#Writespirations #85

Sacha Black’s writing challenge for this week, which I managed to conveniently stumble on while getting ready to work on cleaning and organizing a very messy room (really, I don’t know how I let it get so bad every time. Just fold the clothes Beth…but I digress)…Where was I? Oh yes, the writing challenge for this week, which is to post your current WIP’s title and a 150 word snippet.

So here it is:

Paulonious Punk and the Search for an Adventure

By Elizabeth S. Tyree

“Dude, we rode our bikes a block to get a drink from the gas station,” Pauly didn’t sound like he agreed with John’s idea of an adventure.

“A block and a half,” John corrected, “We had to a road AND ride in a busy parking lot to get big drinks and candy bars at a BRAND NEW GAS STATION.” John’s face had the wide eyes and raised eyebrows that say ‘AHA TAKE THAT.’

“With our mom’s in the car behind us.” Pauly obviously wasn’t in the right kind of mood for this talk.

“Whatever P-man,” John tossed the spare apple to his friend, took a juicy bite from his own, and plopped down on his favorite ‘captain’s’ chair.

Paulonious made a face but didn’t say anything about John’s use of the nick-name. He didn’t mind being called “Pauly”, “Pauly P,” or even “Punk” but he absolutely HATED it when the big boys at school called him The P. kid, P.P., or the worst P.P. the Whiz Kid.

(ok, I went over by 17 words…but come on, P.P. the Whiz Kid! 😛 )

 

Bonus Excerpt – Paulonious Punk

To celebrate the fact that I am FINALLY getting something of a schedule going again and, more importantly, typing up the dozens of pages that have been waiting for my attention, I thought I would sneak you guys a little excerpt from the children’s adventure chapter book I’ve been working on.

Please feel free to give leave a comment letting us know what you think!

Paulonious Punk

By Elizabeth S. Tyree

Chapter 17: excerpt

The next level of caves was shallower, harder to get to, and obviously not the gathering place the other rock rooms had been. Still, there were no signs of ancient pirate hidey-holes no matter how many times they circled each one with bright flashlights and keen eyes.

Down to only two shallow caves left, Grandpa was starting to worry that his pep talk was going to be for nothing. The boys were dragging again and he was about to suggest that they see if there might be another likely spot to search when Pauly let out a wild and triumphant cry, scaring the seagulls perched around the rock cliff.

“Look,” He crowed triumphantly, pointing his high beam LED flashlight at the back wall of the second to last shallow cave, where something glittered dully against the gray dirt. “Pirate Treasure!!”

The boys surged forward, clambering over crumbled stones with Grandpa hot on their heels. The closer they got, the more they saw glittering remnants scattering across the curve of the back wall. Plastered into the cavern itself. Sealed into the stones for safe keeping. Here, then, was the treasure they had been seeking.

“In room of stone and vision free,” Pauly whispered in awe, looking back out of the cave’s mouth to the frothing blue waters below. “They didn’t bring the treasure here to hide it…”

“They put it in the walls so that it could watch the sea!” John finished excitedly for his best friend.

“It’s almost like the treasure is still waiting, watching for its long lost pirate band,” Grandpa whispered. Then, more loudly, he said, ‘Well done my boys! You’ve found it!”

“You know who would love this?” Pauly asked suddenly, pocketing a dirt encrusted coin he’d just pried from the stone and beginning to work on what might be a delicate necklace. “Dr. Ron. Let’s call him and see if he can come out.”

“Are you sure you want to call him?” Grandpa was shocked to hear such things coming from a 9-year-old who had just discovered treasure. “You know what will happen if we do?”

Pauly slowly nodded his head as John and Grandpa stared at him, or rather, stared over his shoulder at the muted sparkle of newly discovered goodies.

“Paulonious,” Grandpa kept his voice calm and steady, “Dr. Ron would love it and the museum certainly would have all of the resources required to unearth everything…”

There was an uncertainty to his voice, and unmasked question that even the two 9-year-olds could hear loud and clear.

“I bet the set up the exhibit next to the Belle,” Pauly decided smugly.

“With a big sign that has our names on it!” John added, his voice alight with sudden excitement at this new idea.

Grandpa P pulled the two boys into a quick, tight hug. “I am so proud of you,” he told them before digging the old flip phone out of his cargo pants and calling his old friend.
Dr. Ron decided to take the rest of the afternoon off to make the trek for treasure. Slowly making their way back down the narrow path and gathering their trash bags along the way, Grandpa P., Pauly P., and John L. headed back to the diner for a little lunch while they waited.

