Tuesday, 28 August 2012

"The Missing Chest"

Hoy Mates!

Well, tomorrow will be the final day of "Red Shores and Pirate Anchors" for everyone on Prince Edward Island, it's pretty exciting to find out what happens at the end of the story! Of course...I already know. Hehe. But I won't spoil it for anyone! Not only that but all my readers in Ontario only have two chapters left! It's hard to imagine that we're coming to the end of Summer!

But we can still visit Summer in our imagination even when Fall comes and School begins again. Especially for all my readers from ABC Life Literacy, you've just begun your adventure with Lilly and Jude. As you read "Red Shores and Pirate Anchors" over coming seven weeks you'll be able to have a little bit of Summer every Wednesday!

So enjoy Chapter Three where you get to meet a mermaid and follow Jude on a coming adventure!



Chapter Three

"The Missing Chest"

Jude Mclean just could not sleep; he tossed and turned until there was nothing more to do but slip out of his bed and stare out the misshaped window of his room. The family’s farm expanded out before him, it was barren and their last crop had failed which left the McLean’s with no money for seed to plant. Jude was too young to work but wished there was something more he could do to save their farm and family home. It was a thought that made him lose sleep too often, but tonight he looked past the sparse expanse and to the ocean where thoughts of Lilly brought a smile to the boy’s face. He considered how funny and honest she was with him, Jude wanted to help her find her Father. A suspicious something caught Jude’s eyes though as a vision appeared on the water which he had only ever heard of in ghost stories. It looked like a ship, its transparent image flickering with ghostly presence. Leaning half way out the window, Jude could see blue flames flickering around it. "The Flaming Ghost Ship!" He could hardly say it, recalling his Grandfather’s story of Pirates whose ship had sunk and now haunted the shores of P.E.I. Jude blinked and blinked, hoping it was a trick of his tired mind but no matter how hard he tried the ship wouldn’t vanish and with the day’s story on his mind, this just could not be ignored.

Running down the stairs and out the house, Jude rushed toward the shore, his breath short as he imagined what the scene might look like up close. He snuck between the fishing houses at North Lake where men of the sea slept with pillows and blankets in their boats, waiting for the sunrise so they could nab the morning’s catch at dawn. The little shanties hid the ghost ship from sight, but Jude knew exactly where to go and with better ability than earlier he scaled the rocks back to Lillian’s Grotto from the beach. It was so dark that he couldn’t see Lillian’s treasure chest but in the distance, glowing brighter than ever was the Ghost Ship. From this point of view Jude could see the blue light of the ship illuminating the water and it revealed the shape of a real ship sailing off in the distance its flag waving in the night baring proudly the Jolly Roger. "Pirates!" Jude exclaimed, so nervous that he backed himself against the wall of the cave. For a moment he was stricken with shock but Jude quickly realized something strange. He was against the wall of the cave, yet hadn’t knocked into Lillian’s chest. In fact as his eyes adjusted to the dark, Jude noticed that there was no chest at all. As his feet shifted, a crinkling sound from under Jude’s feet led the boy to bend down and retrieve a piece of paper. It was too dark to read in the cave so Jude was forced back to the mouth of the grotto where he noticed that only white moonlight shone against his face. The Ghost Ship had vanished. It worried Jude, but not so much as what the note he was looking upon said. It was in scribbled writing and had obviously been done quickly.

"Dear Jude,

If you came here to look for me, thank you. I hid with my treasures when I saw pirates coming on the shore. I’m sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye…but thank you for being my first friend. When I find my Father I’ll come back and visit you.

