–I missed you, but I knew you were doing what you needed to do to get well.

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 6:30 PM

      Charlotte, one of my most precious moments was in an Indian restaurant where they had a fountain. Brian gave Atreyu a coin to throw into the water and, naturally, he immediately wanted another one. For the second one, Treyu allowed me to teach him how to make a wish. He didn’t quite understand how to do it, so he commanded me to make the wish while he threw the coin in. (Naturally, my wish was for more Atreyu time real soon. :))

  7. Lois
    July 10, 2012 | 8:00 PM

    He’s so cute, Milli! 😀

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 9:04 PM

      Thanks, Lois. I know you know the joys of cute grandsons. 😀

      • Lois
        July 10, 2012 | 9:08 PM

        You’re welcome, Milli. 🙂

        I sure do. We’re at Josiah’s house now. 😉

  8. Lisa Ann Hayes
    July 10, 2012 | 8:11 PM

    We all need rejuvenation and in spite of catching a bug Atreyu is just what the doctor would order!

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 10, 2012 | 9:05 PM

      Thanks, Lisa. Loved your comment! I feel rejuvenated every time I look at my Atreyu photos.

  9. Meg
    July 10, 2012 | 10:19 PM

    What sweet pics! Glad you had a vacation . . .except for the sick part . . . and your grandson is precious Gigi! You look rested and happy.

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 12, 2012 | 5:56 PM

      Thank you, Meglette! I’m thrilled you got to see my Atreyu pix.

  10. Annie Neugebauer
    Twitter: AnnieNeugebauer
    July 11, 2012 | 12:59 PM

    I love this “inside look” into your life, Milli! Very sweet grandson. Glad you’re back and feeling better; hope you feel back to normal energy soon.

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 12, 2012 | 5:58 PM

      Thanks, Annie. I’m back to my normal energy, thank goodness. It really sucks when you can’t do simple chores without getting worn out.

      Glad you enjoyed this “inside look” into my life. I certainly enjoyed my insider’s look into yours! The interview with your husband was precious. 🙂

  11. j
    July 16, 2012 | 3:29 PM

    LOVE this post. Between getting ready for my digital Hiatus and taking it, I missed this post, but I’m so glad I found it. I’m with Annie. I love these little glimpses into the things that feed your soul. xo

    • Fear of Writing
      Twitter: fearofwriting
      July 16, 2012 | 7:52 PM

      Thanks, j! I did want you to see this one and, in fact, have been intending to post a link to in your Summer of Soul widget. Just too many things I’m trying to tame right now (or them me!) and haven’t had time to figure out how to use the widget. But I will!

      Glad you liked this glimpse into The Secret Life of Gigi. 😉

  12. Becky
    Twitter: bsfirstpages
    July 18, 2012 | 9:31 AM

    Love looking at these wonderful pictures and reading about the amazing time you had.
    Very tug-at-my-heart strings-stuff! 🙂

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