 

*I hope that you enjoyed this little snippet! Don’t forget to let me know what you think, I love hearing from you!*

Leonard the Lemur

This is the first little bit of a young readers book that I’ve been working on. I had actually finished the book and compiled a few of the sources for the back pages (I want this to be an educational source on animals for early/emergent reader classrooms) and then my computer lost all but the first little bit. I have recently begun to work on it again and wanted to share what I have so far. Please let me know what you think!

 

Leonard: the Lemur who Loves Lighthouses

Leonard was a lemur.  A ring-tailed lemur to be exact, with a black and white face, a gray body, and a black and white ringed tail that let him swing from the branches of the tree that held his favorite tire swing.

 

Leonard lived in a cozy tree house at the zoo and loved to swing through the branches making faces at all the kids who came to visit him.  But Leonard didn’t just want to stay there, playing all day.  His most secret hope was to go to the ocean and see a real lighthouse.

 

You see, when Leonard was a little lemur he lived with a woman who would read to him every night before bedtime.  They would read books of fairy tales, books about other kinds of animals, and even that other monkey who lived in a city apartment far away from Leonard’s own Oklahoma home, but the books that Leonard liked best of all were the ones that told him about the ocean.  They would read about dolphins, pirates, manatees, even alligators, sharks, and octopi, but Leonard especially loved tales of lighthouses and their keepers.

After a few years, when Leonard had grown up a little bit, the woman who read him books told Leonard some very sad news, she was moving and could no longer keep the little monkey.  Leonard was moved to a wildlife refuge zoo near their hometown, where he had a treehouse filled with sea shells and pictures of lighthouses.

 

Chapter Four – My House

I broke the speed limit all the way home, but thankfully no cops stopped to question me. I pulled into the parking lot, slammed the car into park and got out, working very hard to keep from bursting into a run. I got my apartment door and went to unlock it, but it was already unlocked. Thinking that was strange but that maybe I had forgotten to lock it when I left that morning, I walked in. I was taking a look around, just in case someone had broken in, when I felt an arm go around my waist and a hand cover my mouth. I swallowed a scream and prepared to kick backwards, hoping to injure the man holding me enough so that he would let go. Just as I was bringing my leg up to deliver the kick, Billy walked into view, eating one of my yellow apples.

            “I always like this kind best. Thanks kid,” he said as he grinned at me. “So, how ya been sis? You never write, you never call, if you’re not careful I’ll think you hate me. Let her go Bruce, she won’t do anything.”

            “Billy Dean McKlain isn’t it just like you to break into your little sister’s house when all you had to do was knock. Oh, and for the record I don’t hate you, I just severely dislike who you you’ve become, old man.” Like I said, I was never good at holding my tongue, especially when my brothers had smirks on their faces like the one Billy was sending my way. “So are you going to tell me what you want or can I go ahead and throw you out?”

 

            “There’s no need to get snippy, I thought we could chat a little before we started in on business. After all, we haven’t seen each other in a very long time.” Billy continued to smirk at me; he threw the apple core out of an open window nearby and motioned to the doorway entering the living room, “After you.”

 

 I paused in the middle of the doorway. Looking back at him I thought of the house I had visited and all of the happy memories our family had made there. I couldn’t help but wonder, and in wondering ask, “Billy, what made us become this way? We used to be so happy living at that old house with momma and daddy. We used to laugh together, not break into our sibling’s houses and threaten each other.”

 

 Billy glared at me, dropping that cool demeanor in front of me for the first time in years, “You want to know what happened? I’ll tell you what happened, Daddy died and left us all. He just left us and we had to live with the facts that he never had the nerve to tell us when he was alive. His own friend shot him for money and left us without a father. Maybe you can overlook our past and the ties that bind us to each other, to him, to momma, but I can’t. That’s what happened Kit, open your eyes and see it. There’s nothing outside for any of us. Not since then anyway. I know you don’t even use Dad’s name at work so you can keep a job and that hurts me. You’re living a life of deceit trying to make it on your own without the family’s help Kitten.”

 

 His use of the old pet name softened my resolve to kick them out and call the cops, now I wasn’t going to call the cops. That monologue of his seemed real enough, but in our family you can never be sure whether someone is acting or telling the truth. The tension in the living room was building up so thick you could have built up muscles just trying to walk through it.

