Getting Out of Bed by Stevie Turner

Writing Wranglers and Warriors
welcomes a new blogger,
Stevie Turner
Posted by Stevie Turner

For all of you living with stroppy teenagers, I thought I’d tell you of the time back in 1995 when my then 13 year old son Leon was at his worst…

Leon never wanted to get out of bed in the mornings.  On school days it was the devil of a job getting him out of the door.  He would lie in bed later and later.  All the shouting and cajoling had no effect.

It got to the stage where my husband had to physically lift him out of bed and put him in the car, still in his pyjamas.  He would then get dressed in the car as my husband drove him to school.  He would have had no breakfast, as he had refused to get out of bed.

This carried on for some months, until I returned to work.  I made an arrangement with another mother that my husband would take their daughter to school along with Leon, and she would bring Leon home at the end of the day, where my mum would be waiting for him.

On the evening before I went back to work I warned Leon that we would be taking one of his female classmates to school, and that he needed to get out of bed earlier in order to get dressed.  Did it work?  No… it did not.

There was Leon sitting half asleep in the car in his pyjamas, and a dainty teenage girl sitting on the back seat trying not to grin.  Of course he now couldn’t get dressed because the girl was watching, and so he turned up for school in his pyjamas.  He had to run into the boys’ toilets, get dressed, and then bring his pyjamas out to my husband who was waiting in the car.

Funnily enough that was the first and last time he ever went to school in his PJ’s, and he never had any trouble getting out of bed after that.  Now I have to laugh when he complains that his own teenage daughter won’t get out of bed in the mornings!



Stevie Turner works part-time as a medical secretary in a busy NHS hospital, and writes suspense, women’s fiction, and humorous novels in her spare time. She won a New Apple Book Award in 2014 and a Readers’ Favorite Gold Award in 2015 for her book ‘A House Without Windows’, and one of her short stories was published in the Creative Writing Institute’s 2016 anthology ‘Explain!’.

Stevie lives in the East of England, and is married with two sons and four grandchildren. She has also branched out into the world of audio books, screenplays, and translations. Most of her novels are now available as audio books, and one screenplay, ‘For the Sake of a Child’, won a silver award in the Spring 2017 Depth of Field International Film Festival. It is now being read by a New York media production company.

Stevie can be contacted at the following email address:

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A Scrap of Plaid

0kathy-blogPosted by Kathy Waller

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Fellow Writer and Wrangler Nancy Jardine recently shared a picture of a beautiful plaid dress that reminded me of an old remnant of fabric saved from my childhood. I retrieved it, wrinkled but intact, from my mother’s cedar chest.

The fall I turned eleven, my grandfather–my father’s father, whom we called Dad–gave her money to buy me a birthday present. She purchased this wool plaid to make a pleated skirt for me. When I was sixteen, she remade the skirt into an A-line skirt and a weskit.


Opening the package at breakfast was a bittersweet experience, because Dad had died unexpectedly the afternoon before. Mother told me she’d chosen the fabric because the blue reminded her of the color of his eyes.

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MOW cover - amazon pix

Kathy Waller blogs at Telling the Truth–Mainly
and at Austin Mystery Writers.
Two of her stories appear in
Murder on Wheels: 11 Stories of Crime on the Move. 




“Use the right word…”: Mark Twain’s Mother


by Kathy Waller

I wrote the following for my personal blog nearly a year ago. Rereading it today, I decided it’s worth sharing again–not for my words, but for those of Jane Clemens. She must have been an exceptional woman, and she reared and exceptional son.


Mark Twain chose his words carefully: Pa’s boot with a couple of his toes leaking out of the front end; a sow lying in the middle of the street, looking as happy as if she was on salary; and Miss Watson, a tolerable slim old maid, with goggles on.

The difference between the almost right word and the right word,” he wrote, “is really a large matter – ’tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.

And, “Use the right word, not its second cousin.”

In his autobiography, he tells the story of a time his mother used the right words to teach him a lesson that lasted a lifetime.



