Aside

Tyree Tomes is the forum in which my father and myself  announce and discuss our books and contests with our fans.

Dad, (Dr. Wilson Jay Tyree, minister for the churches of Christ and spiritual author) and I (Elizabeth S. Tyree, friend of dragons and young adult fantasy author) are pleased to announce that we have almost reach 100 ‘likes’ on this Facebook page and, as such, are going to conduct a contest when the 100th ‘like’ comes in. The winner will receive one of our books, their choice, autographed and personalized by the author.

We would LOVE for each and every one of you to be a part of this! Just go to www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes and click the ‘like’ button at the top of the page. You will be privy to inside information, research questions (mostly from me…I admit it!), and discussions of our books. We enjoy interacting with our fans/followers/people with questions. So come on over and get your chance at a free book and great conversation!

 

Just Sleep!

I went to bed almost two hours earlier than usual. Exhausted, I hoped to get settled down fairly quickly and at least gain a little extra sleep time. I cleared my bed of all the usual notebooks and colored pens that litter almost every surface I spend any time around and reached to turn of the light…BAM!

I spent the next hour writing a chapter and half (or so) of my newest novel. Finally at a point where I had nothing more to say for the moment, I quickly put all away, crawled under my fluffy comforter, snapped off the lamp and thought…maybe I should blog about it.

REALLY? REALLY ELIZABETH??

JUST SLEEP ALREADY!!

 

But I can’t sleep, at least not until I write it all out. Laying in the dark, tortured by my beloved words doesn’t do me any good. I can’t get any sleep with them clogged ad stagnating, choking me, almost angrily waiting for me to get up and allow them to be written. What right do I have to sleep when such mad forces are awaiting my hand?

Oh well, at least I’m not just binging on Netflix again!

(This picture of I took of Pickles, a rescued sea turtle who lives at the Corpus Christie Aquarium {one of my most favorite places to while away the time} has absolutely nothing at all to do with the post…EXCEPT that I wrote a scene last night including an angry sea turtle, and she seems to fit the bill. Enjoy! )

How I Became a Ghost

How I Became a Ghost

A Choctaw Trail of tears story

The How I became a ghost series: book 1

Written by: Tim Tingle

Published by:

The Roadrunner Press

Oklahoma city

2013

 

Included extras:

Inside map illustration by Steven Walker

Showing the path of the trail of tears

And

A set of 14 discussion questions

 

Age range: Middle Grades (8-13 years old)

Review:

By Elizabeth S. Tyree

( https://alaynabellesmom.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/TyreeTomes )

 

In Tim Tingle’s How I Became a Ghost we are introduced to Isaac, a ten year old Choctaw boy living in the Nation of Mississippi in the year 1830. Isaac lives in a village with his parents, one older brother (Luke), and a talking dog named Jumper. Though the narrator is ‘only’ ten, the reader understands from the opening line that something big is going on and that things just aren’t quite right.

“Maybe you have never read a book written by a ghost before.” Isaac says, and so it begins. He tells us of his tribes removal from their village, his dawning knowledge that the beliefs are true…the departed tribesman stay with their people as ghosts, and life as a tribe on the move, first in a swamp and then on the Trail of Tears.

Isaac also shares with us the belief that, “When you will soon be a ghost, sometimes you see people before they are ghosts. You see how they will die.” (pg 7)

Armed with this ‘gift’ and resilient spirits, Isaac and his companions, both living and ghostly, begin their long journey down the Trail of Tears. Some, including our young narrator, do not finish the journey as living beings, but becoming ghosts doesn’t seem to stop anybody. They continue on their journey, bound as a family of both blood and choice as the Choctaw are herded by hard soldiers along the path to their future.

Showing the spirit, strength of character, cunning, and community that the Choctaw pride themselves in, Tingle’s characters pull the reader along for the walk. By weaving facts into the storyline to show truths of the Trail inside the tale, Nahullos (non-Choctaw) can achieve a glimpse of what it might have been like to be forced into the walk. Though it includes several death scenes, Tingle has walked the tightrope between causing goose bumps and creating nightmares…and I believe that he did it well.

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 Dragons. As usual, I look forward to reading more of Mr. Tingle’s work in the future.

To discover more about Tim Tingle, go to: www.timtingle.com

 

 

 

 

StoryTellers

I can’t be certain when it happened. Perhaps in utero or perhaps before. Whatever and/or whenever doesn’t really matter now though. From my first memories, I have always been interested in stories and those who tell them. According to my parents, I was born telling stories and just never stopped. Now, in my late twenties and with a toddler of my own, I smile at the stories of my early tales and gladly pass on the knowledge of words. She seems to have a knack for tale telling herself!

