Update Non Fiction, Based on True Story 3/10/15

Word count 31k,  21 chapters so far; 7 put to bed,  10 scenes remaining to write. I have the title for the story now, but it’s a secret until I get a copy off to the LOC. And yes, I’ve checked and nobody else has it mwahahaha 🙂

 

Update Non Fiction, Based on True Story 11/16/2014

Update Non Fiction, Based on True Story & Sneak Peek 11/16/2014

Word Count : approx. 20,000 not including completed ending

Have merged notes into scenes. Currently developing scenes and merging them into chapters. Chapter 1 – 4 have been created.

Snippet, unedited, Editing will be done after the chapters are created and before merging with the finished completed ending:

The Capture:

“I’m hungry Lissie” five-year-old Janey whimpered. “Me too” I said just fourteen months older than she. I don’t remember when Mommy left or when she was coming back. I went to the pantry just off of the little kitchen and found some Puffs of Rice. I looked in the refrigerator for milk, but there wasn’t any. I poured what was left of the cereal into two bowls and stood on a kitchen chair and proceeded to add water from the faucet when I saw something move. Blocking my sister’s view, I picked out as many of the little creatures as I could, focusing mostly on the ones that moved.
Darkness filled the house as the evening set in; still no Mommy. The lights didn’t work. Janey and I hid in the bathroom just in case one of Mommy’s friends made a visit. Crouched with our backs against the cold porcelain bathtub, we held onto each other securely. Too afraid to move in case one of her friends happened by, a stream of warm liquid gradually seeped from beneath us merging together to form of a large puddle in the middle of the floor.
Morning found us still painfully crouched against the tub. We were startled awake by the sound of the school bell ringing in the distance. Not knowing if it was the bell for breakfast or for class—no longer afraid of a visitor—I hurriedly went in search of some clothes for us. I brushed both of our hair and we ran out the door. Thankfully the school was practically in our back yard, separated by a somewhat busy street that divided the projects into north and south sections. We barely made it in time for the free hot breakfast that awaited us. Janey cried when we made it to the table.
When school was over we arrived home not to find Mommy, but a large white sedan with two strangers, one man and one lady, who beckoned for us—in phony voices like one would call to a stray cat—to come with them. She’d done it, just like she said she would so many times, we had finally gotten on her nerves for the last time; Mommy had given us away.
They were surprised by the condition of the two little girls that approached them. They were quite tiny; obviously malnourished, they wore faded, stained and filthy shift dresses that were at least a size too small, their hair was raggedy and dirty, and the skin on their arms and legs looked tan at first glance but as they got closer it was obvious that it was caked on dirt that gave them their Sunkist look. The scabs from unhealed wounds on their legs was more than they could take and they made their move.
Fearing their intentions, I grabbed Janey’s hand and bolted for the house.
I cried out for Mommy. But she didn’t answer. The strangers followed us into the house. They cornered my sister and me. With barbaric swiftness they lunged for us. Captured like wild animals we were carried kicking and screaming, and only released once inside the security cage of the backseat of their car.
Janey and I held onto each other for dear life as the strangers got in the front seat. We drove for a long time and then stopped at a great big brick building. The lady opened up the back door and told us that our mom was inside and to come with them. We were taken to a row of chairs where we were told to sit and wait.
Frightened, yet easily distracted and entertained by the chaos that surrounded us.
A bed with wheels, pushed by two policemen, a nurse, and a doctor, barreled through some swinging metal doors. Everyone was yelling instructions to the other about the man’s condition; he had a knife wound.
“BP’s 140 over 90, tachy at 160; minimal blood loss considering the chest laceration; gave him 300 cc’s of saline” Shouted the nurse to the doctor.
“God, it hurts!” yelled the man in the bed.
“Give him 60 of Toredol, don’t want to mix morphine with beer.” said the doctor.
As they rushed past us a scraggily old man weaved his way up to a busy desk of ringing telephones and more people giving orders.
“My chest…” The man barely whispered.
A nurse yelled for someone to get a gurney and then quickly rushed him away.
From somewhere down another hall my thoughts of where they might be taking the man were interrupted by the fearful vulgar screams of a hysterical woman.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up; I recognized that cry.
Suddenly the woman appeared before me, escorted on either side by two policemen.
Our eyes locked, “Lissie!” Mommy yelled. “Help me!” Her desperate pleas echoed off the walls.
She kicked and screamed violently for them to let her go.
She outstretched her arms, her face contorted in agony, “Lissie!” “Lissie!” she cried, tears streaming down her cheeks.
The policemen held onto her firmly as she purposely hung limp by her elbows, fighting even harder to pry herself from their hold.
I ran screaming and flailing toward the policemen, “Mommy!” but was quickly intercepted by a hospital staff. Writhing like a snake, kicking and screaming, I could not break free from my captures.
Blinded by hot tears, I stretched my arms out for her to save me as the mean ol’ policemen continued to drag her away.
“Mommy” I continued to scream “Mommy! I’ll be good, I promise! Mommy!”
And then she disappeared through a pair of metal swinging doors, just like the kind at the grocery store; the echoes of her cries still etched forever in my memory.

