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On an almost personal dare I wrote this story while also working on Dolbin School 4. I wrote this without an outline and put up the story as I finish each part on Steemit.
“My grandfather thinks he is seeing a ghost at the lighthouse, and I think he wants to show it to me,” said Irving to Alec as they both were getting their fishing rods ready. The grey of dusk had covered the sky. The breeze was still warm.
“That’s cool,” responded Alec.
“I guess. But if he sees something at the lighthouse, I guess something is actually happening,” Irving said.
Irving’s grandfather walked over to the boys and the boys stopped talking. “Okay are you two ready? Do you have everything you need?”
“Yeah, it looks like it grandpa,” Irving leaned back and cast his line out in the surf. He held onto his line.
“Nice cast,” he patted Irving on the back and walked back to his line, where Irving’s dad and Carrie had set-up their lines.
Alec leaned back and cast his line out into the water. He placed the rod into paint bucket to keep it anchored. He sat down on the ground. “Why don’t you put yours in the bucket?”
“I like to hold my line in case something bites early.” Alec shook his head,
“Okay.” Suddenly Alec’s rod took leaned forward and the line took off like a sprinter.
“Whoa! I got something!” screamed Alec.
He jumped up to grab the rod, but he tripped over the bucket. He fell face first onto the ground. But he held onto the rod. The bucket fell forward and the rod came out of the bucket. The Alec held onto the rod with both hands. Irving laughed at the top of his lungs. Then the fish on the end of the rod pulled the rod and Alec across the sand towards the ocean. For some reason Alec held onto the rod.
Irving’s eye lit up. He quickly put his rod into the bucker and chased after Alec. Irving landed on his friend. Irving’s grandfather seeing the scene ran over and grabbed the rod from Alec. He quickly pulled back on the line, but it snapped.
The catch got away.
Irving and Alec laid on the edge of the water. “Well, that was embarrassing,” Alec said. Irving rolled off Alec, sand covered his hair. He stood and brushed the wet sand off of his clothes. Mr. Williams helped Alec get up.
Mr. Williams showed Alec and Irving the line. “I think it is a good thing you didn’t reel that in!”
He smiled. “I’m also glad that it didn’t eat us earlier today when we were on our boards,” Alec replied.
Irving’s dad came running over, “Everyone all right?”
“Yeah, we’re fine,” Irving replied.
Irving’s dad motioned to the two boys and Mr. Williams, “There is always trouble when the three of you get together.”
I am working on a new book, while also writing this story. I am writing this story without an outline and putting up the story as I finish each part. I am enjoying getting to know these characters and setting.
“I see that you have found Alec,” said Irving’s grandfather. Who was reading a tattered spy novel paperback, his head covered by his sun hat, round sunglasses covered his face.
Irving and Alec walked back to Iriving’s family’s settlement. They were exhausted from riding waves. Their cheeks were pink from the sun, and knees skinned from wiping out on their boogie boards.
Irving’s grandfather was manning the settlement of towels. Carrie was a sleep on her towel. Her hair wet after taking a quick dip in the water.
The rest of the family was in the water playing with Lucas.
Alec waved, “Hi, Mr. Williams.”
“Hi, Alec. Where is your family?” Irving’s grandfather replied.
“Down there, the blue tent.” He pointed. “My mother sunburns easily, so we bring the tent.” He pointed to a blue tent hundred feet away.
“Your grandfather told me you would be here for the week.”
“Yes, sir that is correct.” Grant Williams sat up in his chair, pushed his hat back and lowered his sunglasses down his nose.
He waved Alec in closer with his tattered paperback, “Come, here.” Alec took a step closer. “I have something to show you and Irving this week at the lighthouse,” a gleam was noticeable in his eye. The lines in his cheek grew deep from his smiling.
Alec turned looked at Irving and then back at Mr. Williams, “Yes, sir. What is it?”
Mr. Williams guffawed, but then leaned in closer and lowered his voice to a whisper, “I can’t tell you that right now. There are too many prying ears around.” He made a circular motion with his paperback.
Alec put gave a thumbs-up, “Understood.” Alec stood back up, and stepped next to Irving, “I’m starving I’m going to go get some Gatorade and chips.”
