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How A Story Is Written

Boys In The News

I was recently honored to be invited to the 10th annual "Young Southern Student Writers" awards ceremony at the Chattanooga Tivoli Theatre to see students awarded for their writing. Chapman Peeples, a Georgia writer was among those being awarded. The Young Southern Student Writers awards is a project of the Arts & Education Council and the Department of English - The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Congratulations Chapman!

 Chapman Peeples with Vicki

......At the Tivoli theatre

writer Chapman Peeples accepts his award...


...for short story "Texas Treasure"

"Texas Treasure"
Chapman Peeples

Seventy years ago there were four kids. Their names were John, Samantha, Ryan, and Kate. The four of them went to school together in Houston, Texas and were best friends. They would go over to John's after school or on the weekends to play. John lived on a farm where the kids slip away easily from the adults sight.

One day while they were playing out in the woods, Kate fell into a huge hole, which leads to a cave. When she did not answer, John, Ryan and Samantha followed her into the hole. After crawling for a while, they realized that it lead into a cave. Kate was in the cave studying a map on the wall. Right when John saw the map, he realized it was his grandfather's secret treasure map. Samantha was always the handy one, and she happened to have a pencil and paper with her. She copied down the map from the drawing on the wall.

Ryan and Kate really wanted to go back home, but John and Samantha wanted to go on an adventure and talked them into going. The map trail took them to the pasture behind John's house. They had to crawl through the tall grass because they did not want his parents to see them. Then, they had to cross a creek by balancing on a fallen tree. Ryan slipped off right before he made it to the other side, getting his boots and jeans wet and muddy. John, Samantha and Kate had to pull him out because his boots were stuck down in the mud. Once they got him out and cleaned up a little, they realized the map was leading them to an old, abandoned barn. It was dark and dusty inside the barn. John and Ryan told them to spread out and start looking f or the treasure, but the girls still followed closely behind. After searching the whole upstairs and main floor, they found a cellar door under some bales of hay.

John went down the creaky stairway first, followed by Ryan, Kate and Samantha. It was almost too dark to see, and the kids were about to head back to the house for dinner, when Samantha backed up and fell over a huge wooden chest. She yelled for the others to come and see if it was what they had been looking for. They tried to open it, but there was a huge lock on the chest and they could not get it open. They drug it up the stairs and found an old horse shoe hammer to bust it open. Everyone stepped back while Ryan took a few hacks at it. Finally, the lock flew off and dust went everywhere. When the air cleared, they lifted the lid of the chest and saw what John's grandfathers map had led them to. Gold coins were everywhere. They jumped up and ran back over the log, through the pasture and back to John's house to tell his parents. John's father did not believe them at first, until Samantha showed him the map that she had copied. In a second, John's father jumped into his truck and rode to the old barn. John's father divided the money in half, giving the kids equal amounts and keeping the other half for the family.

The next day at school, the four kids told all of their friends about their adventure and what they had found. John spent his money on a horse. Ryan, no doubt, bought him a new pair of boots. Samantha saved her money for college. And Kate got herself a new vest and a cowboy hat. John's family rebuilt the old barn with part of their share of the treasure.

"Writers Are Readers"

It's been said that to write one book, one must read a thousand. It's also been said that with sports, the internet, computer games and busier lifestyles, not as many boys are reading books. Kyle Crowell of Rainsville, AL is a young man laying that myth to rest. Kyle is involved in sports and was recently awarded a trophy for 6th Grade Top AR Point Earner.

When interviewed Kyle had this to say:

Vicki: What books have you read and what are your favorites?

Kyle: Too many to count. I have been reading the entire school year. My favorites are: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince, The Man In The Iron Mask, Inkheart, and Eragon.

Vicki: What genre is your favorite?

Kyle: Fantasy and war.

Vicki: How many books did you read to win?

Kyle: I'm not sure. I reached 273 points.

Vicki: Can you tell me more about the award?

Kyle: I received a trophy with a genie lamp on top. The inscription has my school name and says "Kyle Crowell - 6th grade" - "Top AR Point Earner."

Vicki: Why do you like to read?

Kyle: I enjoy reading books due to the mystery of them - what happens next in the plot, what happens with the characters, and the enjoyment of a great ending.

Vicki: Great job Kyle, keep up the good work - next, you'll be writing a novel!

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Contact Information

Email to....:vmoss@livingwaterfiction.com