 

“I’ll think about that later. Right now, why don’t you tell me why you’re here?” Before he could say anything Rollo burst out of a backroom (he knows how to open doors) and headed straight for Bruce, who had been standing in a back corner of the room, watching our discussion. Bruce, being incredibly afraid of dogs, did the one thing any red-blooded American man would have done at that point. He screamed like a little girl, jumped on top of a side table, and huddle all three-hundred pounds of his massive frame into the fetal position while Rollo sat and barked at him.

            After finally getting over our laughter, I pulled Rollo back and Billy talked Bruce down from the table. Bruce absolutely refused to stay in my apartment after that (to my delight) despite all of my reassurances that Rollo was perfectly safe. He went out back to wait in Billy’s car and we got back to our conversation. “So why are you really here Billy?” I asked again, somewhat exasperated with the hold in my plans for the night. There was no way I was going to let Billy know about the box I had in my bag.

            “Can’t I just come by to visit?” He asked innocently, giving me that little smirk that had had all of the girls in our school and at college chasing after him.

            “Cut the crap Billy, I’m tired of your mind games. To answer your question though, you haven’t just dropped by to see me since before you graduated college and took over the family from cousin what’s-his-name.”

            “Randall, and you haven’t visited me either you know,” he replied, a little annoyance edging his usually calm voice.

            “I had no reason; you made it perfectly clear that I wasn’t needed in the family since I didn’t jump up to become a crime boss. I had so many other things that I wanted to do, but with you it was always all or nothing. So I chose both, all of my own life and nothing from you.” I was on the verge of tears, but I wouldn’t let him see that, our family was tough and I would never admit that I was softer than him, even after all the years apart. “Now tell me what you want or get out. I have no more time or patience for you today, big brother.” The sarcasm all but dripped from my lips as I said those last two words. Billy had stopped being my big brother years ago, when he had let me know that I wasn’t important to the family if I wasn’t willing to be a part of the family business.

            “I just came by to personally invite you to attend the family cookout in a week and a half. I know Dee called you, but I wanted to make sure you were coming. I’m not going to threaten you with Bruce, because quite frankly, I don’t think he would come back in this house anyway. At least not with that dog here.” Billy laughed at that then turned to head out the door, “I’ll see you there sis! Oh, and I will be here to get you if you don’t go. Remember kid, you don’t want to make me mad.”

            With that last threat, my big brother walked out of my apartment and left me in a fog of defeat. I had lasted years on my desire to not interact with my mob family, but now I was left with no choice. If I didn’t show Billy would come get me, if I wasn’t at my apartment he would search until he found me; and his wrath would be far worse than spending a few hours with murderers and thieves. At least at the cookout there would be barbecue!

Saturday Updates and Excerpts

 

Between articles, blogs, and Camp I’ve written around 6,000 words this week. Though not nearly as much as I was hoping for, I think that’s pretty respectable. However, for as much time as I spend writing, I need to amp it up a lot more and stop trolling Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest when I should be boosting my count (Seriously though, I find cool stuff so you should probably follow me on all 3! 😀 )

Though I didn’t quite get caught up on my Camp project, I did manage to bring down my minimum daily word count from 1700 to 1400. I may be able to handle that…Wait, I CAN HANDLE THAT! Now that I’ve brought you up to speed on my woeful inability to complete all of this week’s goals *sigh…bigsigh* I will leave you with something that makes me proud of what little I did accomplish last week…an excerpt from Dragons in the Deep.

Chapter 28:

“Excuse me sir,” Julie mumbled, shuffling across the cabin’s floor to whisper into Flynn’s general direction, “I have a message from Mr. Janxson for Mr. Ferdinand.”

“So give it to him,” Flynn shrugged and jerked his head toward the computer station, where Anna, Jane, and Ferdinand were gathered around Nickel as she showed off her hard work.

“I-I don’t feel comfortable with telling him this,” She whispered even more quietly, “Maybe you should do it.”

“What?” Flynn looked up from his own stack of papers and filed with a look of bewildered frustration etched across his features. “What are you talking about? Old Man Janxson probably just wants to make sure we’re being nice to his friends and thinks I’ll lie to him.”

“No sir, Mr. Janxson had me write down a very specific message about Mr. Ferdinand’s wife,” Julie was almost not making any noise at this point, so worried and embarrassed by the message that she seemed about to pass out from the anxiety of it all. “I just don’t feel right giving it to him though.”

