Inkwell Guest: Bev Irwin and Summer Vacations
Thank you for coming to visit today, and thank you Michelle for inviting me. I hope everyone has had a great summer.
I just had my summer vacation. How was it you ask?
Well definitely not the way I had planned.
I had such great aspirations. I was going to write at least, at least 1,000 words a day. I had twelve days off from work. 1,000 words a day, well there’s at least 12,000 words. Right? That would be almost 1/4 of the way to getting a 50,00 word novel done. What a great start.
But did that happen?
No. Nor did get sorted all my stacks of papers from writing courses I have taken over the years, or articles I’ve saved, or the mass of pages I have written over the years.
Did I make a dent? Yes, I made a dent, but a very small one. Papers are still strewn all over my living room, on the backs of two chesterfields, and the cushions. I think the coffee table is still under the papers but it will be a while before I see the bright gleam of its oak surface.
Company coming. What do I do? Blind fold them at the door until they cross the threshold into the relatively clean kitchen, make them promise to keep their eyes closed while I lead them past the mess, (I know if I ask nicely they won’t peek), or do I stay up all night and get the damned pages sorted?
Well, I made a compromise. I stayed up very late and sorted some of the papers and put them in assorted binders or folders. But as my eyes couldn’t focus any more, and my bed was singing a soothing lullaby, I gave in and promised myself to just lie down and rest for a few minutes, just a few…My eyes were so heavy.
Then the sun rudely woke me. Surely the clock was lying. How much could I get done before my company arrived? Not near enough. Now half of the papers are in distinct piles that I’m sure I get done on my next vacation.
So what was my excuse for not writing those 1000 words a day, not getting all of the papers sorted, not to mention the basement that was supposed to be cleaned?
A gorgeous little ball of blonde fluff. Her name is Shayla. At eight weeks of age my new four-legged forever friend is very demanding. She has to pee and poo and be feed. And doesn’t like to be left alone for one minute. So, what can I say. Is she not the cutest excuse ever!
I can always get the pages sorted and the words written on my next vacation.
But here is the most exciting thing that happened while I was on vacation. My latest book, MISSING CLAYTON, came out in ebook and print. Isn’t the cover gorgeous? It was so exciting to hold a copy of the book in my hands. And it’s getting great reviews. Check it out at: http://www.bevirwin.com.
Award-winning author, Bev Irwin, lives in London, Ontario, with three assorted cats. One that hid in her car when she moved from the farm and two others dropped off by her daughter on two different occasions. Her three children have flown the coup, but her granddaughter, Jasmine, is a frequent visitor.
As a registered nurse, she likes to add a touch of medical to her romance and mystery novels. She writes YA, children’s, and poetry. She prefers spending time in her garden, writing, and reading to being in the kitchen.
Her debut novel, WHEN HEARTS COLLIDE, a contemporary romance, came out in December of 2011 with Soul Mate Publishing under the pen name of Kendra James. Her YA paranormal, GHOSTLY JUSTICE, was released in print and ebook by Black Opal Books on April 14th, 2012. MISSING CLAYTON, a suspense novel, was released July 28th. A youth adventure, IN HIS FATHER’S FOOTSTEPS, will be released Oct 27th and a medical/police thriller, WITHOUT CONSENT, will be released with Black Opal Books later this year.
Five-year-old Clayton Kingsley was in his backyard building a sandcastle two minutes ago. Now the sandbox is empty, so is the swing. And the gate that kept the world at bay is open…His mother Jenny, recently divorced, has left behind a controlling mother and an abusive husband, who thought more of his buddies and the bottle than being a father to his son. Now that son is missing. Is Jenny’s ex really the distraught parent he seems or is he the culprit? As the days go by with no sign of Clayton, Jenny searches frantically for her son. Who could have taken him? If not his father, could it be her sexy, secretive neighbor, a man suspected for the disappearance of another child? Or is there a serial predator in the serene bedroom community that Jenny thought would be the perfect place to raise her son?