“Come and see us in an hour or so when the sun gets lower. We’ll be getting ready to fish.” Alec waved, “Yes, sir.” He jogged off to his parent’s tent.
Irving put his board down and sat down next to his grandfather. He reached into the cooler next his grandfather, and pulled out a bottle of water, and a turkey sandwich. He started eating.
“So what exactly is it you’ve seen at the lighthouse?” Irving asked.
His grandfather turned and looked at him. He looked at Carrie napping on the towel. He looked around to see if anyone else was listening, and he lowered his voice, “The original lighthouse keeper from 140 years ago is back.”
The sun was bright. The air was warm. The sand was hot. The sound of the waves was rhythmic.
Irving and his family wondered onto the beach, carrying towels, chairs, umbrellas and fishing gear. After several minutes of searching, they settled on an area near the walkway to the main street.
As soon as Lucas took his shirt off he ran toward the water.
Irving’s grandfather chuckled, “I see now why you have to put the sunscreen on before we go to the beach!”
“Yeah, it’s very difficult to wrangle him when he sees the water,” replied Mrs. Williams.
Irving took off his hat, shirt, and flip-flops and grabbed his boogie board, ready to sprint to the waves.
“You on the other hand mister are able to wait.” His mother handed him a blue bottle of sport suntan lotion.
“Put it on. Remember how painful it was last year when you got sunburned. It was no fun for you, and it was no fun for us.”
Irving hung his head, took the bottle, and lathered himself in white lotion.
Carrie covered herself in her own special sunscreen. She placed her sunglasses on her face and she laid down on her towel.
“Hoping to see Aaaadam!” Irving teased.
She looked up at him, “Are you hoping to see tomorrow?”
“You two! Just one day!” said their father. “Irving you’re covered in sunscreen, head onto the water. I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
Irving bolted to the water. He gasped at the coolness of the water, but he kept going. He jumped and put the board out in front and landed on the board. His body rose high into air as the first wave lifted him and brought him back down. We wiped his hair out of his eyes. He turned his board and began swimming back to shore. He looked over his shoulder for the next wave.
It came quickly.
It lifted his feet and legs up, and pushed his body forward. His arms worked fast to keep his board on top of the wave. He felt his legs going higher into the air. His right shoulder went under first. His body tumbled like in was in a washing machine. The water pushed him forward. He came up on the shore on his stomach.
He wiped his eyes. When his vision cleared, two legs stood in front of him.
“You wiped out on the first wave of the summer?” said a voice from above Irving.
Irving looked up in a daze. “Hey Alec!”
Irving stood up. He wiped the sand off of his face, and shook Alec’s hand. “My grandfather told me you and your brother were in town this week.”
“We got here this morning.” Alec replied.
“Where’s your brother?”
“I don’t know. Probably looking for girls.”
Alec looked over his shoulder for his brother Adam.
“My sister will be in an even worse mood if she sees him talking to other girls,” Irving replied.
He lifted his boogie board and looked at Irving, “Now, let me show you how this is done.” The boys raced back into the ocean to catch the next wave.
I’m experimenting and putting up a new story, and I am trying to do it everyday. I haven’t outlined anything. I am enjoying getting to know these characters.
“I wish you would stay still and stop wiggling!” declared Mrs. Williams.
“You need to have sunscreen on in order to go to the beach. If you don’t put on sunscreen, you don’t go to the beach Lucas.”
Lucas stopped fidgeting and let his mother cover his face in 50 SPF water-proof sunscreen.
Upstairs, while the wrestling match over sunscreen was happening, Irving put on his Atlanta Braves ball cap, his Darth Vader t-shirt, his Virginia Tech sandals and his Hawaii print swim trunks. His sunglasses finished the ensemble.
He walked down the stairs and met the rest of the family by the front door, where they were gathering their things for their first trip to the beach.
“You look dorky,” stated his sister Carrie.
“Well, luckily I’m not trying to impress you. I know I’m not Adam!” Irving held the A in the name, held his arms up to his chest, batted his eyes, and pretended to swoon.
Carrie rolled her eyes. “Maybe he’s here this week and you’ll see him at the beach.” Irving continued to mock his sister.
“Shut up!” And she punched Irving in the shoulder. Hard.