“Julie,” Flynn spoke calmly and clearly, sometimes Julie’s anxieties made her a little stubborn and hard of hearing, “If Mr. Janxson wanted Ferdinand to get the message, it must be very important, right?” she nodded so he continued, “And Mr. Janxson entrusted this message to your care, right?”

“Only because no one else answered the line, sir.”

“But if he didn’t think you could handle, he wouldn’t have given you the task, would he?”
“I guess not.” Her voice wavered but she straightened her back with determination, “I’ll go give it to him right now.” She stopped mid turn to add, “But don’t expect me to wait on him to read it!”

Shaking his head at her obvious issues, but allowing curiosity to get the better of him, Flynn watched the ship’s steward scurry across the room, tap Ferdinand on the shoulder, hand him a piece of paper, and without saying a word, turn tail and race back out of the cabin.

“I wonder what that was all about,” Jane turned inquisitive eyes to the folded sheet in the Fairy King’s hands.

To Be Continued…

 

Excerpt – Dragon on the Green

I am currently working on the final formatting and editing process for the third book in my YA Fantasy series, The Stone Dragon Saga.

In Dragon on the Green we find our protagonists in a bind as they are forced to work for the one person they are trying to thwart. Here is a short excerpt from the middle of the book. Enjoy!

 

“Tea?”  Jane offered helpfully, pointing out a tea pot and cups at the table’s center, “its chamomile, I had a feeling we might all need the purported calming effects after that little meeting.”

 

“I think that I had better stay away from any calming brews right now,” Joseph pointed out, “I have far too much to do to think about calming down!!”

 

“Any more of those caffeine cans of death and you, sir, will vibrate right out of your skin!”  Anna wagged a disapproving pen in his direction.  “You, my dear artist, have been cut off!”

 

“Noooo,” Joseph dropped his head to the table with a loud thud, “I won’t survive without them!!”

 

“Oh hush, you will be fine,” Jane patted his hand while Anna valiantly tried (and failed) to keep a straight face.  “I’ll go make you some nice black tea, it has a really good kick to it!”

 

“Ok,” Joseph agreed with a whine, kicking the carpet and pouting like a toddler put in time out.

 

“Oh for goodness sakes Joseph! Suck that lip back in, you are a grown man!” Jane lectured, setting a cup of steaming, aromatic dark tea in front of the artist with a clink.

 

“Shouldn’t you be working on some drawing of a fantastical beastie or something anyway?” Anna asked, barely taking the time to look up at her boss as she plowed away at the ever expanding pile of notes in front of her. “And be honest here, do you really need all of these notes or are you just trying to punish us for laughing at you earlier?”

 

“Of course those notes are VITAL to my success here because I should, indeed, be working on drawings, sculptures, and creating all kinds of odd, yet life-like items all in order to assuage a crazy lady’s homesickness for another dimension.  Yes,” Joseph grimaced and swept his arms out expansively and dramatically (as was his wont) “The answer is, all of the above Anna.  All of this should be started, finished, or in the process of both before she gets back tomorrow…or at least a good portion should be, and if you don’t get to work and make those notes readable, I can’t transpose the images from words into ART.  If I can’t make art, we get turned into toadstools and mowed over by a large tractor like machine.  Do you want to be mowed over by a large chopping machine Anna? DO YOU?”

 

“As much as I love your amazing flair for the dramatic overstatement and wish that I could just sit here and listen to you all evening, I think I’ll just get back to work on this life changing transcription about a hulachin,” Anna sassily bobbed her head at Joseph before deliberately turning her back and using the kitchen bar to continue her efforts.

 

“Hulachin???”  Joseph gaped at the girl, “I don’t remember anything at all about a hulachin!  Is there an adequate description?  Are you sure that it actually says hulachin? Oh, I’m never going to get this done!  I’ll be a dozen little pieces of mulch before the weekend.”  Sinking to his knees and hanging his head in defeat, the artist sobbed theatrically for moment as the girls looked on in worry before he slowly sat upright and, wiping his eyes, continued, “You know, maybe I can get this all finished out.  I mean, it isn’t like she expects me to have everything finished tomorrow.  I don’t have to any of the statues done, a really good painting or two should be sufficient to appease her majesty. That kind of work usually takes several days, but I think that I can get it done IF I’m allowed a drink or two of my zing.” 