There was, however, one small incident of my boyhood days which touched this matter, and it must have meant a good deal to me or it would not have stayed in my memory, clear and sharp, vivid and shadowless, all these slow-drifting years. We had a little slave boy whom we had hired from some one, there in Hannibal. He was from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and had been brought away from his family and his friends, half way across the American continent, and sold. He was a cheery spirit, innocent and gentle, and the noisiest creature that ever was, perhaps. All day long he was singing, whistling, yelling, whooping, laughing – it was maddening, devastating, unendurable. At last, one day, I lost all my temper, and went raging to my mother, and said Sandy had been singing for an hour without a single break, and I couldn’t stand it, and wouldn’t she please shut him up. The tears came into her eyes, and her lip trembled, and she said something like this—

“Poor thing, when he sings, it shows that he is not remembering, and that comforts me; but when he is still, I am afraid he is thinking, and I cannot bear it. He will never see his mother again; if he can sing, I must not hinder it, but be thankful for it. If you were older, you would understand me; then that friendless child’s noise would make you glad.”

It was a simple speech, and made up of small words, but it went home, and Sandy’s noise was not a trouble to me any more. She never used large words, but she had a natural gift for making small ones do effective work. She lived to reach the neighborhood of ninety years, and was capable with her tongue to the last – especially when a meanness or an injustice roused her spirit.

From “Mark Twain on Slavery, How Religion Is Used to Justify Injustice, and What His Mother Taught Him About Compassion”


MOW cover - amazon pixKathy Waller blogs at Kathy Waller–Telling the Truth, Mainly,* and at Austin Mystery Writers. Her stories have been published in Mysterical-E and in Murder on Wheels: 11 Stories of Crime on the Move (Wildside, 2015).

*(Telling the Truth, Mainly refers to a line from Huckleberry Finn. The blog was formerly named To Write Is to Write Is to Write, an allusion to a quotation from Gertrude Stein. It was a good quotation but a bland title.)

Halloween Memories

This post is by Jennifer Flaten

It was a beautiful Saturday before Halloween and we were visiting my mom. We had a fun-filled afternoon planned, but first there was a little surprise in store for the kids.

Now, they were little, only about 6 and 4 years old and very excited to tell Grandma all about their Halloween costumes and their plans for trick or treating.

They tumbled out of the car and into her house, chattering a mile a minute. After a few very loud minutes, my mom loudly suggested we go downstairs to the basement.

The kids happily zipped downstairs (that’s where Grandma kept the toys). Once downstairs I kept a watchful eye on the kids as they rummaged through all the treasures stored down there.

While my son played with the large toy fire truck, my daughters worked together to unearth the antique red peddle car. Before I knew it, they were zooming around the basement.

My son had just decided to take a ride in the peddle car when my mom exclaimed, “I think I hear something.” Everyone paused and looked over at Grandma.

She said, “There it is again, do you think it could be the Great Pumpkin?”

Three pairs of eyes widened. They rushed over to Grandma and one of the girls asked Grandma if she was sure that it was the Great Pumpkin.

Of course, it was Grandma explained, she’d written a letter to the Great Pumpkin to let him know that the kids would be visiting. He’d written back she said telling her to expect a visit from him.

She pointed up at the casement windows and instructed the kids to look to see if they could spot him.

They practically fell over one another running to the window. They crowded underneath it, peering intently out, hoping to be the first to spot the Great Pumpkin.

Anticipation was high. All of a sudden, puffy bright orange legs appeared. They stopped at the first window and someone yelled, “I see him, I see him. “

Then the legs slowly moved to the next window and so did we following the Great Pumpkins’ progress across the backyard.

A few minutes later, we heard the bang of the back gate and Grandma announced that the Great Pumpkin had left the yard.

She then suggested we go upstairs and outside to see if he had left anything for the kids.

The kids tore up the stairs and outside where they found all sorts of goodies from the Great Pumpkin.

This is absolutely one of my favorite Halloween memories. Anytime, we visit my mom in October, they still ask if we remember the day the Great Pumpkin visited.

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