Friday, June 29, 2012

Captain's Log, Day 80: Preview of a Book--the Club

          I decided to put out a preview of part of a book that I'm working on. The following excerpt was based loosely on a club that my siblings and I created (see Captain's Log, Day 22: A Tale of Three Siblings). Definitely one of the more fun parts of my book to write about!!

          Five kids (Justin, Halley, Jenn, Junior, and David--nicknamed "Marsh") are exploring a house with secret rooms and passages. Jenn and Junior are twins, and their family just adopted Marsh; Halley's family adopted Justin. Jenn, Junior, and Halley are taking the opportunity to show Justin and Marsh around....

          Halley had pushed open a door to find a spacious and rather nicely furnished room. She grinned widely. “So there IS another passage in here!” She flicked on the lights.
          “What is this place?” Marsh asked.
          “It’s a secret room that we found a while back,” Halley explained. “It’s called JAFAR’S LAB.”
          Marsh looked at her quizzically. Junior filled him in. “It stands for Just Another Facility And Ready Sanctuary—Like A Base. First letter of every word, see? It’s kind of a secret clubhouse for us.”
          “Let’s have a meeting and get these two in!” Jenn proposed enthusiastically, grabbing a notebook and pencil off of a shelf.
          “Isn’t that the President’s job?” Halley asked.
          “I can do that in a sec,” Junior said, “but maybe we should ask Marsh and Justin whether they want to belong to our club or not?”
          Marsh nodded enthusiastically. “Sure!”
          Justin had one question as they began to find seats (many of which were large and comfy easy chairs). “Who’s in this club already?”
          Junior began listing them off. “Well, Jenn is our secretary and scout, Halley’s the general and lookout, and I’m the president and treasurer…that’s about it. It’s a pretty small group.”
          Justin nodded. “Ok, sure.”
          Junior glanced around the room. “Where’d my gavel go?”
          “What’s a gavel?” Marsh inquired.
          “It’s…kinda like a small wooden hammer,” Junior replied.
          “Didn’t you break that?” Jenn inquired. “I thought it was still in the shop ‘cause the glue was still drying.”
          “Oh, yeah, that’s right.” Junior frowned. “Hmm…”
          “Here, use this.” Halley offered him her sneaker.
          Junior just looked at it. “I think I’ll just use mine, thanks. I’ve seen where your shoe’s been.”
          Halley snorted and put her shoe back on. “It’s perfectly clean, thank you very little!”
          “And all who believe that raise their hands.” Junior rolled his eyes. “I call this meeting to order!” He smacked his tennis shoe down on the small end table next to his chair. “Secretary, you want to read the notes from last meeting?”
          “Why can’t we vote on their admission, first?” Jenn asked. “And you’re supposed to call me Captain Jack, by the way.”
          Junior laughed. “Sorry, I forgot, Captain. I figure we should read the notes first so these guys know what they’re getting into.”
          “Ah. Gotcha. I’ll do the first meeting—that makes the most sense. This is all third person, by the way.” “Captain Jack” flipped open the notebook and began to read.

                                   First Meeting: 8/30/2010
          2:54 Positions are chosen. Junior is made treasurer, Jenn is made secretary. Secretary doodles while others argue.
          2:56 Halley is made General.
          2:57 Junior the numbskull is made president.

          “Hey, objection!’ Junior interrupted.
          “Overruled,” Jenn replied. “You already objected this once.”
          “That’s editorial slant.”
          “Wow, really? I never would have guessed that,” Jenn shot back dryly. “Now hush up, I’m reading.”

