Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Winter came early in the year. It was nearly the middle of December and stormy winter weather was everywhere from the Atlantic shore to the Pacific shore. As swift as a spinning dervish the snow storms came and lay a suffocating cloak of ice upon the small city where Anne Greene lived.. The ice storm had encased everything: utility poles, houses, cars and trees. Being that the city received snow and ice perhaps only once every three years, whenever it was dressed in full winter garb the city shut down. Which meant that school was out! A delight to all children everywhere and none of them more delighted than Anne. She gazed out of her bedroom window, wondering what her friends were doing; whether she should build another snowman and how many maple candies she could make – and eat, before mama said enough was enough!
Maple candies were something mama had learned to make when she was a girl. You gathered a big pan of snow or ice, poured a dollop of maple syrup on top of the snow and let it sit for a while outside in the cold or in the freezer until it became hard. Then you just popped them in your mouth! Anne could smell the savory scent of beef broth simmering in the big pot in the kitchen. It was early morning and dad was out shoveling snow from the driveway again. Anne hopped from her chair and flew downstairs. She suddenly remembered that a special package had arrived for her before dinner and it was high time she found out what it was! She went rummaging around in the coat closet, throwing out all and sundry that didn’t look like a new package.
“Anne? I can hear you in the closet. What are you doing?”
“Looking for something!”
“The package is in the kitchen!” Mama said. Anne stuffed everything haphazardly back into the closet and bounded into the kitchen.
“Where is it, mama?”
“Right here on the counter. It's from grandma Barbara.”
“Goody!” She cried with glee. A long, brown box sat on the counter near the refrigerator. She glanced at the label, trying to guess where it came from.
“Your grandma is in Scotland right now.”
“It's near England and Ireland. Here, I'll open the box for you.”
“But I want to open it!” Anne protested.
“Alright.” Mama said patiently. Anne tried ripping the thick tape off but the box was held fast by it. Try as she might, she could not get it open.
“OK. You can open it.” Anne pouted. Mama gave her an expectant look, raising a brow.
“Can you please open it for me, mama?” Mama wiped flour from her hands on a towel and with a pairing knife, cut at the tape slowly, opening the box. Anne eagerly took the box and pulled out her new gift. It was a royal blue cloak made of velvet with tiny silver stars stitched into the bottom hem and it had a plush, fur trim, also of midnight blue with a fur trimmed hood! The inside was light blue dyed wool. It was so beautiful! Anne had never owned a cloak before and especially one so wonderful as this! Mama exclaimed in wonder and delight and she helped her put it on. Anne twirled and swirled this way and that. She felt like a royal princess!
“When can I wear it? Can I wear it to school?”
“Well I suppose. . .”
“Please, mama? I want to wear it to school!” She said excitedly, flouncing around the kitchen.
“You can wear it to school then. After all, it's cold outside and that looks like a very warm cloak. I just wonder though, sweetie. I don't want it to get soiled or dirty.”
“Oh, I won't mess it up!”
“Now remember, you'll need to thank grandma when she calls next time.”
“I will!” Anne tried on her hood, running her hands along the soft fur. Mama laughed.
“If you plan to wear it to school, then I want you to put it away in the coat closet. You can either wear it today or you can wear it when you go back to school.” Anne screwed up her face in a frown. She didn't much care for those choices but mama didn't leave her much room to negotiate and she did want to show it off at school. She skipped from the kitchen and down the hall. Grandma Barbara knew her favorite color! I wonder where grandma will go next? What will she send next? Anne reluctantly took her cloak off and laid it carefully on an occasional table by the coat closet. She went to the living room and gazed outside. It had begun to snow lightly again. More snow. She thought. The trees looked like white spires, heavy with ice and snow. She heard the front door open and in blew a giant snowman! Or, rather, it was just dad.
“Well! Old Man Winter really laid a number on the whole country this month!” He said, wiping fat snow flakes from his face. The walk was partially clear but as it had begun snowing again, dad gave up the fight for the day in frustration.
“Got anything planned today, little one?”
“I'm going to make another snowman.”
“Another one! Soon we'll gave an army of them out there. Did you find your gift?”
“Yes! I love it!” She said. Dad winked. He looked quite comical and dramatic Anne thought, all covered in bright white crusts of snow framing his dark brown face.
“One of your friends is coming to visit.” He said, pointing towards the window. There, waving and bundled up in her pink snowsuit and scarf was Emma. Yay! Anne ran to the door, pulling Emma inside. They hugged each other, both chanting: “School is out! School is out!”
“I hear company!” Mama called from the kitchen.
“It's Emma! Can she stay for dinner?”
“Of course!” Both Anne and Emma melted into a gale of giggles and then ran upstairs to play. If only Tanya could be here, but she lived across the river, clear across town. At least they would see her at school. That is, if school ever opened again.
All that day Anne and Emma made snowmen, ate maple candies, collected frozen pine cones and made snow angels as big, fat snowflakes fell lightly in their hair and on their cheeks. They simply did as children will do; play and bask in the fun and beauty of winter. After all, they would go inside when their hands became too cold and when it became too dark to see. But deep in her mind Anne knew that behind the wonder and sparkle, the dark hand of an evil winter was rising.
(End of Sample chapter!)
PS: it must be noted that the editing process is not finished on the book so if you see typos and errors please understand that these will be corrected before the full length book is published!
Friday, November 11, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
I love innovation sometimes. It can be a wonderful and exciting thing.