Lilly"

Confused about what to do, Jude was folding up Lillian’s letter when a splash of water hit his face. This was odd because ocean was still as night with gentle water washing up against the stones. A curious sounding giggle broke the quiet though; it sounded like a morning bird twittering and made Jude look down where the water met giant sandstone. There in the moonlit ocean appeared the form of a young woman, she was beautiful and had flowing blonde hair decorated with sea stars. She certainly didn’t look like anyone he had ever met before. Climbing back down the rocks, Jude called out to her. "Hello! Hello?!" The only reply that he got was more laughing. Yet as he reached the water’s edge, something shocking dawned on Jude. Not only had he never met this girl before but instead of wearing a dress she had a seashells tied together, draped across her and a long, shining blue fish tail. Fish tail? Jude was stunned; if that girl had a fish tail then it could only mean one thing. "You’re a…" He mumbled, watching her fins flicking water around.
"I am a mermaid, a daughter of the waves from the Îes de la Madeleine." She spoke with a musical French accent. Too surprised to say anything Jude watched the mermaid with wide eyes. She seemed quite friendly and had playful look on her face. "I’m Meryl." The mermaid introduced herself. "I’m Jude McLean." The boy said thoughtfully, reaching out to shake the sea maiden’s hand, convincing himself that she was real as he felt her fingers. There was a moment of silence between the two as they watched each other, but Meryl wasn’t one to be quiet for too long. "What brings you to my water’s Jude?" The mermaid asked as though she already knew. He had honestly forgotten for a moment, but the crumpled letter from Lillian was a quick reminder. "My friend Lilly…she was taken by Pirates…" He said seriously, maybe the kind mermaid would be able to help rescue Lillian. Meryl was thoughtful for a moment, stirring her finger around in the water softly. "And you want to find her?" She asked. It seemed obvious to Jude but he nodded in agreement. "You’re very brave and kind so I will help you find who you seek." She said, taking Jude’s hand and yanking him into the water. Knowing how to swim helped keep Jude afloat but it seemed like the water all around Meryl was lit with magical powers as he floated beside her. "But I can’t go…my Mother and Father will miss me." Jude explained to the mermaid as she fussed over his wet hair and straightened the collar of his bed clothes. "Now, let’s not be silly." Meryl said sensibly, shaking her head. "You must go." She didn’t seem as funny as before with all her giggling, instead she was earnest as she watched Jude. "I can help you on your journey, but you are Lilly’s true friend. You must save her. Now I am your friend Jude McLean and I will help you with the powers that I have from the sea." Jude was a little nervous, he had never left home before and in fact he had never even been to Charlottetown. Yet he had to consider Lillian and how brave she had been to go after the Pirates to find her Father. Thoughts swirled around Jude’s head until Meryl took both his hands gently and stared deeply at his face. "Will you accept my help, friend?" The French mermaid asked. "Yes." Jude said softly. "Thank you Meryl…" He squeezed her hands and looked past the mermaid’s shoulder at the horizon. Glancing over her shoulder, Meryl watched the Pirate Ship sailing away in the distance. "We need to catch them, no?" She said with all the mischief returning to her voice once more and before Jude could say anything she surprised him yet again by pulling him underwater with her. She held his hand tight, Jude gasped and bubbles rose from his mouth, but against all laws of nature he could breatheMeryl smiled at the boy and winked before swimming away with him. The Pirates must have been much farther than Jude expected because it felt like they were swimming forever. Fish swam between the two with shining scales, sea stars floated by gracefully with the jellyfish and the blue light that came from Meryl made all of it look like magic. Jude was sure it must still be a dream with the sea so alive around him. But a wave’s current sailed by Meryl and Jude tugging at them so that the two had to hold on tight so they wouldn’t be separated. The farther they went the more fish started to scatter and the waves pushed them to and fro. Lightning cracked above them with thunder following, as a storm of current brewed underwater. Jude’s fingers kept slipping but Meryl held fast until a massive rip current came between the two. It tore them apart and Jude could only be carried away swiftly as he watched Meryl trying to swim back to him. Inside Jude felt cold and wet, separated from Meryl the boy couldn’t breathe underwater anymore and so all he could do was swim against the storm to get his head above water again. But a fiery blue shape cut through the murky water and lit Jude’s way as the current steered him towards an anchor that looked too ghostly to be real.

