#WIPpet Wednesday Number #5 The Summer Between

The books are here!


We’re less than two weeks from release date, and that means there are only two #WIPpet Wednesdays left before The Summer Between is no longer a work in progress.

This week I’ve got 31 sentences from Chapter Nineteen: The Third Annual Singer/Songwriter Competition. How did Brendon and his brother get to this point and what will happen next? You’re just going to have to read the book to find out.

For my WIPpet math we have 31 sentences (19+9+2+1=31) on 9/19/2018.

“The show should’ve started five minutes ago, but I’m not surprised by the delay. I am surprised, however, when a hand touches my shoulder and a voice says, “Brendon, your brother needs you.” I look back to see Lillian sporting a headset. A long wire runs down her side and into a black box clipped to her belt. “Derrick needs you,” she repeats. “Come on.” I let her take me by the hand and lead the way. The crowd moves a little easier for her. After all, she looks official. I follow her up the side steps to the stage. She veers to the right, past the computer and fuse box. There’s a door at the back of the stage. It’s painted black and masked by curtains. She opens it for me, and I see a set of carpeted stairs leading down. “Go.” She inclines her head and I obey.

I hurry down the stairs to find a long hallway at the bottom. Numerous of doors branch off it. “Are we in the basement?”

“Good job, Sherlock,” Lillian brushes past me to assume the lead. We pass several rooms, and I can hear bands tuning and people singing. I wonder which, if any, of these rooms Sticker Fish is lounging in.

Lillian stops before the last door on the left. It’s cracked open. “You have three minutes,” she tells me.

I enter the room. “Derrick?” His guitar is on the sofa, but he isn’t in there.

“I told her not to get you,” a voice moans from the bathroom.

I push the dented door open with my finger to see Derrick crouched over the toilet, his head between his hands. “What are you doing?”

“Learning Tai-Chi,” Derrick remarks. “I’m freaking out!”


*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.

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



The Summer Between Meet the Characters Number 5: Glenn Murray

Glenn is Brendon’s close friend. Add Matt and Travis to the mix, and Brendon knows this group as “my people.” They share multiple interests and lots of memories.


In Brendon’s own words, “Matthew Senclair, Travis Walker, and Glenn Murray are my people. They’ve each come into my life at different times. Glenn has been there since third grade. Travis entered in the form of my lab partner in seventh grade, and Matthew found us the first day of freshman year. We’ve done lots of stuff together, like watch movies, test out the new games at that store in the mall, and gang up to kill Lindsay in World of Warcraft. We also enjoy the outdoors, and this summer we’re going on an extreme hiking and rafting adventure in the great wide open.”
But now Matt and Travis are out of the picture and Glenn is stuck working a less than stellar summer job with Brendon. Misery loves company, and at least they have each other, right? It’s not all bad, though. After all, their summer employment has introduced Glenn to a possible summer romance, the handsome young man across the way at the Smoothie King. This summer should solidify Brendon and Glenn’s friendship forever, and they should be in it together, but sometimes summer break knows no loyalties.
“But we can_t all be as lucky as you, or as self-centered.”
#TheSummerBetween #YAfiction #teenlit #teenfiction #teenlife #friendship
(Photo Credits: Photo by Yanapi Senaud on Unsplash)

#WIPpet Wednesday A Spot On the Hill

I’m taking a momentary break from The Summer Between on this Work in Progress Wednesday to share a bit from my upcoming play A Spot On the Hill. The Heritage Alliance sponsors A Spot On the Hill every October in the Old Jonesborough Cemetery. The performances help to raise funds for the tombstone restoration and preservation in the Rocky Hill and College Hill cemeteries. This is the fifth year we’ve done A Spot On the Hill. It is one of my favorite parts of my job. Every year we try to feature nine-ten new stories of people who are buried in the cemeteries. The play is heavily researched, and whenever possible, I use quotes from the person or directly about the person. Our tagline is “Real stories. Real lives. Real tombstones.”

Below is the story of Lucinda Jackson (9/26/1843 – 6/27/1898). To help with the reading, stage directions are on the right, character names are in the center, and dialogue is to the left.

For my WIPpet math we have 40 sentences (9+12+19=40) for 9/12/2019. Note, stage directions do not count in the total, only dialogue.


