Story of the Week: Always the Good Kid

Always the Good Kid

By Sharon Poppen

Always the good kid.  Never one to fight the system, Tommy decided that he couldn’t graduate high school without breaking at least one rule.

Once coming to that decision, he thought hard about what to do.  It had to be something noticeable or it wouldn’t really count.  He knew he was considered a nerd.  He made a list of the reasons for his nerdhood:  straight A student, twelve years of perfect attendance, never a homework assignment or book report missed, no piercing, matching clothes, never a drink of alcohol, let alone drugs and he was still a virgin.  Yes, he thought, I’ve been a straight arrow.  The time had come to update his list.

There was a term paper due the next day, Tommy left it undone.

To miss his first period class, he decided he’d leave home on time the next morning so as not to upset his mother.  But, he’d spend an hour at a coffee shop near the school.

Sticking a needle in his ear brought tears to his eyes and a trickle of blood colored the sink.  The safety pin he fastened in the hole didn’t stem the bleeding, but a couple of ice cubes helped and eventually the bleeding stopped.  He hoped the band-aid and a tale of a zit would satisfy parental curiosity.

He slit the knees of his Levis with the scissors, then tore the slits into ragged holes.  He turned his red YMCA lifeguard shirt inside out.  A pair of shoes consisting of a white Nike and a brown loafer, but no socks, completed his ensemble.  He’d change clothes in the coffee shop restroom.

Tommy stuffed the items into his backpack along with an empty beer can he’d dug out of a neighbor’s trash.

Tommy drew the line at breaking the drug rule, even if he had known where to get some.

The virgin stigma required a partner, so that one he couldn’t change.

With his plans completed, Tommy tried to sleep, to hurry the morning.  But, his pending walk on the wild side had his adrenalin boiling.  He dozed fitfully, but was awake to see his clock move ahead hour by dragging hour.

Finally, his mother called from the kitchen.  Breakfast was ready.  Feeding five children kept his mother too busy to notice Tommy’s jitters.  He hurried through his cereal and left for school.

At the coffee shop, all went as planned.  He arrived at school just before his first period class let out.  His nerves got the best of him and he had to pee.  As he was finishing, the period-ending bell clanged and an idea popped into his head.  He reached in among his clothes and books and switched his Buddy Holly black rims for some Elvis shades.

It was now or never.  Making sure the beer can was visibly peeking out of his backpack, he took a deep breath and barged out into the crowded hallway.

He’d only gone a couple of steps when a blond cheerleader raised her eyebrows.  “Very nice,” she giggled.

A redhead from his science class grinned.  “My, my, the caterpillar is set free.”

Three hotties from his english class smiled and cooed, “Hi, Romeo.”

At this point, Tommy was in a confident strut and fully enjoying the smiles on the faces of girls who’d never looked his way before.

And so it went down the long hall to his trig classroom.  His friends Duane and Todd were already seated in their front row seats.

Duane’s eyes bugged out.  “What the heck are you doing?”

“Attracting babes!” Tommy boasted.  “They’re really digging my new look.”

Todd coughed and pointed toward Tommy’s middle.  “Yeah?  Well I gotta say you’re definitely looking.”

Tommy looked down to find his penis, uncaged and standing at attention.  In his nervousness, he’d forgotten to zip.

A hand clamped down on his shoulder just as he finished tucking in and caused Tommy to zip off a tender layer of skin.

He was ushered to the principal’s office and his mother was called.  The three-day suspension actually turned out quite well.  After a lecture from his mom and a Come-to-Jesus meeting with his father, Tommy spent most of his time on the phone with the blond cheerleader, the redhead and the hotties from his English class, among other calls from female classmates.

The final couple of months before graduation were the best Tommy could ever remember.  He was voted “most popular” in the senior yearbook and by graduation night, he’d crossed off the item requiring a partner from his rules-to-break list.

