Guest Taylor Bennett

Good morning, my lovely readers!

Today we have a new guest, Taylor Bennett. She's here to talk a little about her new book, Porch Swing Girl, and share some old writing from her past for kicks and giggles. Enjoy!

About Taylor

Homeschooled since kindergarten, Taylor Bennett is the seventeen-year-old author of Porch Swing Girl, released by Mountain Brook Ink on May 1. When she’s not reading or writing, Taylor can be found playing her violin or taking walks in the beautiful Oregon countryside. She loves to connect with readers via her author website, as well as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram (her favorite!), Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Where to find her

Order Porch Swing Girl on Amazon

About her book

What if friendship cost you everything?

Stranded in Hawaii after the death of her mother, sixteen-year- old Olive Galloway is desperate to escape. She has to get back to Boston before her dad loses all common sense and sells the family house. But plane tickets cost money—something Olive gravely lacks. With the help of Brander, the fussy youth group worship leader, and Jazz, a mysterious girl with a passion for all things Hawaiian, Olive lands a summer job at the Shave Ice Shack and launches a scheme to buy a plane ticket home before the end of the summer.

But when Jazz reveals a painful secret, Olive’s plans are challenged. Jazz needs money. A lot of it. Olive and Brander are determined to help their friend but, when their fundraising efforts are thwarted, Olive is caught in the middle. To help Jazz means giving up her ticket home. And time is running out.

From the archives

I’ve always loved words—ever since I was little, they have filled every corner of my life. I’m constantly thinking, dreaming, spinning a story in my mind. Even when I was young, I had a love for words and books that spilled over into everything I did. It wasn’t surprising, then, that my favorite subject in school was writing, especially creative writing.

I always jumped at the chance to write a story under the guise of “school” and I spun many a tale in my writing class. My favorite character to write about, was an eccentric retired movie star, Zelda P. Thornbottom. When I was in elementary school, I created the character and she made her first appearance in the gripping narrative: Cleaning up the Bubbly Mess.

And since it’s always fun to laugh a little (and I feel like embarrassing myself) I thought I’d share this tale—fresh from the archives of my grade-school life—with you. It has been minimally edited, with only a few of the missing commas put in, but still . . . brace yourself. You’re in for a wild ride!

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Water was pouring into the pearly, clawfoot bathtub. Mrs. Zelda P. Thornbottom was wildly rushing about Thornbottom Manor, which was the nicest mansion around, trying to find her beautiful white angora. When Zelda finally found her under the rocking chair, Zelda cried, “Fluffy! What happened to you? I was planning on giving you a bath, but this! This is unbelievable! What happened to you?” It turned out that Fluffy had fallen into the pond out back. Because she was so wet and mucky, she had tried to get some of the muck off of her by rolling. This resulted in a grimy mess! To help things along, Fluffy had also wandered right into a skunk’s den. Unfortunately the results that followed were NOT pleasant. After Zelda coaxed Fluffy out from under the chair, she frantically rushed upstairs to bathe her. Then Zelda remembered: “The cat show! It’s at two o’clock! Why! It’s one now! I will NEVER have enough time to get Fluffy cleaned, dried, perfumed, and dressed in that adorable pink flowered tea gown that we bought last week! Let alone tie the ribbons in her fur and put on those cute little clip-on pet earrings with the opals in them!” She then dumped ten cans of tomato juice into the overflowing bathtub.

After adding the tomato juice, she frantically dumped half of the bottle of the deodorizing detergent, which she used in the washer, into the bathtub. “Oh, well, it will have to do,” she decided. “Anyway, the label guarantees ‘All Stench Removed.’” She did all of this because she worried that, if she was late to the cat show, she might lose. When she looked at the clock, she discovered that it was one-thirty and decided to add the rest of the bottle. When that task was completed, she became anxious because she remembered from past experience that Fluffy hated baths! “What shall I do?” she worried aloud as she ran to get Fluffy, who, by this time, had again fled to the rocking chair. Unfortunately, retrieving Fluffy took a long time and the detergent began to fizz and foam in the bathtub!

When Zelda returned with putrid-smelling Fluffy, bubbles had begun to cover the bathroom floor! “My land!” Zelda cried dramatically. Instead of cleaning the bubbles up, she tried in vain to dump the cat in the bathtub. “Oh, who cares about the bubbles anyway?!?” she muttered. Because Fluffy was so stinky, Zelda had to hold her nose with one hand while she held yowling Fluffy with the other. Unfortunately Fluffy became so hysterical that she gave Zelda a large gash on the face, just barely missing her eye! “Ouch! Zelda cried, dropping Fluffy right into the bathtub. Fluffy sloshed around in the water, trying to grab onto something—anything—that would help rescue her. When she finally succeeded in grabbing hold of the bathtub rim, Fluffy accidentally knocked the Hydra Bubble Bath Super Version 12 into the tub! Zelda was horrified to observe the scene that followed. The full bottle immediately tipped over and there was a giant explosion! Suds flew EVERYWHERE! Zelda groped around in the sudsy mess, searching for Fluffy, but Zelda lost her balance and fell in headfirst! “Blubb-glub blub,” she gasped, trying to grab onto something! After many attempts, she was able to grab onto something! FLUFFY! Fluffy yowled and scrambled onto the side of the tub, and Zelda was able to get out, too—finally! “Oh dear! The cat show is already over!” she cried miserably and broke down in sobs. Fluffy just licked herself clean. After Zelda put some disinfectant on her scratch, she called the cat show to apologize for her absence. The judge roared with laughter when Zelda finished her story and he accepted her apology. That made Zelda feel much better, and, after she cleaned the bubbly mess off the floor, she was even able to laugh about it!

- - - - - - -

And…there you have it. Insight into the storytelling nature of eight-year- old me. I can guarantee you, I’ve improved in my craft over the years, though I do miss the crazy misadventures of Zelda and Fluffy. (And you didn’t even meet her husband, Harry!!)


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