Jaylin's RV Adventure: There's a pig in the campground?
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Trying to break into the children's book market is hard work. I belong to a critique group that meets or emails monthly. Some of my fellow critique group members have been published, I have come close, but have still been rejected many times. I decided to upload one of my early reader chapter books to kindle and nook and give it some exposure.
Here at Squidoo I am trying to promote it by giving readers and their kids a chance to read the first chapter. Also I have provided links so that those with Kindles or Nooks can download a sample.
I hope you enjoy my first chapter. And happy writing to all those who write. It's a great outlet and really fun to create characters that take on a life of their own.
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Jaylin and her brother Drake have just pulled into a campground. While exploring they hear pig noises and begin to wonder why a pig would be at the campground. Jaylin's imagination has her come up with all kinds of wild ideas. Along the way they encounter the man with the mop who Jaylin is convinced has special powers, four year old Emma who likes to talk a lot, and four year old Rocko who lives in the site where the pig noises are coming from.
Chapter 1 Rolling In
Copyright Â© 2011 Cindy Brunelle
No part of this may be used without permission
Illustrations copyright 2011 Terryn Brunelle
“Testing, whoo, whshh. Is this thing on? I guess it is. This is Jaylin Cross speaking, and this is my first audio journal entry. Well, Mom said to us, ‘This is the first day of the rest of our lives.’ If she thinks that’s supposed to make us feel better, she’s wrong.
She and Dad got this crazy idea that we should ‘see the world’. The world? We aren’t even traveling to other countries. We’re just driving around in this dumb RV from campground to campground. They took us out of school last week and said we were gonna be home schooled now. That was April 1st when they did that, I was hoping it was a joke! But it wasn’t. I have had more schoolwork in this past week than I had all year. And now I have to make an audio journal of my adventures. I’ll probably need to use it as a homework assignment later! Ugh!”
“Look,” said Dad. “There’s the entrance to the campground.”
“It’s the first one of our journey,” said Mom. She seemed excited.
I just sighed.
Drake shook me and said, “What’s wrong with you? You’re just starring at nothing with wide eyes.”
I wasn’t starring at nothing. I was looking at the entrance of the campground. A rainbow made of wood connected two poles. It said Rise and Shine Campground on it. I didn’t think they needed to use paint that bright. But what was really weird were the beavers. Two of them carved out of wood stood at each pole. The front teeth on them went all the way down to their belly buttons. If beavers here have teeth that big, I am not leaving the RV! Anyway I’d rather be playing kickball with Jack and Tara. Or having a tea party with Alanna.
“Mom,” said my older brother Drake as we drove under the rainbow sign. “Tell us again why we abandoned our home and got stuffed in an RV? And why we’re going to a place called Rise And Shine Campground?”
“Oh honey,” said Mom. “Don’t exaggerate. Grandma and Grandpa are living in our house while we are away. It’s not abandoned. Besides, you kids are growing up so fast and we just want to spend time with you.”
“Wasn’t watching me play softball and doing gymnastics spending time with me?” I mumbled.
Mom still had a big smile on her face. Like she was just given a big dish of ice cream with candy and whipped topping on it. I know she loves us. But a camper trip? And I don’t even know when we’re going home. She has crazy ideas sometimes. And she gets Dad to go along with them. I shook my head and just stared at mom. I didn’t even notice that Dad had left.
“We’re all set,” said Dad as he got back into the RV. “The man at the check-in counter gave us site number 101. We’re rolling in to our first campsite. Let the fun begin!”
Drake and I just rolled our eyes at each other.
Even our cat Muffin gave Dad a strange look.
Mom and Dad had wanted to leave Muffin with Grandma and Grandpa. But I was able to convince them that if we had to get out more, then so did Muffin. She’s an indoor cat and doesn’t get to see much. I thought this would be a good experience for her. I did not know that Muffin would cry for the first two hours of our trip. I only cried for the first 30 minutes.
Dad continued driving down the dusty road to our campsite, hitting every pothole. The road was so skinny that our RV took up all the space. And we don’t have a huge RV; it’s about 20 feet long. It’s Grandma and Grandpa’s and kind of smells like them. A mixture of sweet flowers and Grandpa’s famous blueberry pancakes. The thought of pancakes was making me hungry. Then Mom’s talking interrupted my growling tummy.
“Don’t hit a tree, Ward,” she said grinning.
“I’ll do my best not to, June,” said Dad smiling.
Their names are not really Ward and June. They make us watch reruns of Leave it to Beaver and think that it is funny to call each other Ward and June. Those are the parent’s names on the show. My parents’ real names are Steve and Jenna Cross. I will never let them know that I like watching Leave it to Beaver.
Dad hit a tree anyway.
“You hit a tree, Ward,” laughed Drake.
Dad just crinkled his nose and eyebrows and looked at Drake.
It really wasn’t Dad’s fault. He was trying to back into site 101 and a little girl was jumping up and down waving her hands. Dad saw her and turned the wheel real quick. He missed her, but hit a small tree.
When we got out of the RV the little girl skipped over.
“My name is Emma. I am four years old,” she said, still waving her arms.
“That’s nice, dear,” Mom said. “Why don’t you run back to your site and we’ll play later after we set up.”
“I don’t want to play with Emma later,” moaned Drake after she left.
Mom just rolled her eyes and shook her head at Drake.
Drake is finishing fourth grade and I am finishing second. But sometimes I act smarter than him. I knew Mom didn’t expect us to play with Emma. She was just trying to get her to leave. She has a good way of doing that without making people feel bad.
I looked around the campsite. It had a brown wooded picnic table. The table had bird droppings on it. Eeeh. I guess that’s why Mom packed a table cloth. There was a fire pit made out of red bricks. It came up to my knees and was round. There were skinny trees around the boarder of our campsite and one pine tree in the back corner. The pine tree was the only one that looked big enough to climb. The others just made it so we couldn’t see our neighbors that well.
“No damage was done to the RV or the little tree,” said Dad, smiling. “I’ll hook up the electricity and water and then we can explore the campground.”
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