The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel

It’s Gonna Be A Best-Seller…

Starting back in the summer of 2010, I started babysitting two boys. I only watch them during the summer as both of their parents work while the kids are at school, which is nice. They’re one of the few families that actually have the parents home when the kids are home that I know of.

So this is the third summer I’m watching them. The oldest, Jack, is now 13 and the youngest, Sam, is 11. The oldest has ADD while the youngest has ADD and a touch of Autism. They get along really well, but…you know, they’re brothers. Despite their special needs, Jack is actually capable of being home alone for a few hours and watching his little brother. However, he torments poor Sam half of the time. So instead of actually “babysitting” I get paid to “referee.” And it’s funny because last summer was horrible, but Jack has actually matured with age…for a boy. I honestly don’t think I need to be there. But I love hanging out with the two of them, so why not?

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to talk about what Sam wants me to do. We drove my cousin and her friend to their swimming lesson a few weeks ago. The swim lesson was only a half hour long so we stayed there to watch. Sam had his Nintendo DS and his Pokemon to keep himself company. I planned on playing my game, but I found myself caught up in watching the kids swim. But somehow Sam got a hold of my iPod and was looking at my calendar.

“Camp NoNoWr…what?” Sam stammered to read my July entries.

“Camp NaNoWriMo. It stands for National Novel Writing Month.” I laughed at his pronunciation and corrected him.

Of course, Sam has no idea what that is. So I explained the whole thing to him simply. Judging by the look on his face, he wasn’t all that impressed.

“Geez, Rachel…I knew you were a geek, but I didn’t think you were that much of a geek.” he scoffed.

Honestly, I was kind of surprised at how offended I got. Of course I was laughing, but I never really thought writing would be categorized as being a geek. That was certainly the first time I heard that, but I just don’t think Sam knew what to think about it.

“Hey, it’s writing. Writing is my career.” I replied and he stared at me funny. “Well…I want it to be my career. I want to be an author someday…sooner rather than later, I mean. NaNo is something that helps me get closer to that goal.”

From the look on Sam’s face, I now had his attention. And he seemed to understand, too. Yet, he was still confused because he knew I’m going to school to be a teacher and he knows I’m a teacher at a preschool. I explained I went to school for teaching as a day job just in case selling books doesn’t bring in enough money. But I am going to get my Bachelor’s in English. Being with children and writing are two of my favorite things to do. I can easily do both and if writing becomes more of a priority…well, my books are all picture books, middle grade, or young adult. It’s still kid stuff. He nodded an approval at my plan.

Then the wheels in his head began to squeak. Then they moved slowly and before I knew it, the rust was dusted off and the wheels were turning five miles per second.

“The Babysitting Adventures of Rachel!” he exclaimed. “You should write a book all about you and me and all the fun we have together! I bet you it will be a big hit!”

I found this amusing. Sam texts me throughout the school year every once in a while and when the summer nears and his mom and I start planning a schedule for me to babysit, he’s always calling me on the phone super excited. His mom tells me he constantly talks about me and she’s so happy by how much he loves me. If the child is not happy about the babysitter, then there’s an issue somewhere. But I was excited that Sam took an interest in my writing and he was trying to help me out. Although, at first I thought it was just him being 11, but then I realized he was serious.

“You can talk about me and you and Chance!” he continued on and on. “I guess Jack can be in there…maybe you can put Jackie and Katherine in there, too.” Then he whispers: “You know, just to be nice.”

–Let me stop to explain for a moment: Chance is his dog, Jack is his brother (as previously mentioned), Jackie is my cousin (the one who was swimming), and Kat is my other cousin (Jackie’s little sister). Continuing on…–

Then I asked a question I shouldn’t have (but I still thought he was joking): “How long should this book be?”

“Um…100 pages!”

Uh…what? Wow, he really thought this through in the past five minutes, didn’t he? Then he stuck out his hand and I shook it.

“What’s this for?” I asked.

“So I know you’ll definitely do it.”

Well, crap. Now I’m stuck. I have an 11-year-old wanting me to write 100 pages all about our fun together. How was I going to pull this one off? He had to be kidding, right? He was probably going to forget about this whole thing by tomorrow, anyway…right?

After I finished babysitting that day I thought long and hard about our conversation. I began laughing to myself and thought: challenge accepted.