A Parrot Corn Roast and Mermaid Party at the Cornwall Library

Hoy Mates!

This past Friday I had a fantastic visit with the children of the Cornwall Library! There were so many creative kids, it was great hanging out with them and being pirates together. They even put a Captain's Hat on my head and gave me a Pirate Flag, it was so much fun to be Captain for the day especially when the crew was so super!

During the program everyone coloured pictures from Red Shores and Pirate Anchors. It was so much fun for me to watch everybody colouring and I was so touched by the fact that a lot of the crew even gave me some of their pictures. They were coloured beautifully and I am going to treasure them just like pieces of eight!

Take a look at some photos of our great time!







Together we wrote a really cool story which you can read just below! It's very exciting and even includes some delicious under water treats that I would love to try sometime.

"Pirates, Corn and Seaweed Smoothies...oh my!"

On a very stormy and blustery day Lilly and Jude were on their Pirate Ship. Using Jude's spyglass to search the water they see a whale in the ocean The wale swims up to the ship and sprays water on everyone with it's blowhole. That scared Polly their pet Parrot who flies away but comes back with a bunch corn on the cob from Cornwall. Lilly and Jude were so surprised by this that they didn't pay attention to the ship. Because of this they crashed and became shipwrecked! Shocked one of their pirate crew members jumps out of the crows nest and into the water where he discovers the lost city of Atlantis. The whole crew joins him there and they find a treasure of a gold necklace and a million pieces of gold! Captain Dimitri found out about Atlantis and the treasure though so he came to steal it with his crew of scurvy pirates. When Kennedy the Mermaid saw this she distracted the rival pirates by splashing them with water using her beautiful Mermaid fin. Then calling her Mermaid friends they all took the treasure together to the bottom of the sea. Then the mermaids decided to use the treasure to buy sea-salt cotton candy and seaweed smoothies for each other. But there was an octopus hiding in the treasure chest who jumped out and wants to take their treats! But he's just a hungry octopus so the kind mermaids decide to share their food with him and they have a big under water party together!

Above the ocean it has turned into a bright, sunny day but suddenly it starts to snow. Pirates don't like snow so Captain Dimitri and his crew run away from the snow forgetting to take their Pirate Ship with them! Lilly and Jude board Captain Dimitri's ship so that they can use it for themselves and their crew. Once again they can sail all around Prince Edward Island and look for buried treasure. To celebrate, Polly the Parrot has a corn roast with all his parrot friends and the crew on their new ship. Then everyone is excited for the new adventures to come.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

"Homemade Treasure"

Hoy Mates!

Welcome to the second week of "Red Shores and Pirate Anchors" on my blog, whether or not your just starting out with the story or you're reading it again for the second time...enjoy it! I hope all my readers from the Island are enjoying the second-last chapter of the story and that everyone is Ontario is getting into the excitement of a Pirate Battle!

For everyone who is reading from ABC Life Literacy, who do you think you're more like, Lilly or Jude? So far you've met these two important characters who are very different from one another and make unlikely friends!

I would have to say that I fall right in the middle between Lilly and Jude, I'm adventurous and yet a bit unassuming like Jude.



Chapter Two

"Homemade Treasure"


"Are you sure that there's treasure here?" Jude cried out behind Lillian as she nimbly climbed from rock to rock along the sand less shore end of North Lake beach. The girl looked back at him with a little smirk on her face. "Of course! I come here every day." Lillian said, watching Jude as he slipped with the rocks underneath his feet. "You're not very good at this you know." Lillian observed, giggling as she secured her hand on the edge of the Grotto's entrance and pulled herself into it with expert skill. Jude met her gaze as Lillian leaned over the edge of the little cave and reached down to help pull him up. The two struggled for a moment but just before a wave came to wash over Jude the two children managed to hoist him in. Jude gasped with surprise but Lillian laughed happily as if the whole thing were a game to her. "That was fun." She commented, getting to her feet and walking to the back of the grotto.