Progress Non Fiction, Based on True Story 7/31/14

Non Fiction, Based on True Story

I started drafting the missing first half of my autobiography June 1, 2014. Knowing there are 60,000 words already written for the last half of my story, finishing the first half is not so daunting.

Thankfully I had compiled a lot of notes for this part of my story, intending to incorporate it into a fiction murder mystery, that book is permanently dismantled.

I am using Microsoft OneNote to keep my story organized.

As of today, I have just about finished dictating all my notes, and listing and categorizing scenes, there are 30 so far and my word count is 15,000.

I have developed some scenes per my muse’s persistence.

Here is an unedited sneak peek for today:

Mommy was different and I didn’t like to be around her anymore and certainly not around her new friends. In fact, after the fire, I don’t remember her being with us for the remainder of my childhood, even though she was present, I don’t remember actually seeing her. Perhaps it was because I made every effort to make myself invisible.  After school and on weekends I’d disappear for most of the day. Come rain or shine, I’d wander around the projects until it was nearly dark in search of something to do.  I knew the north end of the projects so well that I could have walked it backwards, not bad for a first grader. I knew who lived in what house, if they had pets, a cat or dog, what kind of toys they had, when they ate dinner and what they ate, what kind of car they had if they had one, if they had a mom and a dad and if they had fights. I knew these things by playing around the different houses, climbing on their garbage enclosures, and pretending that I was invisible just to watch the family that lived inside. Sometimes I invited myself in for a snack and Hanna Barbara cartoons. Every family was different, but none were like mine.

Sometimes I’d stop at the rec center to play on the monkey bars and to fish out an empty bottle from the garbage can to use to catch a pollywog in the pond across from the school. If I couldn’t find a bottle I would just chase the pollywogs and skeeter bugs until I grew bored. Once in a while a school friend would join me. Other times I’d stop at the Laundromat and hop around on the money machines until a coin popped out and then take it next door to the little store and buy as much candy as my coin would allow. Sometimes I’d sneak under the fence around the back of the little store and climb onto the roof of the Laundromat, the edge of the roof was nearly equal to the ground which allowed me to easily step onto it.  I liked being on the roof and could have stayed there all day.

Some days, after the project workers had gone home, I’d go to one of the houses they had been fixing and climb up on the pallets of wood they had left behind. The wood was a pretty yellow color, like my hair, it felt soft beneath my feet and smelled really good. On rainy days, if there was plastic covering the wood, I’d take it off and make a fort with it. If there were new windows put on the house there was sure to be fresh clay to play with. That day I’d take some and make a clay family to play with inside of the fort.  Of all the things I found to do, my most favorite was to pop tar bubbles on warm summer days. The biggest and gooiest were the ones closest to the curbside.  While trekking through the projects, I’d search high and low for that illusive monster tar bubble. And once I found one, I’d cuddle up nice and close to the curb so a car would hit me and work at it until it popped a black sticky ooze, it was almost as gratifying as picking off a stubborn scab, I knew a thing or two about scabs, I had lots of them, or getting a big booger unstuck from my nose, always had some of those to keep me busy too if I didn’t have the other things to pop or pick at.