 

Raising his eyebrows and looking imploringly up at his incredulous duo of assistants, the gentleman in question batted his eyelashes, jutted his lower lip just a fraction, and tried to look as much like a puppy as he could.  Unfortunately for him, the puppy dog look didn’t work on such seasoned babysitters as the two women sitting in front of him. 

 

“OR, you could get up, drink your tea before it gets cold, and stop whining or nothing will get done and Passiona will turn you into a fire hydrant,” Jane was about to the end of her tether and it was starting to show.  “All of this complaining is doing nothing more than wasting time that you could be spending on sketches.”

 

“Don’t worry boss,” Anna smiled reassuringly before returning her gaze to her own work, “You’ll get it done without a doubt!  This is the kind of thing that you love to do.  Besides, didn’t you tell us that you love working under pressure because it doesn’t give you as much time to think instead of just ‘do’ and that is when you create your best pieces?”

 

“Well yes, but I meant time crunches, not the literal pressure of a head vice closing around me, which is something that Passiona is likely to break out of the closet and use on me if I don’t work quickly enough for her!  Did you hear her stop our consultation earlier to tell one of her minions to make a note to check all of the basement and attics for old torture equipment that might be left from ‘those good times,’ before modern civilization?”

Dragons on the Sea: Excerpt from Chapter 1

Here is a little excerpt from the beginning of chapter one in Dragons on the Sea, the fourth book in my Stone Dragon Saga, and this year’s NaNoWrimo effort. I am doing things differently with this storyline, and I’ve added several new characters to help me along (well..they added themselves, I just wrote what they told me!) I hope that you enjoy it and have a Blessed Day.

 

“We better shove off soon or Old Man Janxon will have our hides,” Flynn idly tossed playing cards toward his brother’s hat, which lay abandoned on a sturdy wooden table nearby.

“Aye, and it’s his own fault it is for making us wait on this mystery navigator of his,” Flynn’s twin brother, Garron O’Mager paced the deck, as nervous as Flynn was relaxed. “The rest of the crew is already aboard, squared, and restless to be on the go. Whoever it is coming, he had better hurry ot I’ll set out without him!”

 

“Easy there big boy,” A voice as deep and smooth as dark oak slid across the cabin, interrupting Garron in mid-rant. “My flight was delayed this morning so the car hit rush hour traffic in San Antonio. Didn’t Grandpa George call to let you know I’d be late? He PROMISED he would.”

 

“Grandpa George?” Flynn finally found his voice, “Do you mean George Janxson? Why would he tell us anything about your flight? Who are you anyway? Little girl, I think you have the wrong ship.”

 

Even Flynn’s Irish brogue, normally buried under years of living on the Texas coastline, came out in thick, affronted waves when confronted with a quandary, which this situation DEFINITELY was.

Smiling at the obviously befuddled looks on the two handsome faces in front of her, the smoky voiced sailor slid into an unoccupied chair. “I guess that means he didn’t tell you so….SURPRISE!” She threw her hands up in the air with a sarcastic mock smile twisting her features. “My name is Nickel Janxson and I will be your navigator for this little endeavor.”

 

“Nickel??” Garron raised an eyebrow at her name, inviting an explanation which, with a long suffering sigh, she provided quickly, on one large draw of breath.

 

“I was born two weeks early and my father had dental work done less than an hour before he had to rush mother to the hospital. When the nurse asked him what my name was, he was still so swollen that Nichole sounded like Nickel. When he and Mom saw the birth certificate later, they thought it was a beautifully unique name and stuck me with it so that I would have to tell this story to every new person I met for the rest of my life.”

 

“Interesting,” Garron inclined his head in a tense sort of acknowledgement and greeting, “I am Garron and that great lazy buffoon is Flynn, and we are the O’Mager brothers, for whom you will be working.”

Nickel turned bright grey eyes to stare harshly at Garron, “Let us get one tiny thing straight right now gentlemen. George Janxson is funding this little voyage of yours and, as he hired me, I work FOR him. I will, however, me more than happy to work with you two.”

“Feisty,” Flynn murmured approvingly, earning himself a head slap from his twin, “Good, you’ll need that attitude to survive on board with the lot of no account men we have on right now! It will be three days before we get to the keys, and around three weeks before we pick up anyone else, so the other female you’ve got on board will be Cacia, our cat.”