"Where's the treasure?" Jude asked, following her but Lillian didn't say anything; instead she looked back over at him and blocked his path to a sheet covered object at the back of the cave. "You have to cross your heart on an oath that you won't say anything!" The little girl said with much seriousness. Jude gave her a surprised look and shook his head, unsure of what to do. "You just do this." Lillian explained, making an 'x' over her heart and saying, "I swear I'll never tell where Lillian's Pirate treasure is, no matter how many times people ask or how hard anyone tires to make me tell." Smiling at Jude she looked at him expecting the boy to follow her example. Hesitantly and yet with nervous quickness Jude made an 'x' over his heart and sputtered out his own version of what Lillian had said. "I won't tell anyone ever where Lillian's Pirate treasure is." He looked at her apologetically but still in hope she would accept his oath. Shrugging, Lillian sighed. "Yeah, I guess that's okay. But you still better not tell anyone." The girl muttered as she went to the back of the Grotto and yanked the sheet off of her treasure chest. Once the cloud of sand and dust from the sheet cleared, Jude could see a large treasure chest with a big rusty lock, it looked sturdy and truly worthy of pirate treasure. Lillian was quite pleased as she looked back at the boy and his mouth was open in shock at the precious chest. "See, I told you I have pirate treasure." She said proudly, reaching into the neck of her dress and pulling out a chain with a strange looking rusty key. Jude was too surprised to say anything at all but watched as Lillian unlocked the huge treasure chest and managed to heave the lid open with her thin arms. The smell of mold and salt water came forth as soon as the chest was opened, it made Jude wrinkled his nose but the excitement of seeing treasure made him forget all about the smell. Leaning over and tipping herself half-way into the chest, Lillian wouldn't let him see anything. Instead Lillian pulled out an overused looking compass and held it out for her friend to see. "Take a look, it's a pirate compass!" She proclaimed, pleased with herself as Jude looked at the trinket, greatly impressed. "Wow! What else do you have?" He asked, going to pass Lillian who was still protecting her treasure chest. "I'll show you!" She said quickly, trying to block him. But Jude had already went to the side of the treasure chest and was looking in with interest. Chewing nervously at her lip, Lillian waited anxiously to hear what Jude thought of her treasure. He was silent for a little while and Lillian's cheeks started to go red as he looked at her. "This isn't real pirate treasure." He said, sounding purely annoyed. Lillian knew he was right, but she would still try to deny it. "It is too." She said back, reaching into the treasure chest and pulling out a piece of long floral cloth. "This is handmade fabric from across the ocean." Lillian lied. But Jude knew the difference and tugging on the cloth he shook his head. "No, that's Mrs. Bruce's missing fabric for her dressmaking!" He told her accusingly. Hastily Lillian put the cloth back into the chest and took out a big empty bottle that was milky in color. "And this is a special bottle that had a pirate captain's favorite drink in it!" She tried to make herself sound believable but Jude wouldn't accept her explanation. "No, that's Mr. Rose's bottle for his herbal medicines." As he said this, Lillian's eyes shifted back and forth, before she could do anything else Jude was pulling items out from the treasure chest. "What else do you have in here?!" He said madly, pulling out a quill pen, some parchment, more bottles, little glass figurines and even a few pocket watches. "You have been stealing things." Jude said putting everything back into the chest and looking at Lillian with great disappointment. Slipping the milky looking bottle back into the chest Lillian plopped herself down onto the rocky surface of the grotto and placing her chin in her hands the girl sighed. "It just looked like stuff no one needed." She tried to make an excuse. Looking down with his blue eyes shining sadly, Jude didn't look angry anymore but sympathetic. "That doesn't mean you can take stuff that isn't yours..." He explained. "But why'd you take it anyways?" Jude asked. At first, Lillian looked away with a pouting lip. "Because I need it." She said. "Why? Why do you need all this stuff?" He pressed the question harder.