The End

“Deborah’s Story” Book Signing

DeborahsStory_ForWebJoin Sharon Poppen Saturday, May 9th, 2015 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Hastings Entertainment, 321 Lake Havasu Avenue North, Lake Havasu City, Arizona. She will be signing her newest novel, “Deborah’s Story” which is the third book in the Farrell Family Saga.

Stop by and say “Hi!”

Join Sharon at KABAM! — Kingman Area Books Are Magic.

Sharon Poppen will be at KABAM — the Kingman Area Books Are Magic event on May 2, 2015.

Located at 315 W Beale at Grandview, in Kingman, Arizona, the 4 acre Metcalfe Park will be home to the Eleventh Annual book festival. Come join in the fun!

Authors…Books…Live Entertainment…FREE Family Fun…and a chance to meet and greet Sharon Poppen and many other local authors.

Time Flies

This month is racing by. I can’t believe that it is already 2015!! The holidays were wonderful, but not much time left for writing. Now that January is half over, I’m still trying to get back into my rhythm of daily writing. I’m also trying to get the sequels to ‘After the War, Before the Peace’ into print. Love writing the novels, dislike the administrative work to get them in print.

Our writing group is probably experiencing one of its best periods. The writers these days are top quality and doing the critiques after each session is a joy. Also, we have a new location. Our old location, our local public library, treated us like step-children and frequently put us in rooms far to small for our size. I don’t understand why our group wasn’t more welcomed. Would there be a library without writers???? Anyway, Karen VanerJagt, one of our local writers, has access to a large meeting room in her family’s business location. The place is fabulous. So large, bright, cheerful and conducive to creativity.

In addition to my daily writing, I’m putting together my material for our town’s local Spring Frenzy. A week of jillions of class on every subject imaginable. I’ll be teaching journaling and fiction writing. The dates of my classes are Feb. 2 and Feb. 4. Drop me an email if you are interesting in attending either class. A writer friend, Paul Bailey, will be conducting a class on book publishing.

So, I’ll sign off with a thought on time. “Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.” Horace Mann

MCC Art-A-Fair

Yesterday and today I was lucky to be included in my alma mater’s annual Art-A-Fair. It is open to current and past students of Mohave Community College. The room was filled with amazing offerings created by artists of many genres. There were beautiful paintings of every subject imaginable. The jewelry consisted of spectacular creations of metal and stone that were truly one of a kind. The pottery was uniquely creative and could be used as decoration or daily use. These artists were truly talented, amazing people.

My table consisted of an array of six of my seven novels. I did make some sales, but the best part of the past two days was in the interesting people I met. Many of my friends came by for support and I do thank them for that. There were several from the Chicago area. It was nice talking to folks who grew up in that great city with its plethora of museums, amusement parks and theatre. I also met an Australian who has travel widely, but does so love our little Lake Havasu City. I so enjoyed both days, both visiting with attendees and presenters. I am so looking forward to the 2015 MCC Art-A-Fair.

Now, I’m really jazzed about Nov. 15th when I will be showing my books at the WNEA Sales Extravaganza at the Lake Havasu Convention Center. Many local artists, of every genre, and local businesses will be there to showcase the wide array of art, culture and business products this lovely, little, desert community has to offer. Hope to see you there.

As I sign off today, I’d like to share some advise from author Isaac Asimov that keeps me motivated. It speaks to manuscript drafts, but even after your book is published his advice of persisting is so true. “You must keep sending work out; you must never let a manuscript do nothing but eat its head off in a drawer. You send that work out again and again, while you’re working on antoher one. If you have talent, you will receive some measure of success- but only if you persist.”

New Book Cover in the Making!

Had a really fun day today! A local couple, Alena & Nick, volunteered to pose for the cover of my reprint of my novel ‘After the War, Before the Peace’. The president of our local writer’s group, Paul Bailey, agreed to take the photos. We took them at a local restaurant and bar called ‘The Golden Horseshoe’. The pictures came out great. Who know Alena & Nick had such a great modeling talent. Paul and I are going to look at all the photos and come up with one for the book cover that will attract readers.