I’m here because of laundry, and my husband. My name is Lucinda Jackson, but most people know me as Cynthia. My husband is Giles Jackson, but most people called him Jack. Giles belonged to the Colored Peoples Cemetery Society of Jonesborough. He was one of the trustees who helped establish College Hill Cemetery in 1890. I was buried there just eight years later. Giles was a character, loved to talk. He was always talking. He was a barber, said it was part of his profession. Everyone knew Jack and his stories, especially the one about how he’d been kicked in the head by a horse. That story always started the same . . .


Let me tell you how I got these scars!


Sometimes I wish that horse had kicked him a little harder. But I loved Jack’s stories. That’s part of what attracted me to him. I was his second wife. We married in 1894. Jack had his barber shop in the basement of the courthouse, and I had my laundry in our house on Woodrow. Jack was always complaining that I was too quite. “Look at you, just standing at that tub and saying nothing.” But I was thinking, always thinking. Jack was used to everybody telling him his business in his chair. I knew everything about everybody, too, but they didn’t have to say a word to me.

(Carter D brings her a bundle of laundry.)


This shirt is not her husband’s size.

(William M brings her a bundle of laundry.)


That’s a lot of blood, and it ain’t hog killing time. Someone needs to check on that.

(Jennie R brings her a bundle of laundry)


Would you mind, uh . . .


(finishing her thought for her)

Destroying that awful shirt of his so you never have to see it again? Don’t worry, laundry accidents happen all the time.


You’re a good woman.


Laundry’s not as solitary as you’d think. But I liked the peace, when it came. I liked to stand at the tub and look out the window and think about how much had changed in my lifetime, and how much would change in Nannie’s lifetime. She was Jack’s granddaughter, but I like to think of her as mine, too. What would the world look like outside her window?


Then Jack would come in and tell me I was being too quiet. What he didn’t know, though, was I was solving all the world’s problems.


“Cynthia Jackson, wife of Giles Jackson, dropped dead while at the wash tub Monday morning. The doctor pronounced the cause of her death, apoplexy.”


If only I’d lived to solve those problems, or see the world Nannie got to see. But at least I got a break from that horse story for a while.

Cem After

(The picture looks pretty bleak, but it was taken in the winter. That is the view of College Hill from Rocky Hill. Rocky Hill was the traditionally white cemetery and College Hill was the traditionally African American cemetery. They were segregated by society and nature. Thanks to programs like A Spot On the Hill, we’ve been able to break down that natural barrier and share both cemeteries as part of one whole. Lucinda Jackson is buried in College Hill.)

If you’re in the Northeast Tennessee area and want to see A Spot On the Hill, we have performances on Oct 19, 20, and 26 at 6:30 and Oct 20 and 27 at 2:30. Find out more about the play and how to get tickets by visiting the Heritage Alliance’s Facebook page

*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



The Summer Between Meet the Characters Number 4: Lillian Simms

_And one day you_ll forgive yourself, too. I_m still working on that one myself._

Meet Lillian Simms, co-owner of The Sinister Cyanide Lounge, the nightclub and music joint that keeps Brendon, Derrick, and all their friends hopping. Lillian is a force and fiercely independent. She’s also a firm believer in second chances, as long as a person is willing to work for it.

“She’s an intimidating figure, almost Derrick’s height with stormy hazel eyes. Her electric purple hair is pulled back in a sharp ponytail. Two slender, black boots and a pair of fishnet stockings accentuate her long legs. Her dress, made from the same material as her boots, clings to her figure. It’s a nice figure. The name Bradley is tattooed, in beautiful script, across her right wrist.

‘Lillian’s the boss,’ Derrick drops his arm from my shoulder. ‘This club is her brainchild.’

‘Nice to meet you.’ I hold out my hand, and she takes it. She has a strong grip. In fact, it’s borderline painful. 

‘Lillian’s also the bouncer,’ Derrick adds. That explains the death grip.

‘Only on nights you work,’ Lillian counters.”

The Murphy brothers will need Lillian’s strength this summer. In fact, it might be a matter of life or death.



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

(Photo Credits: Photo by Connor Limbocker on Unsplash, Photo by Oscar Sutton on Unsplash, Photo by Austin Chan on Unsplash)

The Summer Between Book Launch and Signing!

If you’re in the Northeast Tennessee area, I’ll be hosting my book launch and signing at The Corner Cup in downtown Jonesborough! I’ll be there from 2:00-4:00 that afternoon. Books will be for sale for $15.00, a lovely little discount for people who’d like to purchase the day of. The Corner Cup will have coffee, tea, all kinds of fraps, and treats. Swing on by and say hello, then cozy up with a new book in Jonesborough’s Living Room. Stay tuned for more events to come.


