So once the book is published, you don’t just stop! You have to write more, of course.
This week I worked a little on my kidlit series Trouble. This is from pretty much the beginning, so all you need to know is that Rebecca is a good girl, and she hears crying in the rain.
The solid, wailing thing shrieked and pulled away from me. He flailed his arms as he went slipping in the mud and ended up on his butt.
It was a boy. A boy with blue skin and white hair and pointy ears. He was the strangest-looking boy I had ever seen.
“I’m sorry,” I said, twisting my hands together. I hadn’t meant to scare him.
His eyes were huge. Like a cartoon character’s. He shot off the ground and grabbed the front of my coat with his muddy hands. “You can see me?”
“Of course I can see you.”
He let go of me and started bouncing around the yard. Like he was the Easter Bunny, I guess.
“Why were you crying, boy?” I said.
He stopped bouncing. “I was lost.”
I felt so bad for him. He had been so sad, and sometimes people are mean when you look funny, and he did look funny. I held out my hand. “Do you wanna come to my house and have some food?”
He grabbed onto my hand like it was saving him from water that was too deep. I pulled him to the house, then we washed off his hands and bare feet with the house on the patio. I left my galoshes on the patio and hung my jacket up inside the door.
The blanket he had tied around his neck dripped on the floor. “Why are you wearing a blanket?” I asked.
“It’s a cloak!”
“What’s a cloak?”
He held out his cloak and shook it around, sprinkling the house with water. “This is a cloak. It keeps me warm.”
He didn’t look warm. He was shivering.
“What do you want to eat?”
“I dunno.” He was looking around at everything in our house with those wide eyes again.
“I’ll make you a sandwich. Do you like peanut butter? Are you allergic?” My friend Kermit was allergic.
“Don’t think so.”
Good, ‘cuz peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were my specialty.
I pulled myself up onto the counter to get a plate down from the cupboard, pulled bread from the breadbox , peanut butter from the pantry, and jelly from the fridge. The boy watched me put together his sandwich. I cut the crusts off and cut it diagonally.
“Here you go.”
He stuffed one sandwich triangle into his mouth, then sat there chewing for a really long time. I wanted to ask him more stuff about himself, but I couldn’t while he was eating. It’s not good manners.
His mouth was full of the second half when my mom came in.
“Rebecca Kincaid, what do you think you are doing?” she demanded, her hands on her hips.
I look at the sandwich, then at the boy, then back at her. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.
“You know that we have a humongous lunch as soon as your father’s sermon is over. A sermon he’s starting in five minutes, and there’s no sign of you anywhere. And here you are, making yourself a sandwich and ruining your appetite.”
“But it wasn’t for me,” I said. “It was for the boy.”
I look at him, all blue-faced, his cheeks full of sandwich. He swallowed hard and said, “Trouble.”