I inherited my love of words from a book-a-holic mother and a ministerial father. My father and I share a facebook page and an encompassing identity of being the authors and overseers of Tyree Tomes. All for the love a good story.

In some ancient cultures, the story tellers were considered high up in the societal standings. Some travelled from town to town sharing news and trifles with villagers. Some even passed their profession down through the generations like we have, like some pass down being carpenters or school teachers (which, incidentally, we also do!). However, being an orator, or story teller, has always been a somewhat solitary practice. You must live inside yourself and the characters you create, that precludes much interaction from the outside.

However, with today’s technologies, we have created blogs, forums, communities, and social media pages to share our works, converse, and tell stories to one another. All of our tastes are different, our writing styles range the poles, but we pass on the profession, just like each generation before us did. The travelling is a lot easier now a-days though.

 

The Stream

It was just a stream, really. A sometimes babbling, sometimes rushing section of water that crashed over, around, and between the moss covered stones.

The bank was slippery, treacherous to climb most days that he went, the water much too cold to swim in unless during the height of summer, and the woods surrounding the clearing became terrifyingly spookier as twilight neared.

So why was he drawn here, day after day? He had not played here in his youth. He hadn’t even known of the nearby town’s existence until moving to Maine from New Mexico two years before, armed with a brand new teaching license and an offer to teach eighth grade math.

Quite frankly, the enveloping verdance and frequent rain showers unnerved the poor fellow. Yet day after day her left his classroom, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse one town over, grabbed his bag and bottled water, and, occasionally accompanied by the cat, , made his way through the field and down the path to a large, almost hollowed out stone. Here he would sit during all but the worst weather, protected by overhanging vegetation as he graded papers, wrote lesson plans, or just sat.

Little thoughts and one liners were jotted down. Characters and plot ideas were placed on note cards, and all of it was unceremoniously shoved into an ever growing binder.  The time passed, though his twilight unease did not, and the young man began to hear the wind’s whispers and see the flitting wings in his surroundings.

Though he was offered better paying jobs elsewhere throughout the years, he would always stay in that same small school, with his ever changing stream.

Years later, with numerous best-sellers under his belt, the now older and much more famous man took the stand as a commencement speaker at that same small school.

“Life,” he said, “Does not always do what you think it should. Do not be afraid to face your fears, to do your best no matter what, and to go where you must. And Always remember that sometimes all you have to do is sit down, shut up, and listen.”

He then walked down the silent aisle, drove to his ‘historical’ farmhouse in the next town over, grabbed his notebook and bottle of water, and made his way home.

Artistry?

Have you ever wished that you knew how to do that one certain thing? Perhaps you always wanted to learn to skateboard, or to do a back handspring, or to turn junk shop finds into high end treasures.

For me it has always been the desire to learn how to draw. I can copy fairly rudimentary patterns with a small amount of success, but to draw my own illustrations…that’s a dream that I just can’t seem to realize.

CAM03116 CAM03118

(actual paintings created by me: Elizabeth S Tyree)

My illustrator is my mother, and she is an honest to goodness artist. The woman can paint, draw, or sew just about anything you ask her to, as long as she can visualize the outcome. If I do my job correctly, she can visualize and draw out my characters EXACTLY how I see them. Of course, without a writer’s words paving the way, you may never know about the purple and orange aliens that reside on the small planetary body of R1392Q12. That’s where I come in.

You see, the inhabitants of Planetary Body R1392Q12—which they refer to as Glorph – are a peculiar race.

With heads and long necks similar to those of our giraffes, a body that resembles the size and stature of a large horse, and eyes positioned in their nostrils, Glorphians can be told apart mainly by the number of spots on their back legs, and the color of their tongues. The spots on their back legs often include lines of runes, these lines denote their family titles and are tattooed on in lime green by Glorphites (a race of mole-like mammals that live as a lower class society to the Glorphians and use their own quills to tattoo the upper class). Tongue colors, which are natural and change from the birth color at about 6 weeks, denote their job types and can range throughout the rainbow and include neon pink for school teachers, burgundy for butchers, and black for their politicians.

The language spoken, and written, by all of the residents of Glorph is a softly guttural range of clicks, clacks, grunts, and whistles. The runes used to write this language closely resemble plantlife, the curving lines almost surprising coming from brushes of sweet grass held in the Glorphians mouths and dipped in dampened, crushed stones of various colors.

Their planet is made of gray and deep green, but the stones that are mined provide all colors for artwork and reading materials. Buildings are tall versions of the old cliff homes in our own state of Colorado.

Without this information, the artist may not be able to visualize the subject. So I do my part and paint a mental picture. Maybe that is a form of drawing, maybe I provide the image and inspiration for artists…OR…maybe I’m just a dreamer. Yeah, that’s probably it. Both those Glorphians are really nice guys!

