#WIPpet Wednesday Number 2 Flying Upon One Wing

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. I have much to be thankful for this year. In fact, I heard a wonderful story the other day about a lady who sought out a copy of my book The Summer Between because she thought it might help her grandson who is starting college soon. She went all around town before someone finally pointed her to the Visitor’s Center, where she bought two copies. I appreciate her persistence,and I hope they enjoy the book.

I had the opportunity recently to perform my one woman show “A Sojourn in Jonesborough” at Jonesborough Middle School. I had two wonderful audiences of eighth graders who asked amazing questions

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I also had the opportunity to do a reading from The Summer Between and share some writing exercises with the teen program at the Bristol Public Library. Again, a wonderful group of students. The future is looking bright.

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This Saturday I get to share the Christmas story at the Jonesborough tree lighting again this year. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever done. Since Jonesborough is the Storytelling Capital of the World, I get to craft an original story that highlights a Christmas memory.

On the WIPpet front, I am still hard at work on editing Flying Upon Wing. This week I’ve got 21 sentences from the prologue for 11/21/2018. I’ve included a few sentences from my last WIPpet (two weeks ago) as an intro for this week’s entry.

 

“Despite their best efforts to coexist, the dragons were banished. They wandered the earth. Eventually the dwarves took pity on them and offered the dragons the haven known as the Pine Forests. It was a thick, wooded area full of caves, and it was far from the world of Man.

In the Pine Forests, the dragons flourished and their numbers grew.  Many different kinds of dragons developed: the Golden Scaled Kings, the tallest and wisest of the dragons; the Brown Scalers, the best hunters; the Red Evening Skies, who could soar to the highest heights; the Dark Dwellers, the most loyal to any cause; and the Orange Dusks, the kindest and gentlest.  When the Unicorns, driven by Man and his love for the hunt and their horns, arrived and sought shelter in their forests, the dragons held a council and agreed.  The Pine Forests were not solely dragon territory; but safe haven to any in need.  The Dark Dwellers, however, were not fond of the newcomers.  The Unicorns began to take the Northern lands; the lands the Dark Dwellers liked best.  “Move to the East,” the other dragons suggested.  “The East is filled with caves unclaimed.  The caves are dark and vast, exactly how you like them.”

“But the East is filled with sink holes and flood plains and many other dangers,” the Dark Dwellers protested.

“Haven’t the Unicorns suffered enough?” the other dragons responded.  One by one the Dark Dwellers were pushed from the Northern lands until the Northern lands became the Vale of the North, the land of the Unicorns.

One day, a young Dark Dweller wandered into the Vale.  He did not like the East.  He wanted the Northern lands back.  The young Dark Dweller came across a Unicorn drinking from a stream.  When the dragon approached, the Unicorn knew it had not come for a good purpose.  The dragon lunged at the Unicorn, and a fight ensued.  Their cries were heard throughout the forest.  At the end, the Unicorn lay dead, her horn clutched in the claw of a confused dragon.  The dragon truly had not meant to kill the Unicorn but in a fierce moment he had.”

 

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

 

(Photo by Pro Church Media on Unsplash)

#WIPpet Wednesday Number 1 Flying Upon One Wing

Hello, November! Spooky stories are over, at least for now, and now it’s time for me to turn my attention to editing and formatting Flying Upon One Wing for publication in 2019. This is the first book I ever wrote, back when I was a wee 12 year old. I remember it well, the red notebook and the pink/purple Lisa Frank pen. This is the only thing I’ve ever written where I instantly knew the title first, no questions asked. It’s never changed, and it never will.

This week I’ve got 18 sentences from the prologue of Flying Upon One Wing for 11/07/2018.

When the universe was young and the world new, dragons emerged from the darkness.  Dragons were first to tread the Earth’s sod; first to marvel in the Earth’s beauty. By the time Man came along, dragons were ancient. Man learned to live with and work alongside dragons. In return, dragons assumed responsibility for protecting Man from the evils of the world, and, for a time, Man and dragon lived together in peace.

     Like all things, though, peace is impermanent. The dragon population grew, as did Man’s.  Man began to complain about food. “Dragons take too much food for themselves.” Man began to complain about water. “Dragons drink all the lakes dry.” Man began to complain about a space to call his own. “Dragons take up too much land. We need more room to build our villages.” Despite their best efforts to coexist, the dragons were banished. They wandered the earth. Eventually the dwarves took pity on them and offered the dragons the haven known as the Pine Forests. It was a thick, wooded area full of caves, and it was far from the world of Man.”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.  

