It’s scary in my room

I came across a story I wrote for my young daughter this morning and decided to share it with you.  I plan to make only one copy of this once I finish the illustrations so Wee B will have a one of a kind book of her very own.


It’s Scary in my Room

Fresh from her bubble bath and snuggled by the fire in her pink pajamas, Brianna played happily with her favorite dolly, Melanie.

“It’s time for bed Sweet Pea”, her daddy called from up stairs.

Brianna jumped up with Melanie squeezed in her arms.  It couldn’t be bed time already, she thought.  Her room was scary at night, and she didn’t want to go.  Then she had an idea.  Maybe if she hid, just maybe, Daddy would let her stay up a little while longer.

On tippy toes, Brianna and Melanie pitter-pattered into the spare bedroom, climbed the side of the giant bed and crawled under the puffy covers, leaving only their little pink noses poking out.

“Where is my little Sweet Pea,” Daddy sang as Brianna listened to him creep down the creaky stairs.  “Is she in the toy box?”

Brianna watched through the bedroom door as he pulled out a fluffy brown bear, and a noisy red train.

“No, she’s not hiding in the toys,” Daddy said.  “Is she behind the sofa?”

He crouched down to look behind the fat green sofa.  “Nope, she’s not there either.  I wonder where my little girl could be.”

Clutching Melanie tighter, Brianna couldn’t hold in her giggles.

Daddy leaped into the bedroom and peeled back the covers.  “I found you!”  He tossed Brianna and Melanie over his shoulder like a little sack of potatoes, and trotted up the stairs with her, laughing all the way.

After a frosty glass of milk, and an extra long brushing of her tiny white teeth, Daddy took Brianna’s hand and led her into her purple bedroom.

“But it’s scary in my room.”  Brianna hugged Melanie even tighter.

“Oh dear,” Daddy said with a gasp.  “I didn’t know Scary came to visit your room.  Why don’t you show me where he hides and we’ll chase him away?”

Brianna scratched her head and scrunched up her face.  After a little think, she nodded yes.  “In the closet,” she said with a shudder, pointing a small finger towards the white doors in the corner.

Daddy pulled the doors open with a creak and a squeak.  He looked high, around pink and white dresses, rain coats and Halloween costumes, under the Easter basket and over the summer hats and behind the colorful box of zoo animals.

Brianna looked low, crawling around sneakers, slippers and pink sandals with flowers on the buckle, under yellow rubber boots with blue polka dots and over the ladybug backpack and behind the green laundry hamper with dragon flies on it.

“Did you find Scary?”  Daddy asked.

“No.”  Brianna said with a sigh and a smile.  “We must have scared him away.”

“Where else?”  Daddy asked.

Brianna scratched her head and scrunched up her face.  “The bed,” she whispered.

Daddy looked high on the top bunk, around the dollies with red hair and curly hair and blond hair in pig tails, under the purple quilt and over puffy pillows and behind the fuzzy pink pony.

Brianna looked low, around the stray socks and books and her fluffy grey kitty, under her favorite pink blanket and over the green bear that Grandma gave her and behind the poster of her favorite princesses.

“Did you find Scary?”  Daddy asked.

“No.”  Brianna said, smiling even wider.  “We must have scared him away.”

“Anywhere else?”  Daddy said.

Brianna scratched her head and scrunched up her face.  “The desk.”  She pointed to the little wooden table beside the bunk bed.

Daddy looked high on the shelf, around the crafts of pipe cleaners and glue and toilet paper rolls, under paper drawings of houses and suns and over a box of crayons and behind the pencil sharpener.

Brianna looked low, around the chair with its green squishy cushion and wobbly legs, under the pencil box with a rainbow on top and over books about ABCs and around a lamp in the shape of a lamb.

“Did you find Scary?”  Daddy asked.

“No.”  Brianna said with a smile as wide as her face.  “We must have scared him away.”  She leaped into her Daddy’s arms and squeezed him.

Daddy nestled Brianna into her bed with Melanie close beside her.  He read her a book about trains, kissed her round cherry cheeks and tucked her cozy blankets around her.

“Thanks for chasing Scary out of my room Daddy,” Brianna whispered as she closed her eyes and pressed Melanie against her face.

Once in a while Scary came back to visit, but when he did, Brianna and her Daddy knew just what to do.



And the winner is …


Now, don’t get too excited, this post isn’t about the PNWA contest.  Although I didn’t place in the top two, I’m still stoked to be among the top eight finalists.

This is about a gruelling race against an author friend to see which of us could finish our novels first.  The contest arose when Aimee Laine, known in our little writing group to be a machine when it comes to pumping out novels, posted the word count for her current work in progress, Surrender, on Facebook.

I’d been dawdling to finish Shadowborn, the second in the Lila Gray trilogy, and thought … huh … a little motivation and fun might be just what I needed to push me to the end.  So I challenged Aimee to a race, which she eagerly accepted.

Aimee’s word goal: 90k.  Mine: 95k and I had a one day delay to start.  Which was fair, because my current word count was higher.

What are the spoils you ask?  She who doesn’t win must send the winner chocolate AND sing her praises on a blog post.  Mmmm, chocolate.  That alone is motivation enough, right?

Our good friend, J. A. Belfield, stepped in to be our judge of the final products.  Judge Julie, to be exact.  Check out her announcement here.

Both Aimee and I set to work heckling one another over Twitter while our fingers pounded the keyboard.  It wasn’t pretty, but hell, it was a lot of fun.

