Title: I Didn't Meet a Single Geezer
Entry Nickname: The Golden Geezers
Word Count: 30,000
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
But when Oscar goes missing in a window-shattering Oklahoma storm, Promilla calls off the party in search of him and realizes she's become more attached to Oscar than she expected. Having been the one person to actually listen to his ramblings, Promilla may be the only one who can find Oscar before he gets lost in the lash and thunder of the storm for good.
For more than twenty years I was a Long Term Health Care Administrator at both nursing home and assisted living facilities. Currently I serve as the moderator of the Writers of Chantilly. Several of my short stories have been published. This book is co-authored with Edgar Brown, who adds the special perspective of a youthful octogenarian and a former Justice Department lawyer.
So here are my choices: Harry's Garage and Gas, Elena's Psychic Parlor, The Monroe County Trash Depot, or The Golden Sunset Home and Rehabilitation Center.
Yep. You guessed it. I will be spending the best part of my summer in a nursing home. All because I snuck one of Grama's rabbits into Mrs. Thompson's desk.
Sometime I guess I'll have to get out of bed. Through my open windows, I hear the chickens clucking in the yard. Magic jumps onto my mattress and smothers me in kisses. Sun beats onto his gold-and-black fur. At least he didn't forget my birthday.
I don't blame Grama for forgetting and I don't expect any presents. But I smile when I see a card slipped under my door. It might even be the same one as last year.
The smell of bacon and blueberry pancakes finally convinces me to rise. I throw on some clothes and retrieve the card.
Downstairs, my arms wrap around Grama and I kiss her wrinkled cheek. "Thanks for remembering. And wow!" I point to the chair where I usually sit for breakfast. "Is that Oklahoma U sweatshirt for me?"
Grama laughs. "Who else? Your parents loved that place."
"I remember," I say.
Grama's long silver hair is always tied in a bun. She has a heavyset body with muscular arms and legs. There is a dark scar on her chin that she got at the age of eleven when the tractor she was driving struck a boulder and catapulted her off it.
Entry Nickname: Be Grateful For Cookies
Word Count: 40,000
Genre: Middle Grade Contemporary
Thirteen-year-old Lizzie will do almost anything for a cookie. Sadly, her mother banned them from her life months ago, replacing sweets with tasteless foods and a gym membership. Her mom claims it’s for her own good, even though her skinny sister can still eat whatever she wants.
Doomed to a life of flaxseed and broccoli, Lizzie joins what she believes is an after school cooking club, hoping to make chocolate anything on the sly. When the teacher announces they'll also be sewing, Lizzie discovers a knack for designing stylish plus-size clothes, something she desperately needs. After the owner of a local boutique sees one of Lizzie's shirts with the message BE STRONG sewn across the back, she convinces Lizzie to reveal her inspirational clothing to the public with a fashion show. Lizzie hesitantly agrees—it's a lot of work, and she’s never been comfortable being the center of attention.
Faced with an overpowering mom, a group of relentless school bullies, and some embarrassing mishaps at the gym, Lizzie realizes how important it is to BE YOU, as she sets out to prove there's more to a person than the size of their waist.
From the moment I stepped out onto Aunt Teri and Uncle Joe’s patio, they taunted me. My eyes darted away, trying my best to ignore them, but I knew they were there. Every summer my aunt and uncle hosted a huge neighborhood cookout. Mom had warned me on the car ride over to be good. She knew that they’d be there … waiting … and she reminded me how important it was to stay away from them. Hearing Aunt Teri behind me, my heart began to race. She was getting closer. No doubt she had them with her.
You can do this, I reminded myself. You’re better than they are.
“Lizzie,” Aunt Teri called.
I felt her hand on my shoulder. She twirled me around.
“It’s so lovely to see you. And my, look how big you’ve gotten. Chip?”
She thrust the dreaded bowl in my face. They were the kind with ridges. The kind covered with that powdered sour cream and onion stuff I loved. I forced a smile.
“No thanks. I’m good.”
She shrugged and began to walk away.
“Wait!” I yelled. “I mean …” Rushing over to her, I dug my chubby fingers into the bowl, emerging with a fistful of my forbidden fare. “Maybe just a couple. Thanks.”
Looking up, I saw my mother staring down at me through Aunt Teri’s kitchen window. I threw the chips in the trash and grabbed a piece of celery off the veggie tray instead. I was in for a long afternoon.