What Are YOU Reading?

Here we are, mired in another middle of the week. They never seem to stop coming around do they? The good news is that mid-week means a reading Wednesday break! (Yaaay)

Right now I have a few books on my plate and not much time to do anything about it. I’m reading My Teacher is an Alien by Bruce Coville to my students…it doesn’t go quickly for us but they seem to enjoy the mini writing lessons and whole class discussions. Of course, I just want to tell them to go work so I can read on!

I am also starting Blue Balliett’s Chasing Vermeer, which I hope to incorporate into small group lessons soon AND I am rereading my battered Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts….just for funsies.

So that’s me…what about you? Have you found something so gorgeously written that you just can’t bear to put it down?

Whatever it is..PLEASE SHARE! And remember to let your imagination, faith, and creativity take you where you are meant to be.

Sudden Silence

I don’t usually jump genres like this. In fact, I almost never write something that might turn into a science fiction piece. I’ve only written one so far this year because I try to leave that to the experts…but today my prompt took a bit more of a turn than I was expecting so here it is, my friends. An honest to goodness comedic attempt at a quick science fiction piece. I hope you like it!

 

Sudden Silence

Denise woke shivering in the deep dark of midnight. There was something in the silky blackness, something she could feel but not see. Before the woman could decide to be scared, she had to know what was sending goose bumps to pop up on her knee caps. After all, she was a strong woman who didn’t frighten easily. Rising to slide her feet into her soft lime green monster slippers, Denise opened her mouth to call out, “—-“. Nothing. No sound would emerge from her throat, no matter how much she strained to shout. Reaching for her bedside lamp, Denise was immediately thrown into a tizzy when the switch clicked, but the light did not.

Now that she thought about it, there weren’t any stars or street lamps either, and no car had driven by since she woke up. What was going on? Something bad probably, something alien maybe…or something her crazy brother planned out as a prank. That’s it! She groped around on the table until nudging the edge of her thin cell phone, but when she hit the button even the backlight stayed silent.

Now she was madder than a wet hornet and didn’t remember to worry as she marched downstairs, out the front door, and down the street in her oversized football jersey and bobbing should-be-glowing-in-the-dark-but-aren’t house shoes. Counting her steps in the way her friends and brother called ‘obsessive’ saved her from bumps and bruises as she glided through down the street and up her brother’s walkway, hopping up three stairs and dodging her niece’s fairy covered mini-rover. Banging on Joseph’s door, Denise tapped her foot impatiently, the sharp noises startling her in the best way possible and proving that not everything had disappeared from her life.

Inside the clapboard house was filled with sounds as Joseph and Julia woke and stumbled through the house, shouting in pain and surprise as lights remained dark and they tripped over Tabby’s scattered toys. “WHAT?!?!?” Joseph yanked the door violently, peering into the darkness as if he could see who was knocking by sheer stubbornness. “Who’s there??”

“Who is it Jo?” Julia called from mid-way down the stairs, having tripped over more than enough toys in the dark she was refusing to come further without good cause.

“I don’t know ye – oof!” Joseph doubled over in the doorway, an unseen hand having pinched his chest and elbowed his solar plexus. “It’s Denny,” he groaned. “Denise why aren’t you talking? Are you ok.”

In response she stopped his toes and giggled, albeit silently, as she scooted into the house. Julia stumbled down the stairs and met her sister-in-law on the landing, where they lit a tall candle and waited impatiently for Joseph to join them in the wavering ring of light.

“What is going?” Joseph demanded again. “Why is there an electrical outage when there isn’t even a storm??”

“—“ Denise still couldn’t force a sound out of her mouth, so she rifled through the drawers and, coming up with a receipt and a pencil stub, wrote out, “What did you do??”

“I didn’t do anything??” Joseph’s eyebrows furrowed as he tried to make sense of his sister’s odd behavior. “And why are you writing things out? Are you ok nise?”

“— – — —- —- – – — — — – -“ With hands flying, lips moving, and even spittle spraying Denise let her brother have it, all the things she had always wanted to say about how STUPID it was to ask people obviously having issues if they’re ok, how silly his batman shorts complete with half cape looked, and how absolutely RIDICULOUS his pranks were. Of course, no sound came out but having lived with her for all but the first two years of his life, Joseph got a very clear picture of what she was saying to him. “I didn’t do whatever it is that you think I did.” Jo held his hands up in surrender as she silently screamed at him. “I didn’t even pull a prank on the lights.”

“What happened to them then?” Julia asked suspiciously, knowing her husband’s great love of inappropriate pranking.

“I don’t…ooooh.”

“Excuse me,” a short, humanoid figure in hot pink shorts that shimmered over silver skin knocked on the front door and interrupted the family argument. “I hate to interrupt but could you give me directions to the Capitol Diner please? I’m supposed to meet someone there tonight and I’m hopelessly lost.”

Joseph promptly fainted and, though she never regained full use of her voice, Denise was able to bark laughter at her older brother as their visitor thanked Julia for the directions and went on her way, streetlights flipping back on once she passed by.

The three befuddled neighbors were the only witnesses to…whatever it was that had happened, and no one ever found out why the perfectly healthy thirty-something lost her ability to speak.

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.

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(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!