#FlyingUponOneWing #editing #midgradesfiction #dragons

(Photo by Evgeni Evgeniev on Unsplash)

#WIPpet Wednesday Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! This is easily my favorite holiday. This year is a little different. We’re going to Nashville to see Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live! I am very excited. Here are our costumes. Points if you can name these characters and their iconically bad movie.

 

This week I’ve got 31 sentences from my short story Causing a Scene (tentative title) for 10/31/2018. I shared this story last weekend at Brews & Boos. I really love it and look forward to developing it further.

The end of last week’s snippet is included in maroon.

Sadie walked straight to her. “You playing hooky, little Alice?” The girl didn’t reply, which again, wasn’t odd. “Your whole family playing hooky?” No response. “Your mama out of town or something? She finds out you all laid low, she’ll bust your britches.” Silence. “Why are you in your nightgown? No one at home would dress you?”

Little Alice turned her body ever so slowly, her left hand rising and pointing back behind, back to the Keefhaver house. It was only a block down the street and you could just make out the top of the house sticking above the trees. She pointed straight up to the attic, her eyes never leaving Sadie’s. There was no emotion in those eyes. No shyness, no fear, no sleepiness, nothing. Sadie began to feel uneasy and her throat clenched tight. The part of her lunch she’d eaten felt like a stone in her gut and she wasn’t interested in the rest of her biscuit. She felt cold all over, just like she had when her father had met her here two years ago.

“Oh no,” Sadie whispered. She turned her head to see who else was in the schoolyard, who else was nearby. When she looked back, little Alice was gone. A part of Sadie had known she would be. Without hesitation, Sadie walked straight up to the nearest kid, Clara Brownlow.

“Did you see little Alice just now?”

Clara gave her a funny look. “No. None of the Keefhavers are here today. Must be sick, or dead or somethin’,” she laughed.

Sadie dropped her biscuit and headed for the school gate. “Where are you going?” Clara called after her.

“I have to go. Tell Ms. Smith I’m sick or something.”

“I’ll tell her you’re crazy!” Clara shouted.

That wasn’t the first or last time someone would call Sadie crazy.

They’d called her crazy since the mine accident, since the day her father died. They called her crazy for seeing him that morning in the schoolyard, when he was already dead underground, and they also called her crazy because she knew the truth. The mine collapse was no accident. Her father had caused it on purpose. He’d killed himself. Maybe that’s what he was trying to tell her that morning? Maybe that’s what he’d tried to tell her the night before when he’d come into her bedroom and stood at the foot of her bed? He’d been alive then, sure enough, but he still hadn’t felt right. 

 

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.

#storytelling #scarystories #originalwork

(Photo credits, Photo by Aimee Vogelsang on Unsplash) 

 

#WIPpet Wednesday Spookier and Spookier

Brews and Boos is this Friday. Here’s a snippet from the third ghost story I’ll be sharing that evening, and it’s another original. I suppose it will have a title when it’s done. I really must finish it. If I didn’t have bronchitis and a fuzzy head, I’d say more. Hope you enjoy.

This week I’ve got 24 sentences from this short story for 10/24/2018.

Little Alice Keefhaver was not the first ghost Sadie had ever seen. Her father had met her at school the morning the mine collapsed, trying to tell her something, but there were no sounds coming from his lips, only silent words. Little Alice Keefhaver didn’t try to speak, just pointed toward the house where she slept with her mother, father, three sisters, and one brother, all dead. The bloody axe that had done the deed was still sitting by the backdoor.

It wasn’t so unusual for little Alice to be silent. She was the youngest of the Keefhaver clan and very shy. It was odd for her to be alone, though, and it was definitely odd that none of the Keefhavers were at school. Mrs. Keefhaver ran that family like a factory and her five children were always at school, always. It was the mid-day break and Sadie was out in the school yard. Some children went home to eat, others ate in the schoolyard. Sadie usually went to the library. But earlier that week the library had developed a distinctive odor. It was either a dead mouse or an intentionally placed egg by one of the Fleenor brothers. Mr. Hardy hadn’t figured out which yet, and the smell remained.

