Here is a small sample of my book. I'm allowing you to read it on three conditions. Are you ready to hear them? Well, here they are, ready or not.
1. You promise to tell other people about this book. This is a new venture and I really want everyone to read this and start making their fun.
2. If you know (or even just kind of know) anyone in the publishing world, please send them this link. I'm hoping to get this book published in print and your friend might be a perfect match.
3. Do not ignore conditions 2 & 3. Bad, bad things will happen to you, very bad things.
4. Oh, and now there is a fourth condition: sign up for the newsletter, like us on facebook, and follow us on twitter.
OK, I realize that I'm asking for a lot. Sorry. Hope you enjoy my book.
Here are links to my query packet, query letter, & story summary.
Chapter 1: Caught in a Trap
There are times in the middle of the night when sleep is impossible. You try everything: picking your favorite toe, wondering what SPAM is made of, and counting back from 173,836,927. But nothing works. I was a victim of many sleepless nights until I found something to calm the beast inside me: ham. That’s right, ham. Any type will do: smoked, cubed, chopped, steak, bone-in, boneless, fried, sliced, rolled, aged, cured, or canned.
This particular night, my love of ham brought me to the kitchen in hopes of a sleepy-time snack. Nothing, not even ham, could have prepared me for what I saw once I flicked the light switch. On the counter stood my mother, crouched with a feverish look in her eyes. Her wiry hair moved with every long, deep breath. In her hand was a rolled up magazine. I think it was Today’s Mothering.
“Dewey, stop right there and be very quiet,” said my mom. She did it in one of those loud whispers that people use to talk across a room.
I didn’t dare move. My mom broke the silence and said, “He’s under the T-A-B-L-E.”
Ay first I thought she was talking about my four-year-old brother Chuck, but when I bent down to see what was under there I saw a small tan mouse with a single brown spot under an eye and pink ears that looked like Frisbees. It nibbled a Skittle and didn’t look the least bit scared, or even notice anyone—especially the lunatic on the counter.
“Why did you spell table, mom? It’s a mouse. They don’t understand English.”
With a loud whisper she said, “Dewey, SHHHHHH! This little mouse just made a big mouse-take.”
I apologize in advance for my parents’ horrible jokes, puns, and stories. They are never funny.
We watched in silence as the mouse ate. I guess it would be more accurate to say I watched; my mother waited. She squeezed her magazine. I could tell she wanted to play Whac-A-Mouse. A sound came from the hallway, and then my brother Chuck walked in. My mom tried to give signals to Chuck to be quiet, but they didn’t work. He said, “Look at mousey, mommy.”
Mr. Mouse looked up and saw what I can only imagine was the scariest thing it had ever seen, my crazy mother. She launched herself from the counter as she gave a war chant. The mouse took off, but then hit the brakes. My mom, right in between the mouse and freedom said, “I got you, mousey.” She smiled, but then the mouse did a u-turn and ran away from my mom, and his hole. The expression on her face changed. She dove at the mouse, but missed with a loud thud and slid under the table.
When Chuck saw this he started laughing, “Mommy looks like a seal.”
With my mom stuck on the floor, the mouse looped back around and ran toward its home.
Franklin, my dog, poked his head around the corner to see what all the noise was. My mother tried to get to her feet, but couldn’t quickly enough. “Franklin, sic ’em boy.”
Franklin turned his head slowly sideways. He did nothing else.
The mouse jumped over a mousetrap and escaped. I was impressed. I don’t think it is super hard to outwit my mom, but I guess it is for a mouse.
My mother slammed her fist against the floor. Chuck said, “Look, mousey made mommy maddy.”
“I know what I need,” said my mom. “Dewey, let me borrow your BB gun. I’ll buy a hundred more mousetraps, set them up everywhere on the floor. Then I’ll sit quietly with your BB gun. I’m goin’ mouse huntin’, y’all. Oh, let me see if I have a coupon for mousetraps.”
I grabbed some mail from the table and triggered the mousetrap by the mouse hole. The metal bar came down across a thin cheese slice placed on top of a cheap decal of a cartoon mouse with Xs for eyes and the words “Mouse Killer” written across the bottom.
My mother panted, paced, and said, “Every morning I find the traps sprung and no cheese. He’s making a fool of me.”
The trap was way too sensitive and this mouse must have learned how to trigger it without being caught. He’s smart and doesn’t deserve death. That being said, he doesn’t deserve to make our food closet into an all-you-can-eat buffet either.
I stood up straight and said, “I can catch the mouse.”
“You really think you can?”
I smiled. “Without a doubt I can make a better trap. No problemo.”
All of a sudden the room turned dark, lightning exploded from the ceiling, and thunder billowed as my mean sister Janice came into the kitchen. (Ok, maybe some of that was made up.) She started, “Oh really, you think you can catch the mouse? What, with one of your crazy and dangerous inventions? Don’t burn the place down, or ruin Dad’s stereo again.”
“That was a long time ago,” I said. “Longer than when you left your curling iron on.”
Janice ignored me once she heard her text tone go off. Who is texting her at midnight?
After her thumb danced over her phone she replied, “Whatevs, I need my beauty sleep. Mom, try and make sure Dewey doesn’t wreck the place. Laters.” Beauty sleep? She’ll have to wake up next decade to see any results.
Janice spun half-way around on one foot and used the other to stop. She left the room while humming a perfectly annoying song.
As long as I can remember, I have loved science and building things—or making. The reason is very simple: Ranger Danger—the action-packed TV show on Sunday nights. You know it, right? The opening credits call the good ranger, “a one-man wrecking crew for terrorists, ne’er do wells, derelicts, hoods, and hooligans.” I’ll tell you more about him later, but ever since I watched my first episode three years ago, I have wanted to be able to make gadgets just like Ranger John Danger does in each episode.
After some thought, I placed a shoebox upside down and cut two squares out on each side. I taped the cut-out pieces back in place, but only on the top of each square. This way they became like a swinging door. On the inside I taped a straw that was wider than the door, so it only opens inward. I added a cardboard toilet paper tube as a chimney. On the side I wrote, “Cheese Factory: Mice Welcome”. This will keep the mouse trapped. With a spoon I dug out a clump of Christo Chunky Peanut Butter and let it drop on the linoleum floor with a thump. This will attract the mouse, hopefully. It was hard to see the peanut butter since our kitchen floor was the same color. I placed my mousetrap on top and aligned it with the fake tile pattern.
Enjoy it? Feel free to tell me.