#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_

#WIPpet Wednesday Number #6 The Summer Between

It’s time for the final WIPpet Wednesday for The Summer Between. For the rest of the story, you’re just going to have to buy the book, which you can do here.

This week I’ve got 33 sentences from Chapter Seven: From Sunup to Sunup. For my WIPpet math we have (26+8-1=33) on 9/26/2018.

“Derrick rolls over the back of the car and somehow manages to land on his feet. We follow him as he unlocks the back gate and runs through the yard, finally collapsing near the patio furniture, his hands stretched toward the sky. “Come here.”

“Shouldn’t we go inside, to bed?” I ask.

“No!” He shoots me down.

“I’m sticking my feet in the pool.” Glenn moseys away from us.

I sigh and join my brother on the grass.

“We’re crossing two things off your list,” he says.

“Yeah?”

“We’ve done extreme karaokeing. Now we’re staying up ’til the sunrise. Check, check.” Derrick smiles at me and points above. The black of night has already faded to blue, and streaks of orange, red, and purple stretch across the sky.

“Thanks for tonight.” I say after a moment. He’s right. Tonight’s a favor that’s chipped away at my wall of worries until it’s nothing more than a smoldering pile of rubble.

“I love sunrises,” Derrick says. “I mean, with all the shit in the world, a good sunrise is priceless. And this one—” He shakes his finger upward. “— has the makings of a great one.”

“Yeah.”

“It’s the one time of day you can look up and believe everything’ll be okay. Know what I mean?” Derrick turns to look at me, his eyes large and pleading. I’d never seen this expression on his face before, and I’m not sure how to categorize it. “Know what I mean?” he asks again, a new urgency in his voice.

“Yeah, I guess.” My answer must be satisfactory because Derrick breathes a sigh of relief and directs his eyes back to the heavens.

“Everything is gonna be okay,” he mumbles as the sun breaks the horizon.”

*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.

And for some perspective, here is the first completed draft of The Summer Between in 2009.  (Gotta love the photo quality of my Samsung Glyde.)

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And here’s the book today, on the eve of its publication. Never, ever, ever give up!

Summer Between Cover

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

 

#WIPpet Wednesday Number #5 The Summer Between

The books are here!

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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

 

 

#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.

LUCINDA J

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 . . .

ALL

Let me tell you how I got these scars!

LUCINDA J

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.)

LUCINDA J

This shirt is not her husband’s size.

(William M brings her a bundle of laundry.)

LUCINDA J

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)

JENNIE R

Would you mind, uh . . .

LUCINDA J

(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.

JENNIE R

You’re a good woman.

LUCINDA J

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?

(pause)

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.

LAURA D

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

LUCINDA J

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

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#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.”

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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.

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

(Photo by Dieter de Vroomen on Unsplash)

#WIPpet Wednesday Number #3 The Summer Between

Summer is coming to an end. That means it’s time for all my fun, fall stuff, including A Spot On the Hill. I’m currently working on the script for the fifth anniversary of my cemetery play. I’ll share some of it next week. This week, especially since it’s still summer, here’s another peek into my soon to be released novel The Summer Between.

Aw, summer crushes, where would adolescence be without them? In Brendon’s case, his summer crush is more of a since elementary school crush. I’ll be introducing the women of The Summer Between in upcoming blog posts, but here’s a first look at the girl who’s got Brendon’s heart doing flip flops, Ashley Louise Alyssa Long. Brendon is determined that this summer will move him out of the crush zone and securely into the relationship zone.

For my WIPpet math we have 2+9=11, so 8 sentences from Chapter Eleven: The 18th Annual Lindsay Fest, on August 29, 2018. Who’s Lindsay? You’ll find out soon enough.

“’You gonna hang around to hear us play?” she inquires with an enticing smile. Yeah, she knows I’m looking, and I like what I see. “We’re a good time.” She runs her tongue across her glossy lips.

‘Hell yeah, I’m stayin’.” I have no idea what I’ve said, but it doesn’t matter. I’ve forgotten where I am, too. All I need to do for the rest of my life is stand here and watch Ashley.”

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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.

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

(Photo Credits: Photo by Leonardo Sanches on Unsplash, Photo by Francisco Moreno on Unsplash)

#WIPpet Wednesday #2 The Summer Between

This is my second Work In Progress (WIPpet) Wednesday for The Summer Between. It’s another peek into Brendon’s unconventional summer break. He’s experiencing all the joys, or pitfalls, that come with growing up. What happens to your childhood friends when you transition to college? Will you stay in touch, or drift apart? Brendon is struggling with the answer to these questions in this week’s WIPpet.

For my WIPpet math, we have 9 sentences from page 22 of the book (1+8=9), for August 22, 2018. This is from Chapter Two The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men (AKA the Patronizing Phrase People Will Quote When You Least Want to Hear It)

“Now, when I sit in my dorm room and Matt texts, I will reply with, what, “How was ten hours in the mini-van?” That’s not a conversation starter. That’s a conversation willingly taking a cyanide pill.

Without these stories, we’re four people who shared the same school system and the occasional class or group project. Okay, so we share a love for internet gaming. So what? Lots of people game with complete strangers.

If we’re nothing more than that, then how do we…how do we exist without class schedules and lunch periods to bring us together?

The answer is simple and terrifying: we won’t.”

Summer Between Ad #1 Twitter Sized (2)

*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

(The Summer Between add designed by Jeanne G’Fellers, images from Unsplash.)

#WIPpet Wednesday

This is my first Work In Progress (WIPpet) for The Summer Between. I hope you enjoy. The book is in the final stage of editing and will be available for purchase on October 1, 2018. It is available for pre-order now on Amazon for Kindle.

The core of the story is about family, specifically siblings, specifically brothers. I’ll be introducing the characters in coming blogs, but suffice to say Brendon and his older brother Derrick are very different. The last thing either of them wanted was to spend their summers together.

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The story is told from Brendon’s point of view. In keeping with WIPpet math, I am sharing 15 sentences from Chapter Eight: Sunday, the Perfect Day for Secrets and Lies.

“Derrick never talks about California. We’ve asked, of course, but he won’t divulge much. He failed to make it on his own. We know there’s more, but he’s mum on it. His current attitude is enough of a distraction. Here’s my chance to see what California was like. Mom and Dad visited him his first summer there, but I was at summer camp. I thought I’d never forgive them, but then they came back so angry and hurt I didn’t push the issue. Soon after, Derrick refused to come home for the holidays. He was too busy, and his name was mud in our house until he moved back.

I look over my shoulder. Stop being stupid. Derrick hasn’t rolled over yet. There’s no way he’s going to appear in the attic. I take a deep breath and pull the tape from the top of the first box.”

*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.

(The Summer Between add designed by Jeanne G’Fellers, images from Unsplash.)

 

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