Posted in Craft, Reading, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Teen Topics to the Tune of Characters: Heartbreak Traci Kenworth


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Teen Topics to the Tune of Characters: Heartbreak

Traci Kenworth

Can you imagine waited bated breath as your crush focused on his best friend, your current best female friend as well? The torture suffocated her. Oh, why couldn’t he look at her that way? She knew every angle to his face. Every deep lash that shaded those green eyes. The idea of him knowing something, anything intimate about her brought a grimace. All he saw was what every other person saw: chubbiness that rendered her all but invisible.

“Alan is going to be so all-over-himself at this one,” Scott said.

She hung on every word, rewarded with a blink when she lost her balance when he glanced her way. Darn. Why did she always spaz around him?

The female friend, Lenore drew his attention back to her with a snap of her gum. “That’s his problem. He gets too overwhelmed by a girl.”

“Not his problem. He just puts his bar to high.”

Lenore huffed. “Not with Arlene.”

“Well.” Scott shrugged.

It’s now or never.

“A hard one to figure,” she added.

Scott swung to her. He frowned. “What do you mean?”

She colored. “Just, anyone could see that one had a problem.”

“You may be right.”

“Of course, she’s right,” Lenore said.

She exchanged a grin with Lenore.

“Are you two saying you knew something was up with her? Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Like any of you would’ve listened,” Lenore retorted.

She gazed at Scott. “You mean, you didn’t notice?”

He shrugged. “Well.”

“Admit it.” Lenore nodded.

“Okay. She wasn’t the best apple in the bunch.”

“More like the meanest beehive ever set loose.”

She burst into laughter. Scott followed. They shared a grin. Her heart nearly paused. The only thing that saved her was Lenore’s gesture.

“Here, he comes.”

Alan always looked like his wheat-colored hair was caught in the wind. He surveyed each of them, a hint of suspicion in his gaze. “What’s up?”

Scott curled a hand over his mouth. “Betty Rocklin.”

He took a step back. “You heard?”

“That she put you through the meatgrinder in gym?”

“Damn. I never catch a break.”

Posted in Craft, Short stories, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Teen Topics To the Tune of Characters 5/31/2021 Unconditional Love by Traci Kenworth


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Teen Topics: To the Tune of Characters 5/31/2021

Traci Kenworth

Unconditional Love

Jori glanced around the bedroom painted teal with flower bordering. She swallowed hard. How did she luck into this? A queen bed shoved alongside one wall with gold sheet sets matching the white and gold bedroom set.

“Do you-like it?” the woman said, a hand to her husband’s arm.

No, not woman. Her new mom and dad for that matter.

She’d never had either. Her twelve-year-old self attempted a half-smile. Her voice rose scratchy as she spoke. “Sure.”

Behind them, the lovely interior of one of the wealthiest residents in Backwater, Tennessee caused her to step back. What if she broke something? Would they toss her out? Send her back to the orphanage? Or another foster family? Her hand curled around the suitcase they’d brought for her to put her things in. Her things. One pair of pants. Two shirts. A pair of shorts.

The woman-mom waved her inside the room. “Make yourself welcome.”

“Check out everything,” her dad said.

Taking a deep breathe, she inched into the setting. This couldn’t be real. She didn’t deserve this luxury. As if to hit that message home, two shadows appeared behind the parents. One boy. One girl. The boy smiled. The girl frowned. What a joy it must be for them to get a new sister, almost grown.

Her mother opened the closet. “We got your sizes from the- We hope you like them.”

Inside, every color of dress shimmered.

“The dressers are filled too. If you need anything else. Let us know.”

Her dad nodded. “You’ll be given an allowance to manage. We expect some chores. Same as any family.”

And if she didn’t do it to their satisfaction?

Her mother patted her arm. “Don’t worry. We won’t throw everything at you all at once.” She glanced at the rest of her family. “Let’s give her some space. To sort through things.”

The girl lingered behind the others. She flashed her teeth at Jori. Go ahead. Just relax. She’d be there to set her straight, that look said.

Jori cringed. Well, she couldn’t expect it all to be pudding could she?

Posted in Muse, Reading, writers, YA

Teen Topics: to the tune of Characters 5/4/2021 Traci Kenworth


Teen Topics: to the Tune of Characters 5/4/2021

Traci Kenworth

Over the years, we can grow stagnant. In an effort to try a new spin on things for the future of the blog, I’m going to be trying to do something different. I want to focus less on being a blogger, more on being an author. This decision has come about from various happenings in my life and changes in the world around us. I’m a teen author and want to encourage young people to visit my blog as well as others from all walks of life. I hope this doesn’t disappoint some of you, but I realize it may. I’ve enjoyed the success of the blog up to this point. I simply want to reach out to those who may wish to read me when I get published.

So, without further ado: Teen Topics to the Tune of Characters

This week: bffs and how somehow the oddest friends make the best friends.

How did you two meet?

Lenore: “Class assignment.”

Jori: “Her group bullied me in the hallways.”

What was the deciding factor to bring about the friendship?

Lenore shrugs. “We needed each other.”