Sadie was walking through the yard, ham biscuit in one hand with a book in the other when she saw a flash of white from the corner of her eye. She lowered her book and looked across the yard, and there was little Alice standing on the other side of the fence. She appeared to be wearing her nightgown. Sadie walked straight to her. “You playing hooky, little Alice?” The girl didn’t reply, which again, wasn’t odd. “Your whole family playing hooky?” No response. “Your mama out of town or something? She finds out you all laid low, she’ll bust your britches.” Silence. “Why are you in your nightgown?”

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.

#storytelling #scarystories #originalwork

(Photo credit Photo by Lucas Ludwig on Unsplash)

#WIPpet Wednesday A Spot On the Hill Number 2

My cemetery play A Spot On the Hill opens this Friday. We have three shows this weekend and then two shows next weekend. Once again I am blessed with an amazing and stellar cast. If you are in the Northeast TN area, we still have tickets available for the 2:30 matinee this Sat, Oct 20 and the 2:30 matinee next Sat, Oct 27. You can get tickets online here.

Seeing as this will no longer be a work in progress come Friday, I’ve decided to share one more story from A Spot On the Hill. These stories are about real people who are buried in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery.

In this cutting you’ll meet Robert Dosser, local merchant extraordinaire and his wife Laura who was quite the fashionista. You’ll also meet their son. Here is a picture of their grave site with the actor who portrays Robert Dosser.

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For my WIPpet math we have 21 paragraphs (10+17+7-1=21) for 10/17/2018.

ROBERT D

I know what it’s like to have a family name to live up to. My name is Robert Dosser. My father was James Dosser, merchant extraordinaire. He established his mercantile store at 117 East Main Street. In that store he sold a little bit of everything, including the latest fashions. My father built a local empire, an empire I inherited alongside my brothers. When he died in 1891, he left the store to Albert, Frank, and me. I put my heart and soul into that business, just as I’d watched my father do. My brothers married and had families, but I was too busy traveling, making contacts, expanding the business. My father had once advised me that I couldn’t love both, family and work, with my whole heart. It was family first and then the business. It could never be the other way. And for a long time, at least for me, it was just the business. She was my mistress.

Finally, in 1889 at the age of 33, I married Nellie Fain. She became the love of my life, and we had four beautiful children. But then tragedy struck, and Nellie died in 1901. I retreated into my business; sure my heart would never know that kind of love again.

(Laura D steps forward.)

LAURA D

My name is Laura Brunner, and I did not have a family legacy, or an empire. I only had myself. In Jonesborough, I lived with Mr. and Mrs. L.H.Patton. I had to contribute to the household, so I worked for R.M. May and Sons. I would usually see Mr. Dosser in the store, talking with Mr. May. Everyone knew of Mr. Dosser and his great knowledge of clothes, but he didn’t know everything.

ROBERT D

Excuse me, ma’m. Does Mr. May carry this Chevron pattern in a darker shade?

LAURA D

That’s Herringbone.

ROBERT D

Pardon?

LAURA D

That pattern is Herringbone.

ROBERT D

I’m certain it’s Chevron.

LAURA D

And I am certain it is not. See here, the break is at the reversal, which makes it Herringbone.

ROBERT D

How much does Mr. May pay you? Come and work for me, and I’ll double it.

LAURA D

I did go and work for him. We spent more and more time together. And what began as a disagreement over patterns, quickly turned to love. In 1904 we were married in the Patton family home. The Herald & Tribune announced our wedding, writing –

HERALD & TRIBUNE

“These people are too well known to our people to need an introduction from us. They are well and thoroughly known to all, and are fully deserving of all honor, and are sure to receive the congratulations of all. They go to St. Louis on a bridal tour. May peace, prosperity, and happiness accompany them all through life.”

LAURA D

We went to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Lois. It was like traveling to the future. After that, we returned to our home in Jonesborough. Life was suddenly a fairy tale that had come true.

ROBERT D

In 1908, my brothers and I sold the business in Jonesborough. We had a new business in downtown Johnson City. That’s where the future was. That was the legacy I was going to leave to my children. That same year, Laura and I had a son. I knew that one day he would join his siblings in the family business.

(Dosser Boy steps forward.)

ROBERT D

Now, what has your father always told you?

DOSSER BOY

It’s family first and then the business. It can never be the other way.

ROBERT D

Good lad.

DOSSER BOY

But I never helped in the store.

LAURA D

No, and I never lived to see what it would become. The two of us died in 1908 in childbirth. We’re buried in the Dosser family plot alongside Nellie Fain Dosser, the mother of your half siblings.