“Ow!!!” Their father intervened, “Can you two please stop fighting for one day? One day!?” He held up his index finger, emphasizing the number 1.
Lucille Williams smiled, put on her sunhat and laughed, “George, I remember you fighting with your brother like that when you were their age.”
“You don’t live with it every day, mom.” Irving’s father replied.
“Someday you’ll miss it, son,” she replied in a peaceful manner.
“Who’s ready for some surf!” yelled Irving’s grandfather. He came around the corner from his bedroom. He walked around a large telescope that was placed on a tripod and face out a window towards the sea. He was dressed in a large floral print shirt, blue swim trucks, and large wicker sun hat on top of his head.
“I am!” yelled Lucas, as he put his hand into the air.
“I’m also bringing my rod and reel. Do I have any other fishermen here with me today?” His grin was large. Irving raised his hand, “I’ll fish with you.”
“So will I,” replied Carrie.
“I will too!” shouted Lucas.
The family headed out the door and into Irving’s dad’ large SUV. Irving’s grandfather sat in the back row with Irving and Carrie. “Did I mention, Irving and Carrie, that Adam and Alec are here this week? I know they are looking forward to seeing you guys again.”
“Ohh…Aaaaadam is here!” Irving batted his eyes. Carrie punched him in the shoulder. “Ow!”
“I swear! Just one day!” pleaded Irving’s dad from the driver’s seat.
Irving’s grandfather guffawed. “Let’em argue George!” He laughed and laughed and patted his knee.
The SUV pulled out of the driveway and onto the main road. Going past mounds of sand and tall grass. They passed the lighthouse on the right.
Irving’s grandfather elbowed him in the side. “Up there! She’s up there!”
His grandfather’s face was bright with excitement.
I am experimenting a trying out a new story here. I posted it first on Steemit and now here.
So here is part 2 of:
Irving’s grandparents lived in a large brick house near the beaches of the Outer Banks in North Carolina. His grandfather was a retired coast guard Captain. He settled in Currituck, North Carolina. He spent his time now leading tours at the Currituck Lighthouse.
The house was filled from top to bottom with maritime objects, artifacts, and paintings. A large deep water diving suit greeted visitors as they walked in the front door. A four-foot model of the lighthouse stood on an end table, next to a book shelf filled with novels and reference materials about the ocean and maritime history.
A large painting of a boat navigating rough seas hung over an antique sofa. The sofa that no one was allowed to eat on.
“Take your stuff upstairs Irving,” instructed his dad.
Irving walked up a large wooden staircase, he turned to the right, and his bag brushed against table making it wobble. A wooden pirate, complete with a green parrot on the shoulder, wobbled and began to fall. Irving dropped his bag and caught the pirate with both hands. He blew out of his breath and gently put the pirate back.
“Wow. You would be dead little brother if you didn’t catch that!” Carrie walked past him.
“Thanks for your help,” Irving replied.
He picked his bag up and continued down the hall, past a painting about a shark attack, and an aerial photograph of the Outer Banks. He walked into his bedroom.
His grandparents’ house was large enough that he didn’t have to share his room with anyone. Unlike at home, he shared his room with Lucas, which made visiting his grandparents a welcome change from the routine.
“I want to go to the beach!” Lucas ran past Irving’s doorway. His mother was in pursuit.
“We’re not going to the beach until we get unpacked and eat lunch, Lucas. And stop running in the house, you’re bound to break something!”
Irving put his bag on the bed and unzipped it. He pulled out his clothes and placed them in a chest of drawers that had mermaids and sharks on the handle of the drawers. He closed the drawers.
He picked a photograph off the top of the chest of drawers. He was about three in the picture, his grandfather was holding a large fish at the end of a fishing line, and next him was a large yellow lab, named Luke. Luke was already old in the photograph. He passed away when Irving was six.
“Irving get down here and help with lunch!” yelled his father. Irving put the photograph back its place and he bounded down the stairs.
Lucas was sitting at the large mahogany table. His legs swung back and forth vigorously. Irving walked past the table and into the kitchen where his father was.
“Put ice in all the glasses,” his father instructed.
His grandmother had already lined up seven empty glasses. Lucas began filling them. He placed them one by one back onto the kitchen island.
His grandfather walked into the kitchen. He placed something on the island.