After a moment of silence Lillian glanced at Jude feeling she could trust him and decided to explain. "I want to get enough treasure to trade it with pirates so they can tell me where my parents are." The reaction that Lillian got from was Jude pure shock, his mouth dropped open and he watched her oddly. "But I thought you were an orphan! You're here with a family on trial, aren't you?" Jude asked. "Well yeah, I'm supposed to be. But I know my Dad is a Pirate Captain and he's still alive! I'm sure of it! I'm positive!" Lillian sounded like she was trying to convince herself that it was the truth and seeing how sad her eyes looked, Jude knelt down beside his new friend forgetting about her stealing habit and how strange everything she was saying really was. "It's okay..." He tried his best to sound assuring, placing a hand on either of Lillian's shoulders. "I didn't want to take anything. I just didn't know what to do! I need to find my family..." Lillian said, looking down into her lap and avoiding Jude's eyes. "Lilly..." He started and she slowly looked up at him, interest in her eyes at how he had shortened her name. "Lilly...everything will be alright, I don't think stealing is good...but I guess you're just borrowing. How do you know you're family is still alive? I mean...you wouldn't be here if they were, right?" Jude didn't want to say it but he had to look reality in the eyes. "The mermaids told me..." Lillian said biting her lip hard as Jude gave her a weird look. "Well they didn't tell me but I heard them singing...they were singing in French and the words were about a Pirate from France who had to leave his daughter to the mermaids and they carried her to a strange land across the sea. A new land that was safe..." Lillian was entirely positive about this as she spoke firmly. "They said his name was Harlington Webbe the Crimson. See! Webbe! That's my name too...so it must be true. It must!" Jude looked from the chest to Lillian and back. He wasn't sure what to say and this was clear from the confusion in his eyes as he looked to Lillian's deep grey eyes. "I don't know what to say." He let go of her arms and slowly stood back up. "I mean...how do you know it's true? How do you know you weren't dreaming? I mean...there's no such thing as mermaids..." Jude said wandering back to the edge of the grotto, watching the water lapping up against the rocks. "There are!" Lillian protested, closing her treasure chest and recovering it. "I saw them. They didn't see me." Lillian came up beside Jude. "That's the trick; you can let them see you..." Before Lillian could say anything else, she saw Jude's face which was stormy with confusion. "I'll take you home. Sorry. You don't have to talk to me anymore if you don't want to." Lillian said, climbing back down from the edge of the cave. Jude followed behind her and the two bid farewell to the cave in silence as they scaled the red rocks back to the beach. "You probably think I'm crazy." She said, kicking around the sand in her toes as the two crossed the beach back to the North Shore harbor. "And that I'm a bad person because I steal things." Lillian was talking so quickly that Jude couldn't even get a word of his own in until he stood in front of her and stared at the girl with great intensity. She was silenced and Jude spoke for himself. "I don't know what I think of you right now, I'm confused but...I do like you Lilly." And before she could say anything else Jude ran off until Lillian couldn't see him anymore. Watching as the sun set on the beach and her new friend disappeared around its entrance, Lillian wrapped her arms around herself and shivered from the cool spring air. She could have swore that a mermaid tune was coming off the waves and Lillian hummed along while picturing a beautiful ship against the horizon.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Pirate Olympics at the Stratford Library

Hoy Mates!
I hope that all my readers from PEI, Ontario and ABC Life Literacy have been enjoying their chapters for this week! There is lots of excitment in all three chapters and lots of fun still ahead!
Today was a very awesome day and I want to make a special 'Ahoy' to my mates at the Stratford Library in PEI! I was able to share a special even there today where we all celebrated the end of the Library's Summer Reading Program with a Pirate Party! We had all sorts of fun pirate themed things to do like making newspaper hats, choosing our pirate flags, coloring pictures of our favorite Red Shores and Pirate Anchors characters, going on a treasure hunt, learning about pirate life and I got to do a reading from chapter eight of Red Shores and Pirate Anchors!
Everyone was so curious about pirates and asked me so many smart questions, I was so impressed! One girl even asked me why there were hourglasses on a lot of pirate flags! Did you know that the reason for those hourglasses was as a message to other ships that their 'time was up'?
This is a super cool picture that was colored by one of the girls at the Library! What do you think Lilly and Jude would think of their new haircolors? I think they're pretty spiffy and orange is a great color on Lilly!