          2:58 Halley is made Fort Status Scout.
          2:59 Jenn is made Architect
          3:01 Jenn is made scout, Halley is made Lookout and Junior is made mapmaker.
          3:02 Everyone gripes.
          3:03 Everyone listens as Secretary reads minutes. President gripes about so-called editorial slant. Much nonsense and commotion from Treasurer.
          3:04 Meeting stalls since Lookout won’t come down from bunk bed. Technical difficulties occur.
          3:05 Member is injured. In the melee, it’s hard to tell who.
          3:06 Secretary tells President to jump in a lake. Outing is planned accordingly. President moves that Secretary reads minutes again. Motion carried.
          3:07 Debate about where sprinklers should be placed around the pond for maximum wetness. Scout’s muffin timers go off. Slight pause to go make sure they weren’t burned.
          3:11 Scout eats the topping off of the muffins and returns. More debate about where to place sprinklers.
          3:12 Lookout daydreams about dragons while Secretary and Mapmaker argue. Small confusion about directions.
          3:12 Placement resolved. Mapmaker draws positions of sprinklers and demonstrates. Unanimous vote to go on outing immediately after parents get home.
          3:13 Debate about what else to debate. Secretary claims that President likes “Ella Enchanted.” Small argument. Bandages administered. Lookout continues to daydream.
          3:14 Lookout couldn’t guard her way out of a paper bag.
          3:15 Treasurer’s report (the Treasurer forgot until now)
          3:16 Debate about club anthem. President offers to give speech and is answered by enthusiastic “boo”s. He gives one anyway and gets stuff thrown at him.
          3:18 Secretary moves to adjourn meeting.
Not so respectfully,
Captain Jack Sparrow, Secretary

          Marsh and Justin were doubled up and laughing so hard, they were having trouble breathing. Marsh finally got his breath back. “So that was the speech?”
          Halley and Jenn yanked off their shoes as Justin stood up and cleared his throat. “Ladles and jelly-spoons…” He ducked a flying shoe. “I stand upon this speech to make a platform. The train I have arrived in has not yet come, so I took a bus—” he fielded a shoe expertly and held it up triumphantly. “—and WALKED!! Ouch!” Another shoe bounced off his shoulder. He stuck out his tongue at the two girls and finished as fast as possible, “I-come-before-you-to-stand-behind-you-and-tell-you-something-I-know-nothing-about!” He dove behind a chair, avoiding the last shoe by a very narrow margin. Marsh and Justin were incapacitated with laughter again.
          Junior peered cautiously around the chair. “Are you quite through?”
          Jenn laughed. “Guess so—we’re out of shoes!”
          Junior emerged from his refuge. “OK, let’s continue then. Do we have any new business?”
          “Duh!” Halley snorted.
          Junior waggled a finger at her. “Respect the president, please. I’m just following the club charter—which you helped write, by the way.”
          Halley sighed. “Ok, fine then. I have new business to bring to the floor.”
          Marsh and Justin looked at each other, confused. “Bring to the floor—what’s that mean?” Marsh asked.
          Junior waved a hand airily. “It just means to bring to the club’s attention.”
          “I think our club is ADHD,” Jenn muttered under her breath to Justin. “I blame the president.”
          Junior glared at her. “Heard that!”
          Jenn stuck her tongue out at him. “Good—you were supposed to.”
          Junior began looking around for his tennis shoe. “OK Halley, what’s the business?”
          Halley looked like she might say Duh again but restrained herself. “I formally propose that we admit two new members to JAFAR’S LAB.”
          “I am totally in favor of this, but just out of curiosity, why are you the one proposing this?” Jenn asked. “You just about flipped when I suggested admitting Jonathan and Marie in.”
          Halley shrugged. “They’re OLD.”
          Junior and Jenn started laughing. Halley sighed. “What I meant was, Justin and Marsh are OUR age.”
          “That sounded really funny the way you said that.” Junior finally located his shoe under the chair he was sitting on and looked like he was wondering why he hadn’t looked there in the first place. “Do I have a motion?”
          “A what?” Marsh asked as Jenn shot her hand up.
          “A motion. It’s an official request,” Junior explained. “Jenn?”
          “I move that we admit Marsh and Justin to JAFAR’S LAB,” Jenn stated.
          “Any seconds?”
          “I second that!” Halley started bouncing on her chair.
          “All in favor say…” Junior thought for a moment. “Prestidigitation.”
          “What’s that mean?” Marsh and Jenn asked at the same time.
          “I dunno,” Junior said, grinning, “but it sounds cool.”
          “Ok, perdisiogitating!” Halley yelled.
          “It’s pedigiostigation,” Jenn corrected.
          Junior sighed. “Close enough. Welcome to the LAB, Marsh and Justin!”

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