I never got lost, except for the one time we went with Mommy and her friend to her house in Ballard. This lady was meaner than the slipper lady. She was as round as she was tall with short red hair and meaty freckled fists. She had no tolerance for back talk and with only a brief warning by an evil eye, if you were within reach, out would come one of her meaty fists and POW she’d haul off and smack you right in the kisser before you even knew what had hit you. In addition to Mommy, I also learned to stay out of her reach. It was inevitable though that she’d catch me and my smart mouth eventually. Not paying attention one day, I accidently happened to cross her path, faster than a frog’s tongue, out came one of her meaty claws and she snatched me by the roots of my hair and smacked me with her other meaty fist;  and boy you better not cry or she’d sure give you something else to cry about.  Yeah, I learned to be ever vigilant when she was around. I especially didn’t like how she was always giving Mommy advice about how to control her heathens. I didn’t know what one was, but coming from her I figured it probably wasn’t something good. I hoped Mommy wasn’t listening because I definitely didn’t want her to make Mommy as mean as she was

The mean red haired lady’s boys were no angels either. One time they talked my sister and me into going to the beach with them while our mothers visited. Janey and I walked alongside them as they rode their bikes, peddling slowly they kept time with our steps , that is until we got to the busy street,  and then they  took off suddenly as fast as their bikes could take them, leaving Janey and I alone, stunned and afraid. It was hot. There was no shade. The sun beat down on our heads. A hot dry wind blew over us as cars zoomed back and forth in front of us. Janey began to cry. I took her hand and we walked back towards the way we came, but the streets and houses all looked the same. I looked Janey in the eyes, “If we are ever going to get home sister we are going to have to find someone to help us. I will walk on this side of the street and you walk on that side and knock on every door until someone answers. Tell them we are lost and our mother is at the house of the fat lady with red hair and two mean boys.” Janey nodded and proceeded across the quiet little street to the first house.  It seemed as if no one was home that day.  Tears welled in my eyes as I approached the last house. Thankfully, a nice old lady answered and invited me in. She called the police. When they arrived they had me sit in the back of their car as they searched for my sister. Apparently, Janey had found a ride with a mailman who knew of the lady she had described. The policemen put two and two together and were able to get me to the right house as well. I don’t need to describe the punishment that ensued after they left, just to say that my legs and butt stung for a long time afterward.  As far as I know, the boys were never punished.

On summer nights Mommy’s friends took us along for car rides.   Although they were long rides and often included many stops, we knew we would eventually end up at Alki beach for a bon fire. When summoned for a car ride I’d excitedly flip the front seat forward, hop in onto the big long back seat, and, if it were just my sister and me, stretch out on the cold leather to watch the passing street lights twinkle like stars as we drove, getting lost in the music that played on the radio, the song City of New Orleans and The Night Chicago Died were among my favorites. But when other kids went along for the ride, it wasn’t as fun, it was too crowded to lie down or hear the music. Because it was hot, we usually wore nothing more than shorts or panties so everyone in the crowded back seat was hot and sticky, a sure fire mix for a few heated arguments of “Stop touching me!” When we became really unruly the adults would flip their beer bottle tops with pictures on them to the back seat, inviting a ritualistic banging of heads as we’d all dive at once to be the first to grab one. And just when one of us started crying and a smack down was about to begin, another flying bottle cap would magically appear; sometimes we’d fake it just to get more caps.  The bottle cap picture puzzles kept our young illiterate minds entertained while the adults made their stops.  After being confined to the backseat, which sometimes seemed forever, the beach was always our ultimate reward. The adults made huge bon fires in which they’d sit around drinking beer, singing and laughing.  A portable radio blared folk music and someone always strummed along on a guitar.  Hot dogs and marshmallows were roasted and we kids would run amuck totally unsupervised until we were corralled into the backseat of the car once again to head for home.   Stuffed and exhausted, we’d sleep the entire drive only to awaken in the morning with most of the menu still on our faces.

If we weren’t going to the beach after a long car ride, we’d go to the drive in.  Once we arrived and were let loose we’d descend upon the playground like a plague; I’m sure our wild cacophony was disturbing to some.  I didn’t like the drive in movies, they were always scary. I remember one that had a giant spider that some people got lost in and another one that had monsters. Ignoring the movies, there was always a friend to be found to play on the teeter totter with and who would share their hot dog or popcorn and whose mom was nice and would give us chips and Kool-Aid. Like the beach, we were not summoned until we were corralled into the backseat of the car. Although we were with adults, it always seemed as if we were alone; the trips to the beach are of my favorite childhood memories.