Everyone was in the pirate spirit as you can see from this jolly roger of a pirate!


Best of all we wrote a story about Lilly and Jude participating in the 'Pirate Oympics'! Wouldn't you like to run in the peg leg race or do plank gymastics?
Have fun reading the story that we wrote!
"Lilly, Jude and the Pirate Olympics"
On a very stormy day, Lilly and Jude were sailing their ship "The Pirate Ship That Belongs To The Pirates", looking for a new land where the Pirate Olympics were being held. On the way they found a bottle with a key inside it that had a map imprinted on it. The map on the key led them to the Island where the games were being held. There they played in many events, like Pirate Tag, the Peg Leg Relay, Plank Gymnastics and Treasure Hunting. Captain Dimiti DeNoir and his crew wanted to win first place in Treasure Hunting. Third place was a bronze treasure chest, second place was a silver treasure chest and first place was a gold treasure chest with a special surprise in it. Lilly and Jude wanted to win the gold treasure chest because Dimitri had stolen their chest to make a prize in the Olympics. So they trained hard to be the best they could in treasure hunting! But in order to win they had to swashbuckle a giant rubber duck to get to the treasure. Dimitri had to pass the giant duck too but his crew was afraid of the big squeaky duck and ran away! So Lilly and Jude bravely faced it and passed the duck first, working together as a team they dug up the treasure. It was hard work but the had worked hard for this moment and so they said one last "heave-ho!" and pulled the great gold treasure chest out of the sand and were declared the first place winners! Captain Dimitri won second place and got the silver chest, but he wasn't a good sport and threw a tantrum that all the pirates thought was very silly! When Lilly and Jude opened their gold treasure chest they found a time machine watch which had been made by a man who wanted to see what the past was like and then used it to send Dimitri DeNoir forward in time so he couldn't bother anymore pirates or steal anymore treasure! Everyone was so happy that he was sent away they shouted a great huzzah and continued on with the games! Lilly and Jude had a delightful time playing in the PIrate Olympics together with all the other pirates and bought a fleet of new ships with their prize treasure. Lilly won a silver treasure chest in Plank Gymnastics and Jude won a bronze treasure chest in the Peg Leg Relay, they were very happy for winning and were very happy for all of the other pirates who won treasure chests too. When the games were over the had a great party to celebrate everyone's jobs well done and wish each other good luck at the next Pirate Olympics!
All together we had a memorable day and left with a great 'Yo Ho Ho' in our hearts! Huzzah to me hearties at the Stratford Library!

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

"The Pirate Treasure of Lillian Webbe"


Hoy Mates!

I am going to be doing a special presentation of "Red Shores and Pirate Anchors" on my Blog for my readers and for the friends of ABC Life Literacy! Starting this Wednesday I am going to be posting a new chapter each week for the next ten weeks! This gives everyone the chance to comment on each chapter's blog post, making comments and asking questions! I hope that you all enjoy the next ten weeks of Red Shores and Pirate Anchors. In the coming weeks you can also expect some special posts about new stories of mine that will be releasing soon and even art!