(to Robert)

It was a beautiful story, Robert, while it lasted.

ROBERT D

Yes, my dear, it was.

 

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(Picture above Joel VanEaton, Jeremy Reeves, and Kellie Reeves)

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.

#WIPpetWednesday #workinprogress #ASpotOntheHill #playwriting #realstories #reallives #realtombstones

#WIPpet Wednesday A Little More Spooky

I’ve still got ghost stories on my mind, especially since I’ll be sharing original ghost stories at the end of the month at Brews and Boos. Here’s a cutting from Beep Beep, Honk Honk. I wrote this one way back in college in 2005. It’s always nice when I get to use stories that haven’t seen the light of day in sometime. Also, there’s nothing creepier than small children.

In this story, Geoffrey and Amy are moving into their new house. There’s an even larger house across the road. It’s the kind of house the two of them fantasize about living in some day, a large house where they can raise lots of kids. A young girl is sitting on a swing. They’ve already met the older lady who lives in the house, but this is the first time they’ve seen the young girl. Geoffrey decides he should do the neighborly thing and go over and introduce himself.

This week I’ve got 38 sentences from this short story. For my WIPpet math we have (10+10+18=38) for 10/10/18.

“Geoffrey stopped at the edge of the road.  A car was coming around the corner.  It was true, you couldn’t see a car coming around that corner till it was right on the two houses.  Fortunately, the driver wasn’t speeding.  Geoffrey nodded a hello to the driver as he passed.  Once the car was by, he crossed the road.  He approached the fence with a friendly smile and careful step.  The little girl didn’t run away.  She continued to swing.  “Hello there,” Geoffrey offered warmly.  “What’s your name?”  He stopped before he reached the fence.  He didn’t want to make her nervous.  The girl didn’t answer his question.  She stared at him with her big, blue eyes.  “My name’s Geoffrey. What’s your name?”  The girl didn’t respond.  “How about Shirley?  Marie?  Betty?  Jil – ”

“Beep-beep, honk-honk.”

The girl’s first response caught Geoffrey by surprise.  “What?”

“Beep-beep, honk-honk,” the girl repeated.

“That’s the noise a car makes.  Did you know that?”  Geoffrey took a step closer to the fence.  The girl gave him a small nod and a smile.  “Do you see a lot of cars on this road?”  Geoffrey pointed to the road behind him.

“Beep-beep, honk-honk.”

“Yeah, beep-beep, honk-honk.”  Geoffrey stepped up to the fence and rested his hand on one of the white stakes.  “Do you live here with your grandmother?”  The girl didn’t reply.  She looked over at the empty swing next to her.”

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*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.

#storytelling #scarystories #originalwork

(Photo credits, Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash, Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash)

 

#WIPpet Wednesday A Little Bit of Spooky

The Summer Between is out into the world now! I had an amazing launch and book signing on Monday at The Corner Cup. (I always appreciate a different sort of Monday.) I am super grateful to my friends, family, and community for all their support.

FYI, The Summer Between is Jackalope approved. Pick up a copy today!

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I made the front cover my hometown paper The Herald & Tribune. This week’s edition was very small town, my book launch, a local artist and his toaster art, and the hometown barber shop gets an update. A lovely little slice of Americana. I truly love where I live, and this is my equivalent of Rolling Stone. Read the article here.

Since I must leave The Summer Between behind in this week’s WIPpet Wednesday, I will turn my attention to October and storytelling and spooky stories. The International Storytelling Festival takes place in Jonesborough the first full weekend of October. Tents pop up all over town and stories are everywhere! It’s a busy time, but a magical time.

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This is my current view in my work parking lot.

I fancy myself an amateur storyteller, and I’ve been asked to tell spooky stories again this year at Brews and Boos on October 26.

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It’s scary stories outside after dark with beer! What’s not to like? I always try and tell original stories for this, one because of copyright issues and respect, and two because it gives me a chance to write spooky stuff. I also fancy myself an amateur horror writer. I like giving myself the heebie jeebies. One day I’ll write a really great horror story, until then I like to dabble in the genre.

Below is a snippet from one of the original stories I’ll be telling at this year’s Brews and Boos. I honestly haven’t looked at it since I wrote it way back in 2006. (There is so much editing in my future.) It’s entitled “Some Things Are Beyond Our Control.”

This week I’ve got 30 sentences from this short story. For my WIPpet math we have (10+3+18-1=30) for 10/3/18.

