Friday, August 3, 2012

Ellie and the Magic Teapot Into the Secret Forest Book: August Blog 1- Letters from Mom & Mimi

The Family Reunion and Kyle was there in spirit!

Dear Ellie,

My summer break is quickly coming to an end and that makes me so wistful.  I love our time together and I really enjoyed our busy summer.  Spending time with family throughout these months was very special (especially all the days we had with your Mimi & Poppy).

Last weekend before flying home, we were in Philly and you truly should have been a Wheeler Street kid.  You had so much fun with all of your cousins. 

It makes me wish we could shrink the United States so we could be closer.  

I suppose our timing for starting our next story this week couldn’t be any better.  After all, it seems to fit into our real life journey… a new chapter will ensue as school begins. 

And now here is our yearlong bedtime story/stories (with many chapters to write!) for you. 

So as for our weekly guidelines, we have again switched up the rules after reflecting on our last story.  I write a piece one week in regular font, then your Mimi has to will write a piece in italics the next week.  We decided to divide up our parts each week for a few reasons.  First, the feedback from our beloved readers thought that our blog was too long with far too much to process with both of our pieces.  Second, your Mimi and I were stressing so much about the time we put into our weekly chapters- it consumed us (as we fell in love with the characters, the more hours we would pour into it).  So unless writing our books becomes a full time job, we need to step back just a bit without taking away from the quality of our words.  In this way, your Mimi and I have the responsibility for adding every other week (and I’m sure both of us will agree we will still write each day but under far less pressure). 

There is still much that will stay the same.  The only things your Mimi and I agreed on were the characters- Ellie and a magic teapot and the setting (a forest with trolls).  Anything else is fair game and will make our adventure a new tale.  We also need to figure out an illustration to go with our part.  Our goal Ellie is to have a beloved bedtime story for you and future generations.   

And so we will continue our third piece of fiction. 

Ellie and the Magic Teapot: Into the Secret Forest Book Part 1

Ellie was in her room pacing back and forth.  She stumbled over her footie pajamas that were slightly too long.  The monkey ears on the sides of her toes kept getting caught under her foot as the extra pink and brown material slid down past her knees.  Ellie hiked them back up at the hip as she straightened and walked out to the banister in the hallway.

“Mom? Mom?  I’m ready for you to come read me my bedtime story please,” Ellie called down in a sing-song voice.  Reading was one of her favorite things to do and this was a story she had read many times with her mother. 

“I need one more minute Spaghetti,” her Mom called back up to her, “Did you brush your teeth?”

Ellie blew her breath into her hand and inhaled.  Mmmmm… it smelled just like the bubblegum flavored toothpaste she just used.  “Yup!” she answered.

“What about your bedtime prayers?” her mom yelled from downstairs.

“Done Mom, I even asked God to watch over Joe,” Ellie responded.  Joe was Ellie’s cat and they had a love-hate relationship.  Usually Joe was mean to Ellie and never wanted to play with her even though Ellie had the prettiest doll outfits she wanted to share with him.

Ellie’s mom came up the stairs then breathless.  Ellie knew that she was very busy answering work emails and was slightly distracted.

“Ok baby girl, pick out the one you want to read,” Ellie’s Mom said as she scooped Ellie up, brought her into the bedroom, and gently held her in front of her book case.  Ellie’s fingers immediately went to a story called the Secret Forest.

Her Mom giggled, “we already read this one twice today and last night too.  I bet you can say it word for word without opening the book!”

Ellie’s Mom tucked Ellie into her big girl pink butterfly bed where Lion, her beloved stuffed animal, was already waiting.  She snuggled up to him and gave her Mom some room to sit on the edge of the bed.  Her Mom tucked Ellie underneath the covers, switched on the dim bedside lamp and turned off the glaring overhead light before she sat down. 

Ellie’s heart raced with the thrill of knowing the plot of this story so well.  Her favorite part was when the children met the trolls.  But then Ellie knew her own excitement would dissipate into fear… the last troll that was introduced ate children!  Ellie couldn’t wait to open the book.  Just as her Mother began, “Once upon a time,” a cell phone rang downstairs.

“Sweetheart, it’s one of those days.  Work was crazy today and I need to tie up those loose ends,” Ellie’s Mother briskly kissed her on her forehead, “You know this story better than I do at this point.  You get started on it and I will be back up to finish it with you when I get off the phone.”  Ellie didn’t hide her disappointment but her Mom rushed out so fast to reach the call, she didn’t notice.

Ellie turned over to Lion, “Do you want me to read the story to you Buddy?  I promise I won’t run out on you.”  Ellie saw Lion wink at her.  She rubbed her eyes to be sure.  Ellie knew that glimmer he had in his eye.  She heard her Mom from downstairs talking on the phone about percentages.  Her Mother wasn’t coming back up anytime soon.  “Ok Lion, let’s take another adventure!” Ellie whispered as she jumped out of bed but she tripped on her pajamas again.  “Urrghhh… Wait one second Lion,” Ellie said frustrated with the silly monkey feet that kept getting trapped under her toes.  Quickly, she changed into a more comfortable set of knit pajamas, “You never know if this journey will make us run, skip, jump or even spin!” She gave Lion a smile as she twirled in anticipation.  She grabbed her teapot and tiptoed into the bathroom where she filled it up.  She peeked over the banister where she could see her Mother was now talking about responsibility into the earpiece.  

Ellie crept back into the confines of her bedroom and sat Lion at her table.  She set two places for tea using her plastic set.  And as she poured the water into their teacups with a mischievous grin, she said the magical words “Baooohhhaoooahaljaljljljafooj.”  Glitter and music swirled around Ellie and Lion and they were swept up above the table.  When the spinning ended, Lion and Ellie fell from the sky landing gently in a pile of leaves.  Lion smiled at Ellie to make sure she was ok.  Ellie was so happy to see Lion come alive but then she looked around and couldn’t believe her eyes…. 

We love you to the moon and back Ellie!
Mom & Mimi

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