Chapter Three

 

“I feel like we’ve already been in the air for hours,” Anna complained, fretfully searching through her bags for something to occupy her mind.

 

“I know what you mean,” Jane pointed to an already sleeping Joseph as their small Oklahoma town faded below them, “We’ve only been in the air for ten minutes and he’s already snoring. How does he do that??”

 

“You should be used to this flight by now!” Al shook his head at his roommates, “Honestly, you’ve both done this a few times now, and you know how long it takes! Now, what movie should we watch this time? I vote for something scary.”

 

“You know you actually want to watch Clueless,” Jane joked, “Why don’t you put in a super hero movie?”

 

(That suggestion started an argument on which super hero was the best, which lasted for hours and led to a movie marathon that would carry over into their time at the estate, but that discussion is best left for a time when all involved have a day or two to wile away.)

In longer than they would have liked, but much sooner than they had anticipated and fretted over, the artist’s plane taxied to a stop on their British runway, its inhabitants falling over each other in the rush to deplane and hug Nicholas and Polly, who had come to pick up the group. All except Joseph, that is, who had to be pounced awake by the ever growing, and ever sneaky, Alexiann (who had almost doubled in size since her awakening two years before.).

With the help of the airport crew, all fairies who had defected from Passiona and been hired by Sir Brandon for just such a sensitive occasion, the baggage was quickly unloaded, maneuvered, and reloaded into the Whimsical Art van.

 

Giving a friendly wave to last retreating fairies, Anna slid the van door closed and clicked her seatbelt into place. “Wow! I knew that Uncle Brandon had said that a lot of Passiona’s ‘outer ranks’ had defected, but I had no idea there actually so many. When he said a lot, for some reason I thought there might be ten, at the most. There were what, thirty fairies in that airport?”

 

“Yeah,” Polly smiled into the rearview mirror at her friends, “Most of them are like Broyli; fairies who were born and raised here with no real connection to the queen. When they saw how quickly things got bad, they just packed up and left. A lot of them were already going to colleges or working out in our world anyway, so they found it easy to just keep melting into the background.”

 

“How did they wind up here then?” Jane asked, leaning forward between the two front seats in an attempt to sate her curiosity that much more quickly.

 

“We had heard that there was a ‘fairy rebel’ group going on at some local colleges,” Nicholas supplied, “So Broyli sent a few feelers and once word got around that Sir Livingstone was in need of stand-up fairy folk to run operations for him, the applications started to pour in. The house, the new airport, and the art studio all have fairies staffing them now.  I didn’t even know that there were that many fairies in this world, let alone in this PART of the world!”

 

Vegan Butter

Have you ever wondered about people who choose to be vegan, or vegetarian? Have you ever looked at the ever growing popularity of those two life choices, and their corresponding menu options, and thought to yourself, “These people are crazy!”? I have, a lot.

As it turns out, I am learning more about plant based proteins, and fake meat, than I ever would have imagined I would need to know. You see, my mother has, among other things, a medical condition that causes her to have…shall we say, issues digesting meat proteins. It can get pretty ugly. So over the past few years, we have slowly found substitute meals that can provide the right balance of vitamins and proteins, without driving the rest of the meat eating lot (namely, my dad and I) to crazy run out in the street and bite random living things drastic measures. Basically, we cook a lot of soy and bean based things for her.

I have said all of that, to tell you a story RIPPED from the headlines of my life. Dateline: This Morning:

First, soy plants grow like this:

(http://naturescrusaders.wordpress.com/2009/04/14/mono-culturebig-farm-vs-organicrotational-the-rising-war/soybeansf/)

Then, soy beans are harvested and look like this:

(www.harvesttotable.com)

Then, the harvested soy beans go through all kinds of processes etc to be turned into ingredients for things like this:

(http://www.misssweetnothings.com/2010/04/earth-balance-buttery-spread.html)

All so that when my 18 month old decides to run into the kitchen, I can ask a series of questions that go like this:
“Are you in dog’s water?”

“no”

“Don’t get in the cabinet. Are in the Cabinet?”

“no”

“Are you pulling things off of the shelves?”

“No”

“What are you doing?”

“yummy, um um um”

My daughter, who is entirely too tall and prone to curiosity (I stupidly encouraged the Curious George phase, which is going on about 18 months now. Silly Monkey), has found the vegan butter in whichever stack of things we had it stashed. In the minute or less that it took for me to get across the room and into the kitchen, she had pulled the lid off of the butter and was, you guessed it, licking her butter dipped fingers. The good news is that it really does actually taste like a butter spread. The bad news is that my kid got the butter on my glasses trying to fight to grab the container back from me.

The finger raked box o’ butter is in the refrigerator.