 

 

Non Fiction, Based on True Story- Backcover

“Elise is a born writer.” –Alan J. Kaufman, Esq. Publishing Attorney

“This is Elise Crawford’s first book; however, she writes with the skill of a seasoned author. Her powerful description and willingness to show her own mistakes, weaknesses and fears make this a wonderfully inspiring read. Impossible to put down or forget, I highly recommend this book.” – Excerpt from review by William R. Potter for Reader’s Choice Reviews

“Elise Crawford’s story personalizes one crime against society as well as any book or journalistic piece I have ever read. Crawford does not lay out the facts of her story in a foreboding manner, or with any hint of self-pity, but with tenderness and brevity. I commend Elise Crawford for writing her story. There can be nothing left for this humble reviewer but to recommend this book to all adult readers; not just to those who may have had, or are currently going through a similar tragedy, but to all people. This inspirational story will help some of us to uncover in our hearts what we know is already there – true compassion for our fellow man.” – Excerpt from review by Jeffrey B. Allen, Gone Away into the Land

“With just a few well-chosen words, Elise can draw out the readers’ emotions, making them laugh, cry with her in her pain, and suffer the hurt that comes with a test of faith.  As a writer, I was amazed when I found tears running down my cheeks, wetting my shirt and laughing so hard my sides hurt with just a few words. This is a must read for anyone! – Donald Drake, The Chronicles of the Kings of Randor

                                                                                                        

“I’m hungry Lissie” five-year-old Janey whimpered. “Me too” I said just fourteen months older than she. I don’t remember when Mommy left or when she was coming back. I went to the pantry just off of the little kitchen and found some Puffs of Rice. I looked in the refrigerator for milk, but there wasn’t any. I poured what was left of the cereal into two bowls and stood on a kitchen chair and proceeded to add water from the faucet when I saw something move. Blocking my sister’s view, I picked out as many of the little creatures as I could, focusing mostly on the ones that moved.

Darkness filled the house as the evening set in; still no Mommy. The lights didn’t work. Janey and I hid in the bathroom just in case one of Mommy’s friends made a visit. Crouched with our backs against the cold porcelain bathtub, we held onto each other securely. Too afraid to move in case one of her friends happened by, a stream of warm liquid gradually seeped from beneath us merging together to form of a large puddle in the middle of the floor.

Morning found us still painfully crouched against the tub. We were startled awake by the sound of the school bell ringing in the distance. Not knowing if it was the bell for breakfast or for class—no longer afraid of a visitor—I hurriedly went in search of some clothes for us. I brushed both of our hair and we ran out the door. Thankfully the school was practically in our back yard, separated by a somewhat busy street that divided the projects into north and south sections. We barely made it in time for the free hot breakfast that awaited us.  Janey cried when we made it to the table.

When school was over we arrived home not to find Mommy, but a large white sedan with two strangers who beckoned for us—in phony voices like one would call to a stray cat—to come with them.  Fearing their intentions, I grabbed Janey’s hand and bolted for the house. I cried out for Mommy. But she didn’t answer. The strangers followed us into the house. They cornered my sister and me. With barbaric swiftness they lunged for us. Captured like wild animals we were carried kicking and screaming, and only released once inside the security cage of the backseat of their car.

This Non Fiction, Based on True Story promises to be the most empowering true story you’ll ever read.

The Stellar Jay

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Mark’s judgment day probably went something like this. God said, “Your minor transgressions will be redeemed if and only if you bring Elise and her children to salvation.” Mark probably laughed, “Ha, but how am I to do that? You know how stubborn she is. She doesn’t believe in you and never will.” God probably replied, “You will find a way; unless you want to remain in this in between world for all eternity.” Mark most certainly did not. He knew the only way to reach her was through animals. Banking on the stories he had told her about animal spirituality, he sent a Stellar Jay to watch over her for the rest of her days.  A witnessed phenomenon, this spirit bird watches over her vigilantly, no matter where she moves, come rain or shine, he is always nearby. This is just one of many amazing stories of how Mark has worked from the other side to prove that God exists and that led me and my children to our family baptism, Easter 2004.

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