Jori: “She seemed so breakable. Like me at times. At first, I figured she was doing an act. Pretending to like me just so I’d do the homework for her. But—she really surprised me.”

How?

“She stood up for me. Knowing it could wreck her world.”

Lenore?

“Well, I couldn’t let them hurt her anymore. I’d been in her position. Not from the school clique but—others.” She wiped a tear away. “I just didn’t want to see her end up in a dark closet. Crying her guts out.”

What do you appreciate most about each other?

Jori: “Her kindness. She’s part of such a large group. Instead of being the queen bee I thought she was, she curbed the others desire to pummel me. At last, I’m making friends with those I didn’t think I ever would. I get to be around a guy I didn’t have a hope of doing so, months before. Even if he never acknowledges my existence, it’s been worth it.”

Lenore: “Give him time. Give them all time. They’ll see what I see. Someone to stand beside me when everything falls apart.

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Update 3 Traci Kenworth


Hello. Just wanted to update things. Hoping to get back to some activity in the weeks ahead. I’ve been seeing a host of different doctors as the team in charge of health want to move all my doctors in the same umbrella, so to speak. Thus, I went to see a new family doctor who is known for complex medical conditions such as mine. Two new things added to maintenance: 1) None of the other doctors told me I had a bulging disc in my back. Not sure if this is the only thing causing pain around the belt of my stomach, sides, and back. 2) I did have low blood pressure that’s since moved to high. My diabetes is the main thing we’re working on along with blood pressure right now. Other issues will be done later but I hope I get relief for my back/stomach soon. Also, went to see specialist for my HS. He put me on some new meds and a supplement with another to be added should this regime work out. Next up, the vascular surgeon for my splenic artery aneurysm. Take care and God bless, till we meet on this website again. Traci

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Update 2


I had my wounds reopened again as they didn’t heal properly. Still have to heal fully before another surgery for the HS. Meanwhile, I have to see my dr. for stronger antibiotics the wound dr. said. Made appointment for my surgery for a splenic artery aneurysm. I also have to see numerous drs. on diabetes. Then there’s my back to see to. Hopefully, nothing more but we will see. Have a great week, take care, and God bless.

Traci

Posted in blogs, Craft, Family life, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Writerly Things 10/21/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by Susan Cipriano from Pixabay

Writerly Things 10/19/2020

Traci Kenworth

Update: The adjuster was out, and he said it’d take a week for the insurance to get back to me. They will send the money, if any, to the mortgage company who decides whether to approve project or not. Been through this before. A lot of contractors don’t want to work with mortgages because they don’t get paid, they say. I had a hard time getting those funds with the mortgage company before this and they ended up keeping the money while I refinanced back then. Thus, I lost my back porch back then but managed to squeeze the money out for roof repairs.

As for health, this doctor wasn’t able to help me either so sending me back to family physician who passed me off to urgent care back when all this began.

Posted in blogs, Craft, Links, Links, MG & YA, Reading, writers, Writing and Poetry, YA

Five Links 10/17/2020 Traci Kenworth


Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Five Links 10/17/2020

Traci Kenworth

Writing:

1. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/10/should-a-fiction-writer-use-a-thesaurus.html “In college my roommates and I used to play a game with a dictionary. We cleverly called it “The Dictionary Game.” It was played with a big dictionary and scraps of paper. When it was your turn you’d look through the dictionary until you came across a word no one was familiar with. You wrote down the correct definition. The other players made up fake definitions that sounded right. The object was to fool as many people in the game as you could. You got a point if you guessed the correct definition. You got a point if somebody guessed your fake definition. The person who chose the word would get a point for every wrong guess.

I learned some cool words this way. The one that has stayed with me for over forty years is borborygmus. It means a “rumbling in the bowels caused by gas.”

This still cracks me up. It’s an onomatopoeia, a word that sounds like the thing it describes (although onomatopoeia itself is definitely not an onomatopoeia). And it makes for a great insult: You borborygmic swine! That’ll stop a bad guy in his tracks.” Sounds like an unusual game.

2. https://fantasyhandbook.wordpress.com/2020/10/13/what-writing-actually-is/ ““Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness.”

—Virginia Woolf, “Modern Fiction”

We write in order to explain ourselves, in one way or another, to perfect strangers removed from us by both place and time. I’m all for fun adventure stories in any genre, all the while understanding that even those fun adventure stories have something to say about the author and his or her time and place and culture and prejudices and fears and anxieties and desires and… as much as I can pry out, all of which will have been pried out, by me, because that’s what I’m looking for as a reader. Your readers will read your work in which you have poured out some measure of your time and place and culture and prejudices and fears and anxieties and desires and… filtered through their own time and place and culture and prejudices and fears and anxieties and desires and…

See how that works?

Why you start to write at all is entirely personal. I hope you’re not approaching it as some kind of “If J.K. Rowling could do it…” get rich quick scheme, but what the hell… that will come through in your writing as well. Maybe you have something to say about… anything… sibling relationships gone wrong, elder abuse, the eternal power of love and forgiveness, why it sucks to be living through COVID quarantine… anything in any combination.