In the end, we both came out as winners.  We both came away with first draft novels in a much shorter time than we would have otherwise.  So yeah, the editing process might take a wee bit longer (speaking for myself only, of course, as Ms. Laine is a master, after all :D) due to the speed at which I pumped out the words, but I still have a skeleton I can now apply some dressing to make it into a living, breathing work of art.

Check out the “official” results here, at J. A. Belfield’s blog

Check out Aimee Laine’s blog to get her take on the big race.

What do you do to motivate yourself to write?

Six Sentence Sunday

I’ve been enjoying the little tastes of writing my fellow authors have been tantalizing me with every Sunday, so I thought I’d join in the fun.  Here are six sentences from my new work in progress, Road to Salvation.


Charlotte leaned closer to Joel with parted lips and sparkling eyes riveted to the pages in his hands.

Before he could think about whether or not he should, he lifted his arm and pulled her slender body against his side so she could see the book better, loving that she fit so perfectly under his arm.

While Charlotte held one side of the book and turned the pages, Joel held the other and read line after line.

Her ear pressed against the left side of his chest, and he could feel the gentle beating of her heart where her body lay along his.

His free hand took turns between making slow circles on her back and smoothing out her fine, wavy hair in complete contentment.

Forbidden thoughts waited the background to remind him she’d be gone tomorrow and he may never see her again, but for the moment, he didn’t allow them to drag him away from the most enjoyment he’d ever had in his life.

Are you a moper or a trooper?

What do you do when life kicks you square in the arse?  Do you A) Let it knock you down?  Do you cry, mope, whine and complain about it until you’re so miserable you don’t feel like getting out of bed?  Or do you B) Pick yourself up, dust yourself off , swallow that lemon juice down and keep looking for life’s sugar?

Usually I’m type A) I’m embarassed to say.  Not this time.  Nope, this time I’ve chosen to hold my head high and use that foot in the ass to propel me forward, to see the benefits of another change in life’s direction instead of dwelling on what could have been.

Four things that keep me standing tall:

1) A beautiful country home full of people who love me.  I could have spent the day being insulted, pushed around and pulled in five different directions, but the instant I cross the threshold of home, my arms are instantly full of my little girl, and there’s a smooch heading for my cheek from my hubby.  What could be better than that?

2) Good friends, both old and new, “virtual friends” and in person ones, sisters, brothers and parents.  Having ears to listen and mouths to offer encouragement is something I’ve never before sought outside of my front door given my private nature.  You know who you are and I appreciate you even if I forget to say it often enough.

3) I’ve been blessed enough to be good at few things, even though it often takes a lot of work and practice to realize it.  While archery was always a hobby, writing is my true passion and a joy that smooths out my rough edges.

4) For whatever reason, my stars seem to align just right now and then.  Success, when I expect it to take  years of work and dedication, often falls into my lap when I least expect it.  I began writing seriously only last year after I took a few writing courses to get me started.  Through a few short stories and a novella, I attracted the attention of an amazing group of ladies, then a publisher who took a chance on me as a total noob.  Now here I am, gearing up for the release of my first novel.  My heart swells to twice its normal size every time I think about how fortunate I’ve been.

Yeah, life does tend to suck once in a while, but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world.  Since the latest door has been slammed in my face, I’ve decided to walk outside, inhale the fresh air and feel the sun on my face until the right door opens.

What keeps you smiling on life’s rainy days?

Fit in? Or be unique?

My daughter will be five next month. 

Already I see myself in her, not just in her appearance, but in her individuality and stubborness.  While we’re at home together, I try not to hinder her wild creativity in any respect. 

She wears six barrettes in her hair, clomps around in high heels wearing nothing but her underwear and one sock.  She mixes her paint colors until her pictures are mostly brown.  Sparkles cover her body head to toe instead of her artwork.  She writes stories about Spiderman saving Princess Brianna from a pirate ship in Madagascar where Zaboomafoo lives.  It’s all good.

Now that she’s in school, I worry her rather unusual fashion sense will see her ostracized from her group of friends. 

So, how do I walk the fine line of protecting her feelings against cruel kids without hindering her individuality?  How do I explain that green leggings, a pink and black leopard print skirt and a red paisley shirt don’t match in most people’s eyes? 

Or should I? 

Part of me says yes, and part of me says no. 

I want her to be the bright, creative, unique individual she is, but I also know what it’s like to go to school in clothes that didn’t fit in with the others in my group.  I grew up on a farm and didn’t know anything about fashion until I was an adult, as those sorts of things weren’t important in my life back then.  It still hurt when those little jabs came.  “Nice pants.  Did you get dressed in the dark?  Did your grandmother lend you her clothes?” 

At least it helped me sort out who my true friends were.  I can look at it that way now, but as a kid it devestated me.

The thought of my daughter coming home from school in tears because someone made fun of her outfit makes my heart hurt.  She’s confident enough she might be okay and stand up to anyone who made fun of her, but then again, she might not.  This morning we made a compromise after some ranting and raving about the red flowered tights and pink t-shirt she was determined to wear to school. 

I asked her to pick out the one piece of clothing she absolutely had to wear – which happened to be a shirt.   Then I offered her some options that matched:  a pair of jeans, a white skirt and leggings and a pair of yoga pants, all of which she poo-pooed.  Eventually she chose the jeans and went off to school satisfied with her outfit – mismatched socks and all, but it took some serious negotiating before she would agree to something reasonable.

Did I do the right thing?  Who knows.

I know it will only get worse as she gets older.  Yeah, not looking forward to that.  Here’s hoping her unusual style begins a new trend.

What would you do?