Talking The Summer Between with Marcello Rollando on Charlottesville This Week

My first radio spot for The Summer Between! I had the privilege of chatting with Marcello Rolando about The Summer Between, history, playwriting, and much more on Charlottesville This Week. Marcello directed my ten minute play Stealing Lincoln a few years ago. He is one of the best directors I have ever worked with, and I hope we can work together again in the future. The show is broken down into three, six minute segments. Happy listening!


#WIPpet Wednesday Number #4 The Summer Between

I intended to share a snippet from this year’s edition of A Spot On the Hill today, but I’m still in the research stage of my annual cemetery play. I’ll be able to share from it next week. This Wednesday I’ll be sharing more from The Summer Between. There aren’t too many weeks left to share from the book, seeing as it will be released on October 1. (Less than a month away, OMG!!!!)

This week I’ve got a quick look into Brendon’s summer job at the K-Nut Hut. Believe me, it’s just as ridiculous as it sounds, but at least he’s sharing his misery with his good friend Glenn. This is definitely not what Brendon had in mind when he pictured his perfect summer.

For my WIPpet math we have 18 sentences (9+1=9, 9+9=18) from Chapter Five: Brendon Murphy, This Is Your Summer! on 9/5/2018.

“Monday comes, as Mondays always do. My alarm goes off at 7:00 a.m. I shut it off but stay in bed for another fifteen minutes. The day ahead and all it entails hovers like some horrible specter above me. Is this how a person feels on their morning of martyrdom? I don’t dwell on the thought too long before it occurs to me it’s probably the most morbid fancy I’ve ever entertained. After all, there are no starving lions waiting for me at the mall. Unless the fryer comes to life and douses me in boiling peanut oil or there’s really a zombie invasion in the works, I’m going to be fine, at least physically. My psyche is another matter.

I shower, don my uniform, stuff a toaster pastry in my mouth, and leave the house to fetch Glenn. I wait in his driveway for five minutes, and when he doesn’t show, I begrudgingly make my way to his door. I’ve only taken a few steps when said door opens and there stands Glenn, in all his pink and brown glory. I’m painfully aware my appearance is just as abhorrent, so I return to my car, keeping my eyes on the driveway as I go. Glenn closes his front door and walks solemnly to the passenger side. Neither of us speaks as we settle into the car and I pull away. The silence persists all the way to the Tri-City Mall.

Sometimes there are no words.

After a ‘motivational’ speech and a pop quiz from Commander Maxwell III, The K-Nut Hut opens for business at 9:00 a.m. alongside most of the other shops in the mall.”


*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.

#TheSummerBetween #YAfiction #teenlit #teenfiction #teenlife #friendship #summerjobs

(Photo by Dieter de Vroomen on Unsplash)

The Summer Between Meet the Characters Number 3: Lindsay Beckingham


“I mean it. The test is bogus. Mail it back and forget it. You_re much more than four categories on a piece of paper.”

It’s time to meet the women of The Summer Between. Meet Lindsay Beckingham! Lindsay and Brendon have known each other since the second grade. They actually started as enemies but became fast friends. They’ll be going to the same university in the fall, but whereas Brendon has no clue what he wants to do with his life, Lindsay seems to have everything figured out.

In Brendon’s own words, “Lindsay’s had her whole life figured out since she was eleven. She’s going to be a doctor. It’s both impressive and daunting how sure she is about everything.”

Lindsay is driven and goal oriented. Her multiple summer jobs will be keeping her busy, but she’s always there for her friends when they need her, especially Brendon. The two of them share a special connection, one that will be tested as they try to survive the summer and all its many hurdles.

Here’s a look into what’s important to Lindsay and Brendon’s friendship.






Will their friendship make it through the summer intact?

“. . .I’m really, really stoked you’re coming to Rye with me because after ten years, I’d be lost without you.” – Brendon M

For Brendon’s sake, let’s hope so.

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

(Photo by Stephan Seeber on Unsplash, Photo by Arya Meher on Unsplashhttps://goo.gl/images/NrgVXehttps://goo.gl/images/f9O5AV, Photo by Benjamin Dickerhof on Unsplash, Photo by Jéssica Oliveira on Unsplash)


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