In “Pippi and the Moomins,” Richard W. Orange uncovered that:

‘It was the utterly hellish war years that made me, an artist, write fairy-tales,’ (Finnish author Tove) Jansson told an interviewer after her second Moomin book, Comet in Moominland (1946), came out. ‘I was feeling sad and scared of bombs and wanted to get away from gloomy thoughts.’

Oh, boy, do I want to get away from gloomy thoughts right now. That sounds like a fantastic reason to write in October of 2020.”

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Research & Fun Bits:

1. https://www.janefriedman.com/writing-and-publishing-horror-qa-with-todd-keisling/ “KRISTEN TSETSI: In a since-deleted interview on Medium, in answer to a question about your attraction to horror, you say, “I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys the exploration and what I might find waiting for me in the dark, even if it terrifies me.”

That’s all well and fine in fiction, but in real life, standing at the edge of very dark woods, would you step into the trees? And, when standing at the edge of very dark woods (literally, not metaphorically), if there is fear, what is your fear? What do you imagine is in there?

TODD KEISLING: Do I have a flashlight? If so, then yeah, I’ll probably step into the woods.

I used to go on long hikes and bike rides with my dad in the state parks of Kentucky and Tennessee, so the woods themselves don’t scare me. I’m more afraid of tripping over something, falling into a hole or from a cliff, or disturbing a nest of snakes. Yes, I’m terrified of snakes. And ticks. Lyme disease is no joke.”

2. https://somethingferal.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/going-west-coetan-arthur/ “Arthur’s Quoit came as something of a surprise. The huge neolithic tomb rises from the plateau behind St David’s Head, the angle and ridge on the capstone seeming to shadow the lines of Carn Llidi beyond. The capstone is around twenty feet long and over eight feet wide, supported by a single orthostat that holds the point of the stone around five feet from the ground. At first glance, you assume that somewhere during its five thousand year history, the other two orthostats that would have supported it must have fallen and the earthen mound that covered it been eroded away. There are many such places where this has happened.” Amazing!

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Some Things More Serious:

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Teaser Fiction & Poetry:

1. https://reinventionsreena.wordpress.com/2020/10/10/time-blanket-a-quadrille/

2. https://dlfinnauthor.com/2020/10/10/fiction-in-a-flash-challenge-week-20-pursoot-iartg-writingcommunity-flashfiction-asmsg-writingprompts-poetry-tanka/

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Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:

1. https://jessicabakkers.com/2020/10/11/book-review-nightmareland-a-horror-anthology/ “You all know I have a horror bent (especially those of you brave enough to have read the first book in The Armageddon Showdown, Guns of Perdition). So, when I found out my good friend and fellow horror lover, Robbie Cheadle, had stories published in a few anthology series’ called Box Under the Bed, I rushed out to get my hands on a copy of one of the anthologies. Not only were Robbie’s stories terrific, but the other authors told terrifyingly delicious tales that chilled me to the marrow!

Compiled by award winning author, Dan Alatorre, the Box Under the Bed anthology I started with was called Nightmareland. The stories are bookended by Alatorre’s own short story(ies) focusing on Jessica (good name), who tries the new designer drug, Nightmareland, and goes on a wild trip into her own terrifying subconscious. The stories in the middle of these opener / closer stories symbolise her nightmares. Get it?”

2. http://middlegrademojo.com/2020/10/13/happy-book-birthday-who-gives-a-poop-by-heather-l-montgomery/ “As if her book about roadkill (Something Rotten) wasn’t gross enough, Heather Montgomery brings us a book about poop. And just like her roadkill book, this one is stuffed with science and scientists. She writes about Dr. Logan Kistler, an archaeologist that specializes in archaeogenomics and who, by studying mastodon poop, made a connection between ancient wild gourds and the pumpkins we eat today. There’s also Dr. Daniella Chusyd, who trained her dogs to sniff out elephant dung so it could be analyzed to determine why the forest elephants in Africa are declining in numbers.

Even though there is a lot of information about defecation in this book, it’s also a fascinating look at real scientists and how the scientific method is used to answer questions and solve problems. Not only did I learn how important whale dung is to phytoplankton and the overall health of our oceans, I learned how scientists study this subject. Who knew there were so many cool jobs as a scientist?

Heather’s unbridled enthusiasm for all things in nature, even poop, is intoxicating. She makes the science of scat so interesting that you almost forget to be grossed out. Written in a personal, humorous narrative style, I felt like I was riding along with Heather when she interviewed the scientists and I was looking over her shoulder when she did hands-on research. Her detailed description of cutting open the bowels of a dead possum is probably one of the grossest things I’ve ever read.

I highly recommend Who Gives A Poop? Young readers, ages ten and up, will be all over this book like a dung beetle on deer droppings. It would be great for the classroom too!

Kirkus gave it a starred review. “A well-stirred slurry of facts and fun for the strong-stomached ‘poop sleuths’.”

Heather Montgomery has a B.S. in Biology and a M.S. in Environmental Education. She has published 17 books for young people. Learn more about her at www.heatherlmontgomery.com.”

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Good Omens: Season 1. Midnight Sun. Disney Princess Trunk Dress-up.