When Children Help You Write

NaNoWriMo was over.  I completed the challenge of 50,000 words in one month.  I did not, however, complete the novel that had won the draw for being the book to help me meet the mark.   I figured I was probably about 20,000 words short of being done with the book, although that was strictly a guess.  So, after a couple days of congratulatory relaxation and boasting, I made it my goal to finish the book before December was over.  I didn’t.  Not even close.  Without the pressure of an actual objective, I allowed life to get back in the way and the necessity of words on the paper eased way off.  But then came Christmas break.  And with it, vacation.  I have spent the last four days in the Outer Banks, NC, on an almost-beach-front house, enjoying peace, quiet, and relaxation.  Well, okay, not really.  See, there have been 23 other people here as well, 10 of them children ages 3-14, four of them my nieces/nephews and two of them practically adopted nieces.  So the peace and quiet has been fairly non-existent.  That being said, I have found time to write and have focused some time on my NaNoWriMo book, working title Scent of Silver.


Tonight, I sat down on the couch with my laptop and pulled up my document.  I had just found my place when my 7-year-old niece, Kassidy (whom I call Squiggy), plopped down beside me.  We chatted for a while and she asked what I was doing.  I told her and she asked some questions about the story.   Then she said she wanted to type something.  She typed out her nickname, “Kassy” and looked to me to add something.  I tapped out a few words, weaving her name in with two of the characters from the book (Marco and Bo).  I read the few sentences I had written and she excitedly yelled out the next thing she wanted me to write.  For the next fifteen minutes, she and I worked together to craft the following outtake from my book.  It was too good to delete, but, despite the promptings of several family members to include it, it did not fit in the actual story.  I hope you enjoy these few paragraphs, co-written by myself and my little Squiggy.




Kassy crawled through the leaves until she spotted the necklace lying just under the bridge.

“I found it!” she shouted.  Bo and Marco hurried over to where she squatted, brushing dirt from the silver pendant. She held out the necklace for their inspection.  Bo shrank back from it, afraid it might touch him.


“Good,” he said.  “Just keep it away from me.”


Marco reached out and took the necklace from Kassy’s hand.  “I’ll carry it,” he said.  “No good spinning it back up on that stick like a strand of spaghetti.”


“No, I’ll eat some spaghetti with you,” Kassy offered.  The boys just stared at her.


“No,” Marco said.  “I meant…never mind.  Let’s just keep going.”


“Right, let’s eat some cake!” Kassy suggested.  “Gluten-free cake!”


“I think we should drop her off at The Diner,” Bo said.  “Let Mrs. Paxson take care of her.  Although, I wouldn’t mind some cake.  Alpha gave me some last year, said it was something called my ‘birthday’.  It was vanilla cake; he said chocolate would be no good for me, being a wolf and all.”  Suddenly, Braeden appeared like a genie in a bottle.


“Whoa!” said the boys.


“Like, what are you doing?” Braeden asked.


“Who are you?  Where did you come from?  Why are more random characters appearing in this story?  I don’t have time for this!” shouted Marco. “I need to find my sister!”


“It’s okay,” said Kassy.  “He’s my brother.  It is cake time!!!”


“Yeah,” Braeden agreed.  “I’m only here for the cake.”   Suddenly there was a clomping on Crybaby Bridge.  Everyone looked up to see Tanner running across the boards with his rain boots.  Looking down, Tanner shouted,


“Let’s fart!”  No one knew why he said it.


“Fart time?   Cake time?  We don’t have time! Ain’t nobody got time for that,” Marco insisted.  “We have to find Le Le!”


“Let’s go to a cave!” said Kassy.


“That’s closer to an almost good idea,” mumbled Bo.


“No,” Tanner said.  “We go to Banana world.”


“Who is this small child in the loud footwear?”  asked Bo.


“His name is Tanner,” Kassy said.  Tanner did a funny dance and announced he was hungry.  Frustrated beyond all reason, Marco hurried Tanner, Kassy and Braeden out of the woods and towards town.  He wondered, vaguely, why he’d never seen them before.


Kassy said, “Blah, blah, blah, let’s go!”



~ by sdbullard on January 2, 2014.

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