A few days later (yes, he remembered), he told me that he wants it to be 256 pages now. Random number, right? I don’t get it, either. However, I did say challenge accepted, but I don’t think I’m going to be able to write that much about us. All we really do is go in the pool, play with the dog, and play Pokemon. Seriously. I’ll make the story 100-256 pages. No less than 100, no more than 256. But I doubt I’ll get to 256 pages.

I realized that I am probably going to make Sam’s life when I write this book. Of course I’m not going to write it ready for publication, but it helped spark a middle grade series idea (with the help of Kris when I told her this story) that I think I am going to write. And who knows? Maybe it will be the “next big thing.”

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Home Alone

Not Really, I Got The Two Dogs, Cat, and Turtle…

Comet is actually being quiet right now…I gave him a bone, that’s why. Chip is whining because I did not give her a bone. The reason for that is because she has about a million bones hidden throughout this house. If she really wants a bone, she can use that tiny powerful nose God gave her and find at least one of the many bones. I know she has at least two…one is buried in my pillow and the other is buried in my blankets. Damn dog. Hunter is howling at absolutely nothing, but I think it’s just too quiet for him…or maybe he thinks he’s home alone. I don’t know why he cries like that. Raph, I think, is finally going into “hibernation mode” like she should have a couple weeks ago when the weather started getting cold, but instead she got more hyper.

She flipped her house over and then began using it as a playground…

Right. She should not be doing that in the fall. However, I noticed that she has been “redecorating” less and has not been trying to walk through the tank glass as much to get out. I think she thinks she can walk through walls. No, instead she has been like this:

On her way into the pool…then she said, “nope” and wasn’t having it.

Yes, she was in that position for a very long time. Of course, as I type this, she is knocking on the glass shouting, “Let me out!” I can’t complain, though. I like working while she’s walking around. I feel as though I have company. This is what it comes down to…I have no friends.

Just kidding, I do. But they’re all at school right now. You wanna know why I’m not at school? I only had one class today and it was cancelled. I am super excited! Not because I was able to sleep in, no, because it was my health class. And my teacher for my health class bites. I mean today we were supposed to meet in the library to do research on our projects. Of course, I’m doing something else that I will not go into because it’s a long story, but to keep it short and sweet, I’m exempt from the project. So I don’t even know what I would be doing, anyway. It would probably have been nothing.

But this is great because now I have the whole day to myself…well, until I have to go to work. But I would much rather be at work than go to school…especially when I have health. What am I to do with myself? I could go some more homework done so I have less to do while working on NaNo. I could work on outlining my NaNo some more. I could clean, I could sing and dance, I could play video games…preferably Pokemon. But I just don’t know because I am just way too excited right now!

Speaking of NaNo, I am outlining Saving Each Other (SEO) and I decided that I might as well write it for NaNo. It’s almost the middle of October and I don’t know how long it will take me to outline SEO plus another novel and then decide between the two. I’m on chapter twelve for SEO and I have no idea how many more chapters there will be.

The other reason as to why I decided to write it for NaNo is because I was thinking a lot about it the other day…well, yesterday. In the shower. I don’t know about any of you people out there, but I do my best thinking when I am in the shower…or trying to sleep. Which is probably why I never actually sleep…huh. Anyway, in the shower I was thinking about the novel and thinking about the outline and realized, “I’m on chapter twelve, but really, nothing’s happened yet.” I mean, let’s face it: at this point, I’ll be on chapter 100 and the plot will just be beginning. Then I realized…what is the plot?

Seriously, I really had to ask myself this question. I honestly had no idea what the plot was. I came up with a cool title, I made up some awesome characters, I even came up with a cover for the novel. But what is the plot? Someone is after them, yes, I understand that. But who? And why? I got nothing. But when I was in the shower, I came up with a wonderful idea. I am not going to tell you what that idea is because I don’t want to give anything away, but…I guess you could say that it’s kind of “cliche” for a fantasy novel. But that’s alright, because I have tricks up my sleeve.

The summary for SEO is in the post right below this one…just so you know. So scroll down. A lot. Or…turn to the last page or something, I don’t really know how my blog works…I never really look at the finished product. I just type, proofread on here and hit “publish.” The summary was something quick I whipped up for you guys. It’s not the “final” summary and still needs a bit of work. Just a warning…

So I still don’t know what I am going to do with myself today, but I know first things first: get some more coffee. I drank it all while writing this. Don’t worry…it’s decaf. We ran out of caffeinated. Boo. 🙁