Liberty

Jeff tripped on a rock, stubbing his toe, and almost dropping Liberty.

“Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” he promised the Bold. “I’m sorry but it’s time for you to go. The fog’s rolled in and that will help you escape Crusher. Please don’t cry, don’t be afraid. Liberty will take you far away. She’s a great ship. My Grandpa and I made her.”

The lump in Jeff’s throat felt bigger than a jawbreaker candy. He should know because he almost swallowed one, once. It was one of the scariest things in his life, almost as scary as Crusher.

Jeff reached the edge of Pine Grove Bay, and gently slipped the driftwood ship into the still water. He took the yellow nylon rope and watched as a gentle breeze pushed against the cloth sails, carrying the good people towards the bigger waters of Gull Lake. He smiled and waved, hoping that it would calm them down, as they begged him not to let go of the rope.

Wherever they ended up, it would be better than here. Better than the everyday meanness from Crusher. That monster loved to torment the Bold. He hated their art, said it was just as ugly as they were, just before he would wreck it. He took their money so they couldn’t buy food and threatened a beating should they tell anyone. Jeff had to make sure that he’d never let the beast see Liberty.

Jeff knew what the word ‘bold’ meant, but he was too afraid to stand up against Crusher, who was a lot bigger than him. He’d felt ashamed and after a while, he’d gone to the King and Queen to plead for help for the Bold.

But the King said that The Crusher was really just a coward and that it was up to Jeff to fight him off. The Queen said that sometimes there are just monsters, and they build something called character.

Jeff didn’t see it that way. He let the rope go and plugged his ears against the cries of the Bold. His eyes blurred with tears as he watched them go. One of the Bold jumped overboard, he was splashing in the water . . . no, drowning!

Jeff ran into the cold water, not worried about getting his clothes soaked. He scooped up the little man who immediately yelled, “What about Princess Carlan? She’ll help! She believes in us!”

“Um, I don’t know—”

“Yes! Princess Carlan! Take us back, Jeff! We don’t want to go!” The Bolds on the ship yelled.

Jeff was frightened but he thought that this might be the right thing to do, so he grabbed the rope and brought Liberty back to shore. Everyone cheered!

Jeff went back to the palace. The Queen wasn’t happy to see him soaking wet. She told him that he’d be late for school and that Miss Carlan would not want such a mess in her classroom.

Jeff quickly changed and set Liberty back on his dresser. He grabbed his backpack while his stomach twisted into knots.

He hurried down the sidewalk, his legs feeling evermore like cooked spaghetti with each step. But Princess Carlan was so nice. She’d always said he was smart, a good artist, and that his stories took her places, whatever that meant. She would help, he had to believe that.

The open doors to Gull Lake Elementary were bigger than a Blue Whale’s mouth, but at least there was no sign of Crusher.

Jeff closed his eyes and took a deep breath. It was time to be brave; it was time to ask his teacher help.

Life’s simple pleasures

Happy Sunday to all! Right now, I’m looking out my window and admiring the beauty that’s lit by another sunny (but cool) morning. It’s just another example of life’s small pleasures that we may often take for granted.

Despite recent world events, there’s still plenty of good out there. Yes, there are those larger ticket items; family and friends, health, fun vacations, good food, and personal freedoms. But what about the little things? Here’s a list of the small things, in no particular order, that I’m personally grateful for. Things which may seem insignificant on their own but add up to a big morale boost. They’re everywhere, if you pay attention.

  1. The swish of the wind as it passes through the needles of an evergreen tree(s)
  2. The courteous driver who stops to let you turn.
  3. The smell of clean laundry- even better if you can dry it on a clothesline outside.
  4. The call of the Loon from the lake at sunset.
  5. The crackle and warmth of a campfire.
  6. Fixing that obnoxious squeaking door.
  7. The feel of a cool breeze kissing away the sweat after a hard day’s work.
  8. A smile.
  9. A belly-laugh.
  10. The first sip of fresh coffee.
  11. Good and full days that make you forget time exists.
  12. The scar(s) that are fodder for excellent stories.
  13. Sunrises/sunsets.
  14. The funny antics and quirks of pets.
  15. Rainbows.
  16. Rainstorms when you’re safely tucked in bed.
  17. Conquering procrastination and just “gettin’ it done.”
  18. Arriving safely at a destination.
  19. Impromptu adventures that provide a lifetime of great memories.
  20. The completion of every chapter that draws a WIP (work in progress) towards, “The End.”

Do any of these connect with you? Please feel free to add more in the comments.

Making The Best Of It

Well, this morning I woke to a sore throat and cough; a rapid test confirmed that I am the “gracious” host of COVID. Whoo-whoo, it’s like winning the lottery when every ticket has the same number. No worries, it feels just like a cold. Any how, I’m currently confined to our home office/guest room.

I must say that I’ve accomplished quite a bit of writing, and have devised a clever means by which I hope to obtain sustenance and comforts.

Check it out! I haven’t officially tested this baby, as no one is currently home, but I’m sure everyone will be more than excited to answer the bell. Mwwwhahaha! The sky’s the limit! I can’t wait! 🙂

Photos with Captions to Make you Smile and Think

With the New Year underway, I thought it might be time to revisit some thoughts from the distant and not so distant past. I hope you enjoy them. I wish you all the best in 2022!

“That’s it! I’m running away! Well, at least until dinner time.”

Every tree deserves some Christmas Bling!

Review Of Telling Sonny, by Liz Gauffreau

First of all, I’d like to start out by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May you find joy and peace in this season and throughout 2022!

This will be my last review for 2021, and it ends well!

Synopsis

At nineteen, pretty, vivacious Faby Gagne is still waiting for her life to begin. The time is 1924, the place Enosburg Falls, Vermont. With school over, her time is now occupied with mundane chores and avoiding the crossfire of resentment between her mother and her grandmother.

As the time approaches for the annual vaudeville show to arrive in the village, Faby watches the posters go up with increasing excitement. She is the best kind of audience for the Small Time: she does not discriminate. 

When the show comes to the Opera House at last, Faby catches the eye of charming hoofer Slim White, who sets a course for her life that she never could have imagined.

My Turn

During the era of flapper girls and vaudeville thrills, the idea of being a farmer’s wife in rural Vermont holds little appeal for young Faby Gagne. In an act of youthful naivety, and despite her sister Josephine’s warnings, she allows herself to be courted by a vaudeville performer, who goes by the stage name of Slim White.

Things happen, as they do, and Faby’s life is forever changed. Though she gets her wish to leave Enosburgh Falls, things on the ‘circuit’ are not all glitz and glory. A coming-of-age story with a cautionary undertone, Telling Sonny will hold your attention and immerse you into the Roarin’ Twenties.  Though I found some of the excessive descriptions concerning mundane details to grow a bit long in the tooth, Elizabeth does an excellent job of building a connection to her characters. You cannot read this story without developing a significant degree of compassion for the once spirited Faby, who discovers that life doesn’t always tailor itself to your dreams.

There is a melancholic edge to this story, but it’s peppered with the joy and strength of true family love and support. They are there for her, whenever she needs them. I’d recommend this book for those who enjoy visiting by-gone eras and characters that are both larger than life yet must subsist on stale sandwiches and bad coffee.   

I’m giving Telling Sonny Four Stars!

Please note that I only post reviews on books I deem four or five stars. Life is short and if I don’t like a book, I simply won’t finish it.

Meet Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

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