Irving put the final cup filled with ice down on the island. He noticed what his grandfather had placed.
It was a book.
Ghosts of the Outer Banks, was the title.
Irving looked up at his grandfather. His grandfather put a finger to his mouth. “Don’t tell your mother,” he whispered. “I’ve seen one. And I’m going to show it to you.”
I am working on the fourth book in my Dolbin School series.
But I placed a challege to myself to write a chapter book without an outline and into the dark
Anyway, here is:
A loud giggle came from the seat in front of him.
“Haha! I did!” Squealed Lucas, Irving’s little brother.
“Mom, make them stop!” whined Carrie, Irving’s older sister. Who was sitting with Irving in the back seat of their three row SUV.
“Boys, stop being gross,” Julie Williams, Irving’s mother, said from the passenger seat.
“Boys, I need you to cut down on that sort of talk when we reach grandma and grandpa’s house,” George Williams, Irving’s dad, instructed from the driver’s seat.
Irving Williams was eight-years-old, had sandy brown hair with freckles on his face and was soon to be in the third grade.
Carrie, was ten-years-old, also had brown hair, hers was pulled back into a ponytail. And she was going to be a fifth grader.
Lucas was four. And he laughed for at least three minutes every time he passed gas.
Mr. Williams turned on the blinker and he turned the family’s grey SUV into a driveway.
The two story brick house, had a dark green roof. Large potted plants stood on both sides of the front door. An elderly man and woman appeared from the front door, Irving’s grandparents, Grant and Lucille Williams “Well, who are these lovely people who landed here in my driveway?” said Grant Williams, the man smiled and walked quickly to the car.
“Grandpa!” screamed Lucas.
“Here, let me get you out of this car seat,” said Grant as he fumbled with the latches and eventually got Lucas out of the seat.
“Hey mom,” George hugged his mom.
“How was your trip?” Lucille Williams, Irving’s grandmother, asked.
“It was fine. The traffic was better than usual.”
“Can we go to the beach today?” shouted Lucas.
His grandparents laughed.
“We need to eat and get unpacked before head to the beach,” Mrs. Williams rolled her eyes as she shuffled Lucas off into the house.
“There is my little, oh, excuse me, grown-up adventurer,” Irving’s grandfather shook his hand. His grip hurt Irving’s hand. He was still strong in his later years. He pulled Irving in close and whispered in his ear, “I have something to show you at the lighthouse. But you need to keep it a secret. Understand?” Irving looked at his grandfather’s face, the lines were deep, but there was excitement in his eyes. Irving held his grandfather’s gaze for what seemed to be hours.
“Irving, let you grandfather go, and help with the luggage,” instructed his dad. Irving followed instructions, got the luggage and followed his family into his grandparents’ large house.
(This post originally appeared on my Steemit page.)
According to my parents it was the first movie I ever saw in the theater. I’ll let you figure out how old I am based on that information.
And when I say Star Wars, I mean the first one, A New Hope. When I first saw it wasn’t called A New Hope, it was just Star Wars.
Star Wars became my childhood.
Star Wars became my birthday and Christmas for years.
It became visits to my grandmother. She would regularly have a new action for me. It was always wrapped in a brown paper bag.
It became playground games—lightsabers verses lightsabers.
It became Halloween costumes.
The music made my four-year-old chest just stick out. I grew muscular and taller listening to opening music. Star Wars was the world I was in.
We all know the cultural phenomenon that it has become. And the huge intellectual property that it has become to Disney.
But it wasn’t just me. An entire generation of boys and girls, who are now middle age with children of their own who are into Star Wars. We are passing down the world to another generation of movie lovers.
But there has to be reasons why it is so good…
1. The opening. Beginning a movie with loud music and a title crawl was ripped directly from the Flash Gordon serials of decades previous. But they weren’t done nearly as well as this. Then flew in the ship in. But it flew in FROM OVER HEAD! And not just one ship but two!
2. Darth Vader. Five minutes in we are introduced the greatest villain we have ever seen. And here is the thing, he doesn’t say one word. But you know, you need to be scared of him.
3. The Music. Let’s face John Williams is the Master at cinematic music. There is John Williams, and then everyone else.
4. Lightsabers. They were described originally as laser swords and they’re such an obvious invention, but I know of no other place before where laser swords existed in a movie.
