Getting Out of Bed by Stevie Turner

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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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Good People Are All Around

1This post is by Joe Stephens

I’m so tired I can barely think straight, so I hope this make sense. But the reason I’m so tired is what I want to talk about. I spent today at my school’s fall blood drive. I usually just help with these events, but the person who normally supervises them is in Texas right now, having witnessed the debacle that was the WVU-TCU football game. So, with the help of a few folks that covered my classes and a couple others who came and worked when they could, I was the shepherd of the Student sleeping, bed, covers, pillows, arm, handCouncil blood drive committee. It was a long but satisfying day.

It started with us getting tables and chairs and putting out refreshments to finish setting up the gym where the drive would take place. Much of that had been done by my good friend Michelle Swisher the night before. Michelle also covered most of my classes so I could work in the gym all day. Soon after, the Red Cross van arrived and the kids jumped in hauling boxes and crates with no prompting whatever. The Red Cross folks pointed out where to put things and the kids did all the heavy lifting without a cross word.

Once the drive started, donors were greeted by students who checked them in. Once each donation was complete, other students escorted donors from the donation area to the canteen, where they handed them off to still other volunteers who got them drinks and snacks and watched over them to make sure no one had any ill effects from giving blood. There were also people carrying the donated blood from the donor tables to the area where it was cataloged and stored.

Throughout the day, when something needed done, I was never short of more than one volunteer. They sought out custodians, delivered items to the office, fetched drinks–whatever needed done. And always with a smile.

At the end of the day, it was all done in reverse. Refill the truck, take the tables and chairs back, and clean up the canteen. And again, not a word of complaint from anyone. In fact, almost every single one of the students thanked me for helping them. Sometimes it’s easy to generalize and say today’s teenagers are self-absorbed, shallow brats. But anyone who says that just needs to come to one of these events and they’ll see it’s just not true. These kids make me confident that we’re not in as bad a shape as a lot of people think in this country.

So, to all you kids in the Parkersburg High School Student Council, here’s to you. I’m proud of you and I’m sure your other teachers are too.

Joe Stephens is a teacher at Parkersburg High School. He is also the author of Harsh Prey, Kisses and Lies, and the recently released In the Shadow, all of which are available in paperback and Kindle formats. The paperback may be purchased from Createspace, Amazon, and most online booksellers. In the real world, you may purchase from J & M Used Book Store in Parkersburg and from the author’s trunk.

ITS Cover ArtCheck out his newest book on Amazon

kindle cover

Take a look at Harsh Prey on Amazon 

Kisses and Lies Cover Michele croppedTake a look at Kisses and Lies on Amazon

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Check out joe’s website.

More Than There Was Before

Posted by Kathy Waller
When you reread a classic you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than was there before.  ~ Clifton Fadiman

An 1870 oil painting by Ford Madox Brown depic...
An 1870 oil painting by Ford Madox Brown depicting Romeo and Juliet’s famous balcony scene (Photo credit: Wikipedia). Ford Madox Brown [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The first few years I studied Romeo and Juliet with my high school freshmen, when I was in my early twenties, I followed the Star-Cross’d Lovers school of thought: Romeo and Juliet, two innocents, their eyes meet across a crowded room, she teaches the torches to burn bright, he’s the god of her idolatry, he wants to be a glove upon her hand, she wants to cut him out in little stars–but the cruel world conspires to bring them down. The way Juliet’s father tells her to thank him no thankings nor proud him no prouds but get to that church on Thursday next and marry Paris or he’ll drag her on a hurdle thither–what kind of father says that to a thirteen-year-old girl? Parents don’t listen. The kids might be a little quick to act, and goodness knows Romeo should have waited to talk to Friar Laurence before buying that poison. But who can expect patience of such romantic souls? A sad story indeed.

When I hit thirty, and had several years of teaching under my belt, I shifted to the What Can You Expect When Teenagers Behave Like Brats? philosophy: Romeo and Juliet, a couple of kids in a hurry, he doesn’t even bother to drop in on his family, just runs off to crash Capulet’s party, proposes to a girl before the first date, insists on a jumped-up wedding, then gets himself kicked out of the city, and he still hasn’t been home for dinner. She mouths off to her father, tells him what she will and will not do, and he’s just told her what a nice husband he’s picked out for her. I mean, if you were a parent and your daughter spoke to you in that tone of voice, would you pat her hand and ask what’s wrong, or would you remind

her who’s boss here? If Romeo had just gone home in the first place, like any decent boy would have, instead of running off with his friends, this mess wouldn’t have occurred. In fact, since Old Montague and Old Capulet had that very afternoon been sworn to keep the peace, they might have arranged a marriage between Romeo and Juliet–formed an alliance that way–and the whole of Verona would have lived happily ever after, and Montague would have been spared the expense of a gold Juliet statue. Paris might have been a little put out at being jilted, but he’d have gotten over it. Kids! They don’t think.