Chapter One

"The Pirate Treasure of Lillian Webbe"

In the year 1870, when Canada was still a child, life was not as different as you would expect. There were as there as always has been adults and children, girls and boys, friends and family. Each person played their roles just as they do today. Farmers tilled the soil, weavers made their cloth, fishermen brought ashore their daily catches, mothers gave love and fathers in their own right supported their families. In the youthfulness of Canada, the spirits of its people were full of pride and unity. On Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown bustled with news, Summerside was revered for its finery and the Eastern tip of the Island shone for its earnest hearts and warm smiles. Each person lived with a set ideal, knowing where they were from and where they were going. Everything was constant, only to be shifted by the sands moving with the tide. But ask yourself this, if you met someone new, someone different then you've ever known, how would you react? How would your family react and even your friends? What if the beauty of your Island was shown to you in a different light that made everything seem alive through the eyes of fantasy? Imagine your reaction as you may, but please read on, dear friend and see how in the great 1800s Prince Edward Island learned more from the likes of a curious child such as you then they could in all the text books that could be piled from East to West and back again.

***

"I did not steal anything!" Lillian Webbe shouted in her own defence. She was skinny, with long thick hair the colour of a raven and deep stormy grey eyes. She did not look like most of the children she shared a small classroom in Elmira with but stood out with her foreign features. Big almond shaped eyes and skin that looked like she had gotten a tan spending extra time out in the sun. Despite her differences though there was one thing Lillian was certainly certain about and that thing was that she did not at all like the looks the other fair haired, blue eyed children were giving her. She did not like the frilly frocks that the girls her age wore and the boys thought she looked silly when dressed like one of them. Their parents thought her odd for the braids and little wooden beads that dangled from her hair but most of all she hated how they would tease her. How right at this very moment a girl of twelve, just Lillian's age, had told their teacher that she had taken a bright shiny red apple from the desk of their youngest classmate. He cried and cried, crocodile tears, Lillian often thought of them as when someone would cry for no reason. "She took my apple!" He whined to the teacher, pointing at Lillian as she tried to step back and hide among her peers. "I did not!" Lillian said again, stomping her foot. But the teacher shook her head at Lillian and called her to come forward. There was nothing to do but listen, however much she didn't want to. So stepping up to the teacher Lillian stared down at her feet while the woman scolded her. "You know you're not supposed to take other people's belongings Lillian..." Her teacher said, trying to sound kind behind her annoyance but failing at the attempt. This made the classroom seem much smaller and Lillian could feel her cheeks go red hot. "And this isn't the first time I've had to say this either. If it happens once more I'm afraid that I'll have to expel you..." Her teacher's tone was serious and stern but Lillian kept her eyes down. "Now go sit in the corner and think about what you've done. Before class is over I want you to apologise to Billy and give back his apple." But as usual Lillian said nothing and walked shamefully over to the comer where there was a little stool for her to sit on. "But I didn't take anything from him..." She muttered to herself as the lesson began again. Lillian wasn't paying any attention though, instead the twelve year old girl waited for her teacher to turn around and scribble something on the blackboard. Because the very second that the woman turned around Lillian with great silence slipped out the back of the classroom.

This was something that the girl often did. This was also a cause of irritation to her teacher but Lillian didn't care if it got her expelled, she was tired of all the other children making fun of her and getting her into trouble. She had never stolen anything in the classroom; the children only said it because they didn't like her. She was different. But this way, Lillian knew she could be free and go down to North Lake, one of her favourite places. With all the fishing going on no one would notice her and Lillian felt very at home in her secret grotto by beach. It was hidden by the rock clefts in the sand, a tiny cave just big enough to fit two fully grown people. But it felt cozy to Lillian; it was damp, smelt like salty air and most importantly was her special secret. So slipping off her proper looking, worn out hand me down shoes she started running across the field behind the tiny school house. Lillian loved the field's tall grass; how it tickled her toes and how the bright sunlight above made the sky a shade of blue that matched the ocean perfectly. The sun felt warm on her skin and the ocean breeze was so fresh and easy to breath. This was wonderful and Lillian liked it that way. Chasing the path she had memorised so well down to the North Shore, Lillian knew every blade of grass and every little sound. She knew where all the foxes' dens were and of the birds’ nests high in the trees. Most of all she knew the shoreline and the shouting of the fishermen at each other as they pulled in their lines. A great big smile spread across the girl's face as all the sadness of the classroom went away and she could see the ocean. Dashing between the shacks where the men kept their fishing nets Lillian's ears were open and listening.