5. Ralph McQuarrie . The average movie watch does not know who Ralph is. The hard-core of us do. And we know that it was him who took George’s words and turned them into beautiful illustrations.
6. The Toys. Lucas made a seismic shift in how movies were promoted. The toys were just awesome. I got new toys every Christmas and birthday from 1977 to 1984. Have toys allowed children to replay the movie. (Remember kids, this was before DVDs.)
7. Sound Effects. Without Ben Burtt there is no laser blast, no lightsaber sound, no roar of a tie fighter, no growl of Chewbacca, no rumble of the trash compactor, no explosion of the Death Star. In other words, no Star Wars.
8. Industrial Light and Magic. Lucas needed special effects that had never been done before. In the process he created a company that is used by most of Hollywood.
9. The spaceships. The x-wing, tie-fighter, and of course the Milineum Falcon. The Falcon itself is a character in the movies. The Falcon is such a character than when I saw The Force Awakens the crowd cheered when the Falcon finally appeared on screen. Personally part of the reason that Return of the Jedi is not my favorite of the series partly because no scenes really occur in the Falcon.
10. The Force. Everyone wants to have the Force. The Force is the spirituality behind the story. It is with the Force that the movie goes to a different level. We all want the Force. We are all interested in that sort of power.
This was a love letter to a movie.
A remembrance to my childhood.
That is why it is the great movie ever made.
I was born on a Monday.
I can’t believe you’re five. It’s not possible.
You are so eager to grow up. You can’t wait for Kindergarten.
You can’t wait until you are bigger so you can sit in the front seat of the car.
I want you to stay in the back.
I want to reach back through time and space to hold you again when you could fit into one arm.
I remember the first time I heard you cry. You were three seconds old. That sound is permanently in my brain. Dementia couldn’t take it away.
You see at one point the doctors told us that you could have special needs and would have difficulty growing up. I hope you never experience that fear.
When I heard you scream I knew your lungs were okay. The doctor wouldn’t let me see you at first.
For an eternity, I heard you cry, I was not allowed to see you. Then he called me over.
He turned to me and said, “Congratulations. She’s perfect.”
He was right.
You are so eager to enter school. But I am so afraid that school will stifle your individuality. And remember, your daddy is a teacher.
But I know you are an extrovert. You love people. School will provide you a wealth of people to meet.
You make friends as easily as fish swim. It’s amazing.
As you enter five, I am going to do my best to make sure you can be as creative as you want to be. I don’t want the world to end that. I am going to be that difficult parent as I defend you in school.
You won’t remember this, but we talked about rhyming words, you didn’t say cat-bat, you said, “You mean like light and white?”
I had to stop, think, and say, “Yes. That is correct.”
I’ve had first graders who couldn’t make that connection.
You memorized an entire Frozen book, and then you told me to read “the wrong word,” so that you could then read the correct word.
You once cut out a shape and sang about trapezoids. I looked at the shape you made. It was a trapezoid.
I didn’t know what a trapezoid was until middle school.
How do you do it?
I am selfish, you are the greatest thing to ever happen to me.
I am thankful to be your daddy.
(This post originally appeared on my Steemit blog.)
I published my first book in 2013. It was a children’s picture book.
At that time I thought I would keep writing picture books. I felt out of sorts when my second book was not a picture book.
I knew that he had written Coraline. I had read the book and seen the movie and liked it a lot.
Then I saw him appear on Youtube with a wonderful commencement speech.
How is that possible?
Then it seems he writes many other things.
Hold the phone–
And it was as a journalists that he learned to write fast and under a deadline.
What I did was work as a journalist. It forced me to write, to write in quantity, to write to deadline. It forced me to get better than I was, very fast.
Oh, and P.S. he didn’t go to college.
And yet he has an honorary Doctorate.
Yes, his books aren’t made into audiobooks.
But not only that….He narrates them.
Now he’s just showing off.
Just wonderful. I remember reading it and thinking “Man, this is the book I wanted to write.”
(Seriously I can’t recommend this book enough. Just pure joy from start to finish.)
I’ll leave you with his eight rules of writing. Very beneficial for anyone trying to write.