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If you disable this cookie, we will not be able to save your preferences. This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. Skip to content Nonfiction. Our Story. We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website. Accept Reject. Powered by GDPR plugin. All the windows are down to air out the car, and Mona's hair blows wild around her face.

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Peerie buddo , the book says, is "a term of endearment. She's got the hiccups. She can't stop laughing. I've never kissed Mona. I've thought about it a lot, but I keep deciding it's not time. It's not that I think she'd freak out or anything. It's not even that I'm afraid she wouldn't kiss me back. It's worse: I'm afraid she'd kiss me back, but not mean it. Probably one of the biggest losers to fall in love with a selkie was the man who carried her skin around in his knapsack.

He was so scared she'd find it that he took the skin with him everywhere, when he went fishing, when he went drinking in the town. Then one day he had a wonderful catch of fish. There were so many that he couldn't drag them all home in his net. He emptied his knapsack and filled it with fish, and he put the skin over his shoulder, and on his way up the road to his house, he dropped it. The man ran to catch her, he even kissed her even though she was already a seal, but she squirmed off down the road and flopped into the water. The man stood knee-deep in the chilly waves, stinking of fish, and cried.

In selkie stories, kissing never solves anything. No transformation happens because of a kiss. No one loves you just because you love them. What kind of fairy tale is that? It's not that I was smart, I wasn't thinking at all. I called Uncle Tad and the police and I still wasn't thinking. I don't believe she wasn't smart.

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She even tried to give her mom CPR, but her mom didn't wake up until later, in the hospital. They had to reach in and drag her out of death, she was so closed up in it. Death is skin-tight, Mona says. Gray in front and gray in back. I pull into her driveway to drop her off. The house is dark, the darkest house on her street, because Mona's mom doesn't like the porch light on. She says it shines in around the blinds and keeps her awake. Mona's mom has a beautiful bedroom upstairs, with lots of old photographs in gilt frames, but she sleeps on the living-room couch beside the aquarium.

Looking at the fish helps her to sleep, although she also says this country has no real fish. That's what Mona calls one of her mom's "refrains. Mona gets out, yanking the little piece of my heart that stays with her wherever she goes. She stands outside the car and leans in through the open door. I can hardly see her, but I can smell the lemon-scented stuff she puts on her hair, mixed up with the smells of sweat and weed. Mona smells like a forest, not the sea. That big horde of Uncle Tad's friends?

The little guy at the head of the table? She lifts her head, then shakes it. A light from someone else's porch bounces off her nose. She puts on a fake Norwegian accent and says: " My God awful day. I nod. There's the time we all went out for New Year's Eve, and Uncle Tad drove me, and when he stopped and I opened the door he told me to close it, and I said "I will when I'm on the other side," and when I told Mona we laughed so hard we had to run away and hide in the bathroom.

There's the day some people we know from school came in and we served them wine even though they were underage and Mona got nervous and spilled it all over the tablecloth, and the day her nice cousin came to visit and made us cheese-and-mint sandwiches in the microwave and got yelled at for wasting food. And the day of the party for Mona's mom's birthday, when Uncle Tad played music and made us all dance, and Mona's mom's eyes went jewelly with tears, and afterward Mona told me: "I should just run away. I'm the only thing keeping her here.

All the best days of my life. My mom used to swim every morning at the YWCA.

When I was little she took me along. I didn't like swimming. I'd sit in a chair with a book while she went up and down, up and down, a dim streak in the water. When I read Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH , it seemed like Mom was a lab rat doing tasks, the way she kept touching one side of the pool and then the other. At last she climbed out and pulled off her bathing cap. In the locker room she hung up her suit, a thin gray rag dripping on the floor.

Most people put the hook of their padlock through the straps of their suit, so the suits could hang outside the lockers without getting stolen, but my mom never did that. She just tied her suit loosely onto the lock. And no one did. That should have been the end of the story, but it wasn't. My dad says Mom was an elemental, a sort of stranger, not of our kind.

by Shirley Muir

It wasn't my fault she left, it was because she couldn't learn to breathe on land. You can send it to me if you want at storyqueen gmail. Posted by storyqueen at AM No comments: Links to this post. Monday, July 27, Last Week. Last week I taught a writing workshop for kids. It was pretty remarkable and pretty intense.

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I mean, I even forgot to post Story School on Wednesday. Thank you Kevin and Alexa for reminding me! Anyway, whenever I am teaching writing, I always end up re-learning some very important truths: Just like the wand chooses the wizard in Harry Potter, sometimes the story chooses us. Inspiration can be found in the strangest of places. Expect the unexpected.


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Being part of a writing community is better than not being part of a writing community. Other people have amazing ideas. Kids are the best. Go deep. Writing is for everyone. Stories bring us together. Have a great week! Wednesday, July 15, Story School 5. Story School is back!

Sorry I am a little late in posting today. In case you are new here and are wondering what Story School is--let me tell you. Every Wednesday this summer, I'll post a story starter of sorts. It might be an idea or a prompt. It might be just a single word. Who knows! Story School started as a way for me to continue to connect with the students from my school about writing over the summer. But really, Story School is for everyone, young or old. Writing exercises often get my writing juices flowing so I thought it would be good to share some of the stuff that works for me!

Isn't he adorable? I am just so excited about New Horizon's flyby. I mean--there it is!! This is what it looked like before New Horizon when the best pic we had was from the Hubble:. It should be called Pixel instead of Pluto. And before that, it looked like this:. Just a pretty little dot. Anyway, so maybe you can write an Ode to Pluto, or a space adventure where you travel to Pluto, or maybe even an alien invasion story I am writing one of those right now! Whatever you do, have fun with writing!! And you can send me your story and I'll write back to you! Posted by storyqueen at PM 1 comment: Links to this post.

A couple of Comic Con sessions: So, R2, what did you think? And Spidey!! You read it, too! Here she is at a birthday party with her new friend, Skyy: Happy Birthday, Skyy! So glad I could be a part of your big day! I'm off to go make some swag for the Secrets of Selkie Bay launch. More details at it approaches!

{YTP} ~ Fire Mlem

Posted by storyqueen at PM No comments: Links to this post. Saturday, July 11, Why Selkies? The Story Behind the Story. It is Saturday! Today I will answer the question, "Why Selkies? There is just something about them. They hypnotize.