What for? Well it was really a simple reason. She didn't want anyone following her to her secret grotto. It seemed as if the coast was as clear as it could be. Yet once she got onto the beach with the boiling hot sand between her toes, Lillian's mind slowed for a moment to watch the horizon. Stretching out for infinity from the water. It was amazing to wonder where it could lead and what it could bring. Taking a huge breath of salt water air and wiggling her toes deep into the sand Lillian was completely at peace. Until there was a strange shifting in the sand. The girl's ears so sensitive that she could pick up the noise in an instant. Her whole body went stiff and her head snapped back over her shoulder to catch a shadow much the same length of her own. "Who's there!?" She shouted nervously. But no one said anything. "I know you're there!" Lillian cried out again. There was more of the strange shifting noise but this time along with a voice. It was a boy and he spoke very shyly. "It's okay! I'm not trying to frighten you..." He tried to soothe, coming out from behind a large red sand stone. He was blond with airy blue eyes and pale skin. His cheeks were reddened embarrassment and he slowly took a few steps towards Lillian. "I'm not scared of you." She replied to him with a determined look on her face. And squinting at the boy, Lillian was certain of who he was. "You're Jude MacLean. You're from the schoolhouse!" The girl's annoyance was clear as she stomped over the rest of the way to Jude. Raising his hands in defence the boy shook his head. "Wait, don't get mad at me! I just came to see if you were alright...I saw who took the apple. I know it wasn't you. I think it's wrong what the others said and that the teacher blamed you." The words flew out of Jude's mouth quickly and Lillian gave him a weird look. She was first surprised that he had left their class to go and find her and second Lillian felt happy within herself that one of her classmates did in fact not hate her. "You came to see me...?" Her voice was soft and disbelieving. Jude nodded, quite pleased with himself. "Wow...that's really...nice." She said, tilting her head and looking the boy over. He was her age also and there was something she liked about him. He looked on the outside like everyone else but in his eyes there was a difference. He seemed to have at least a little bit of adventure in him even if he was too shy to really show it. He had proved it by running after her. She stood in silence considering him while he squirmed under her stare. Maybe he was worth taking with her to the grotto. Peeking over her shoulder on both sides, Lillian smiled at him. "How do you feel about pirates?" She asked quite suddenly. Jude's expression twisted in surprise but he too smiled even if it was just a little bit. "...I...think that they're exciting..." He whispered. "Even if my Mother doesn't think so." The boy added on quickly. Lillian's smile widened. "Good, because I have something to show you...come with me." And taking her new friend's hand quickly she started to pull him with her down the side of the sandy beach towards her secret place hidden away in the face of the rock. "You can't tell a soul though..." Lillian whispered secretively. "Because I've got pirate treasure."

Thursday, 2 August 2012

New Chapters and Celebrating 125 Years of News on PEI

Hoy Mates!

This week will prove to be an exciting one for both Ontario and PEI's chapters, you can read them in your newspapers and online. Congratulations to Ontario, this week you can read the fifth chapter of Red Shores and Pirate Anchors which means you are half way through the story.

Have you every swashbuckled with your shadow like Lillian or imagined you were on a Ghost Ship like the one Jude visited? Maybe you were brought to the ship by a mermaid or even are using a magical sword enchanted by a half-way person...the possibilites are endless!

Check out your new chapters here:

Ontario, you can read your chapter here: "The Ghost Captain"

PEI, you can read your chapter here: "Swashbuckling Duo"



Today I was at a special event to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of The Guardian Newspaper! Can you imagine what the news would be like 125 years ago? It was pretty amazing! There were all sorts of things happening locally and because there was no such thing as internet the newspaper would be how people could find out what was happening all over the world! I brought back a photo of  an early issue of The Guardian to show you.



...And I even got into my newsboy cap to be in the spirit of the event!