When I hit forty, however, I discovered the dogma of the Meddlesome Priest. Friar Laurence has no business performing a secret marriage between two minors without parental consent.

He says he wants to promote peace, but he isn’t a diplomat. His field is pharmacology. Furthermore, when Juliet informs him she’s about to acquire an extra husband, why doesn’t he go right then to Old Capulet and tell the man she’s married? Capulet wouldn’t have been pleased, but he’d have gotten over it. Instead, the Friar gives Juliet a sedative and stuffs her into a tomb with a passel of relatives in varying stages of disrepair. The man appears to mean well, but it’s also possible he intends to take credit for being the brains behind the peace accords. Bunglesome or corrupt–the end is the same. With role models like this, are we surprised that children run amok?

Soon after the last epiphany, I became a librarian and ended my stint as a classroom teacher. I’ve since wondered what would have happened if I’d continued studying Romeo and Juliet year after year. Would I have had new insights? Developed new interpretations? Uncovered new layers of meaning?

How much more would I have found in Shakespeare’s words? How much more would I have shared with my charges?

Would I have continued to teach them respect and reverence? Would I have led them down the primrose path of dalliance and left them mired in levity?

How much more would I have shown my students?

How much more would I have seen in myself?


Kathy Waller blogs at To Write Is to Write Is to Write, at Austin Mystery Writers, and at Sisters in Crime ~ Heart of Texas Chapter.

This post originally appeared on Kathy’s first blog, Whiskertips, which she abandoned when William and Ernest wrested control and turned it completely cat-centric.

Communication Breakdown

Jennifer FlatenThis post by Jennifer Flaten

My son and I needed to buy birthday presents for the girls, so we all loaded up in the car and headed for the mall. We left the girls in Barnes & Nobel with strict instructions to stay there or if they got sick of the bookstore (what’s the chance of that), they could go into the food court.


English: Inside the food court.
English: Inside the food court. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


After leaving the girls in the Teen New Release section, we headed off to find the perfect gift for them. My son already knew what he wanted to get them, earrings. So, we headed off to Claire’s, the same shop that pierced the girls’ ears.

Claire’s was a bust, not because my son couldn’t find anything for the girls, but because the one clerk at the store was piercing someone’s ears so there was no one to ring us up. Since I had no desire to wait in that glittering palace of junk jewelry, we left in search of another store that sold girlie stuff.

Having to go to several other stores instead of just one meant the girls were waiting for us a little longer than I originally planned, still I wanted to make one more stop. I really wanted to get them a cute T-shirt to give them along with their birthday money.

As my son and I entered the last store, I commented that we were running behind and I expected the girls were getting agitated. No sooner had the words left my mouth than I got a text from my oldest. She wanted to know where we were. I texted back that we were almost done.

She texted back a grumbly “You better be, we’re bored.”

I hustled us through the store looking for the perfect shirts, but didn’t have any luck. We hurried back to the bookstore.

At the bookstore, I expected to see the girls milling by the front door. Hmm. Okay, not there. I texted my daughter asking for her location. No response.

Maybe they got thirsty and went to the food court. My son and I did a lap around the food court. Nothing. Walked through the whole bookstore-again nothing.

Now, I am getting agitated. I call my daughter it rings and rings. I hang up and try again. Same thing it keeps ringing. I do another lap around the food court and the bookstore. The whole time I am hitting redial on my phone.

I am frustrated and seriously considered standing in the middle of the bookstore and shouting their names (come one what parent hasn’t wanted to do that?)

Deciding I would rather not be banned for life from the bookstore, I decide to take one slower walk around the bookstore. Lo and behold, I spot the girls tucked into a corner of the children’s section. I approach them and see them fully engrossed in their books.

I come up beside them and tap my oldest on the shoulder. She looks all surprised to see me. I tell her I’ve looked everywhere for her AND I’ve called and texted her a dozen times.

She flushes and scrambles for her purse. Apparently, she couldn’t feel her phone vibrate from the depths of her purse. I just shake my head and tell them it is time to go home.

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