I don’t like it here. It’s dark. It’s cold. Why doesn’t Mommy come and get me? She knows I don’t like the dark.
“Your mommy has to find you,” the man had said.
Where is she?
“It’s a game,” he said.
He grabbed my arm. It hurt. It’s not a good game. He’s not nice.
I called her, but he put his smelly hand over my mouth. I wanted to bite it. Mommy doesn’t like biting. But he’s mean. I don’t like this place. Will she find me here? She will. She’s good at hide-and-seek. I hope she finds me soon.
The boy sat cross-legged in the cave-like space, a mat of blue tweed his only protection from the damp dirt floor. Putting his head in his hands, he felt the mud coating his hair. He’d screamed when the man rubbed it on his head.
“My mommy doesn’t like my hair dirty. She’ll be mad at you.”
The man laughed. Not a nice laugh, either. He sounded like the Joker in Batman. The laugh reminded him of his father when he got angry.
He had to be good. There was no closet to hide in here.
Thick mud covered his blond hair. Clawing at his head, he broke off bits of clay. He remembered that morning and his mother brushing his hair. She said it shone like the sun.
They were going to his new school and she wanted him to look nice for his teacher. If Mommy didn’t find him in time, would he have to stay in kindergarten? He scrubbed at his head until his hands hurt, yet the dirt remained. He didn’t want to cry, but tears slid down his face and merged with the dirt. They ran into his mouth, the mixture stung his tongue, and he spat it out. More tears ran down his face. His mother didn’t like spitting.
He clenched his fists and pounded at the rug beneath him. It wasn’t long before his hands throbbed. He stopped pounding and began tearing at the ragged fringes along one end of the rug. When his fingers slipped beyond the rug, he touched earth—cold and hard and damp. He shivered.
After what seemed like forever, curiosity overcame his fear and he began to investigate. His eyes, adjusted to the dimness, saw a few feet beyond the rug. A dirt wall, like the one behind him, ended the open space in front. He stretched out his right arm and his fingers felt the dampness of another wall of dirt. To his left, the area stretched into a black space.
He peered into the darkness. Several wooden crates—each containing differently shaped objects too blurry to make out—filled the space. Above him, he saw the wooden door he’d been shoved through. He counted four wooden rungs leading up from the crawl space. The trap door allowed only a sliver of light to enter the space.
I don’t like the dark.
Mingling scents of mold, dampness, dried animal droppings, closed in on him. It made his throat tight and he coughed.
He stretched a hand above his head. Sticky strands closed around his fingers. He jerked his hand back, scrubbed the spider webs onto the rug, and retreated to the safety of the woven mat. Maybe it was better not to explore. Sitting Indian-style, he cradled his arms around his chest and rocked back and forth. Beyond where he sat, the cave was jet-black. He tried to hold back his tears. Soft scuffling sounds came from the corners of the dugout. He knew they weren’t human. The rhythm of his rocking increased.
When is Mommy coming? I’m going to curl up here and sleep until she finds me. There’s just enough room. If I close my eyes, I won’t see how dark it is. It will be as dark inside my head as it is on the outside.
He curled into a fetal position. Somewhere close he heard the scurrying of tiny feet. Stuffing his fingers in his ears, he made himself think about playing in the safety of his backyard. Anything to drown out the wild pictures crowding his head.
He remembered building the castle in his sandbox. He was scooping out the moat when someone called his name. The man came into the backyard.
“I have a surprise for you.”
The chocolate was soft and gooey. “More in the truck,” the man said. But he didn’t have any more. He lied.
He remembered the smelly rag being pressed into his mouth. He remembered the bandana tied over his eyes. He remembered the man grabbing him, running with him. He remembered being shoved in the back of a truck.
“We’re playing hide and seek,” the man said. “Your mommy has to find you.”
The smell of gas and oil stung his nostrils as a blue tarp landed on top of him. It shut out the sun. He heard a door slam, an engine start, wheels squealing, and the truck sped away.
How is Mommy going to find me? Maybe he lied about that, too.