We had a fun time. Friend, Joanne, joined us and gave us some great suggestions for the shots. When we had finished with the photo shoot, we had lunch at the restaurant. Great food, great service. I highly recommend it!

Now for my quote of the day – My dear friends made this wonderful day happen, so when I read this quote by Robert H. Goddard, I felt it was an omen about what is possible for the models, the photographer, the friend and for myself. “It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.”

New Book: “Just For You”

Just For YouAuthor Sharon Poppen has put together a collection of her short stories Just For You, her readers. Some are funny, some are sad, some are sweet, some feature the dark side of human nature and some are just plain eerie. While most are pure fiction created from Poppen’s imagination, some are fiction based on fact. Several of the stories have won writing awards for the author. For the most part, they are quick reads for the busy reader during a work break, commuting or while sitting in a waiting room or for the reader that enjoys a late night read before slipping off into the land of Nod. So sit back, relax and treat yourself to the variety of people, places and things in this book of many stories.

For information on how you can order your copy please Click Here.

Welcome to the New Website!

Welcome to my new website at www.sharonpoppen.com . It’s all new thanks to the great creative work of Paul at Easytime Services at www.easytimeservices.com.

Been a little lax in my postings lately. I could blame the holidays and they did take up some of my time. However, been working on my book of short stories and at getting the sequels to ‘After the War, Before the Peace’ edited and ready for publication.

Remember, I certainly try to, “Procrastination is the thief of time.” – Edward Young, ‘Night Thoughts’

Sharon Poppen’s Next Big Thing:

What is the working title of your book?

‘The Band’ is the sixth in a series of books about the Farrell Family which started with my novel ‘After the War, Before the Peace’ which takes place shortly after the end of the U.S. Civil War.  The time frame for ”The Band’ is the 1950s and 1960s.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

At the end of book 5, titled ‘Stephen’s Boys’, the main character is a wounded WWII vet who is trying to raise four sons on a ranch in Maui, Hawaii. When I ended book 5, J.J., the oldest son, stayed in my mind. Being a child of the early rock and roll era, I decided to take the Farrell family into the wild and crazy world of teen idols and how they approached being teen idols, touring, fame and drugs.

What genre does your book fall under?

It’s Contemporary/Romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Channing Tatum could be J.J., Justin Bartha could be Johnny, Bradley Cooper could be Steve and Justin Timberlake could be Mikey.

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

A genuinely good man copes with the challenges of fame and fortune.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I have self-published one of my four novels and will not self-publish again. I have two potential publishers that are interested in the Farrell family series.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

About one year. I would have liked to spend more time on it. In fact, if a missed a few days, my characters would invade my thoughts and lure me back into their realm. I was working on marketing my third novel ‘Abby-Finding More Than Gold’ and doing the final edits and prep for the release of my fourth novel ‘Regardless’ which was published in September of this year.

What other books would you compare to this story within your genre?

None come to mind at the moment. I started with a character who was a genuinely, dependable young man and took his character on a descent into wine, women and drugs, then tried to make my readers like him again. It will be interesting to see if this will pass the believable test with my editor.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?

Like I said earlier, the Farrell Family have always been almost ‘real’ people to me. In fact, one readers told me that he feels that the characters are so multi-dimensional real that he thinks I may have actually been a part of this family in a previous life. So, when book five ended, the oldest son basically said ‘My turn. Now tell my story.’

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The background story of the life, times and culture of the 1950s-60s as to interests, morals, locations and attitudes of the Baby Boom Generation.

Thank you for stopping by to read my blog! Your interest in most appreciated.

Now, if you’re still reading, I have two requests to make:

1. Drop by the blogs I’ve listed below to discover some really good and interesting writers.
2. Leave me a comment about my Next Big Thing post and on Nov. 22nd, I’ll put the names of all commenters in a hat and draw out one to win the $10 Amazon gift certificate.

Blogs to Visit:

www.regantaylorsworld.blogspot.com

www.christinelondon.blogspot.com

www.reginaandrews.wordpress.com

http://www.books-writing.com/interview-with-author-sharon-poppen

www.tracyriva.com