 

. . .Vincent couldn’t let it end at that.  No, there had to be one more punch, one more stab.  “Oh, no, no, no,” Vincent chastised as he hurried after her.  “You’re going to leave me with that?” 

Julia kept walking.  “Yep.”  She moved down the stairs, headed for the door. 

Vincent finally stopped her there.  His hand grabbed hold of the front door as she opened it.  “What’s his name?” 

It was Julia’s turn to sigh, but it wasn’t a sigh of feigned boredom or pretend superiority.  It was a sigh, an honest sigh.  “I don’t want to be with anyone, remember? But I find your jealousy incredibly flattering.” 

Vincent folded his arms and leaned against the door frame.  “I’m not jealous.” 

Julia smiled and looked at the ground.  It was a smile he’d seen only a few times before.  It wasn’t her cruel and coy smile.  This was her real smile, simple and shy.  It made Vincent stop and take notice.  It took all the brag and bluster out of him. 

“I’m spending time with my family this weekend, and there’s a lot of business I need to take care of.”  Julia raised her head and looked at him.  This was the truth. 

“And this is all going to carry on into next weekend, too?” Vincent asked.

“No.  I have to finish it now.  I’m going to die on Sunday.”  Vincent’s hold on the door faltered and Julia was able to push it open enough and slip out of the house.

#TheSummerBetween #storytelling #scarystories #originalwork

*WIPpet Wednesday is a blog hop hosted by Emily Wrayburn wherein writers share excerpts of their latest WIP. All genres and levels of accomplishment are welcome. The only stipulation is that the excerpt must coincide with the date in some manner. For example, on 10/8/14 you might share 10 lines from page 8, 8 paragraphs from chapter 14, or perhaps 18 sentences by doing WIPpet math and adding the day to the month. We’re flexible like that.

(Photo credits: Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash_

The Summer Between is Out Now!

The Summer Between is available now, just in time for National Book Month!

You can order the book through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Mountain Gap Books!

“When I was eighteen years old, I knew everything there was to know about anything ever in the history of the entire world. I thought I was a genuine, Stephen Hawking-level genius. My entire life stretched ahead of me, and everything I’d ever wanted was going to be handed to me on a silver platter carried by admiring angels who’d ask, in dulcet tones, “Brendon, how’d you get to be so cool?”

I also thought I was immortal.

Thank God for summer break, for those ten weeks between high school and college when life took me roughly by the collar, shook me hard, and said with a deep, guttural laugh, “Buckle up, kid, ’cause I’m drivin’, and you don’t know squat.”

Summer Between Ad #1 Twitter Sized (2)

After you purchase a copy of the book, please leave a review. That’s how all artists learn and improve.

#TheSummerBetween #YAfiction #teenlit #teenfiction #teenlife #friendship #siblings #NationalBookMonth

The Summer Between – The Elephant in the Room

This may come as a shocker to some of you, but I was never an eighteen year old boy. However, The Summer Between is told from Brendon’s perspective, and he is most definitely an 18 year old boy. There’s a back and forth argument I have with myself all the time – Anne, write only what you’ve experienced directly, or Anne, write to a larger truth. I like to combine both when I write, and I always try to capture the heart of my character’s story. As I’ve said before, this is Brendon’s story, and he asked me to tell it.

So, no, I was never an 18 year old boy, but I was 18 once. I remember quite well the fear of what came next, the anxiety, the stress. I remember the trepidation of leaving my friends, of leaving home. I certainly remember the anticipation that I needed to have a really good final summer because things would never be this way again. There’s a part of me in Brendon, but there is also a part of Brendon’s story that was never mine.

Some of the lessons I learned growing up are reflected in The Summer Between, lessons I wish someone had pointed out to me ahead of time, but I probably wouldn’t have listened. Hopefully Brendon listens better than I did, but we both still have a lot of growing up to do.

We’ll get there someday, in some form or fashion.

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The featured image on this blog is me at my high school graduation. The picture above is Brendon, of course. The picture below is me dressed up as the wrestler The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and giving “the People’s elbow” to my friend Nikie who was dressed up at the Undertaker. Ah, high school.

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Everyone thinks you make mistakes when you’re young. But I don’t think we make any fewer when we’re grown up .” – Jodi Picoult

#TheSummerBetween #YAfiction #teenlit #teenfiction #teenlife #friendship #siblings

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