Young Adult Fiction posted May 29, 2011 Chapters:  ...9 10 -11- 12... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
Tanisha and Spooky are excited about a new club

A chapter in the book Tanisha's Way

A New Direction

by Deejharrington

Tanisha is a sixth graders at a new school. She finds a good friend in an odd looking girl named Spooky, aka Samantha. With the ups and downs of adolescence friendship, they become the best of friends
Monday morning found the girls back to the routine of school. Because Spooky rode the bus and Tanisha walked, they planned to meet on the front steps. Spooky's bus pulled up to the curb and Tanisha was there to greet her. They stood there a moment, talking about the weekend. Suddenly, a bright yellow Mustang convertible took the corner on two wheels and squealed its tires as it stopped in front of the school. Everyone turned to look. A model-like blonde was at the wheel. A boy in the passenger seat  leaned over and gave her a kiss before exiting the car. That boy was Jerome.

The group watching the show oohed and made catcalls. Jerome received a few good natured slaps on the back.
With mouths open, both girls stared at Jerome then at each other. "I guess both of us were out of his league," Spooky remarked. Tanisha started to laugh and was soon joined by her friend. Soon they were both doubled up with laughter. Tanisha wiped a tear from her eye and told her best friend, "I guess that's that."

Shaking their heads, they entered school.  They were in different grades, so they made plans to meet in the Computer Lab sixth hour. It would be easy to get passes to do research on papers they each had been assigned.

Hours one through five went on as usual. By one-fifteen, both girls were at computer stations. Tanisha was supposedly looking for information on WWII and Spooky was searching for the history of the Civil Rights Movement. The announcements blasted on as they worked. "Good afternoon students and teachers. We would like to give a Cougar Roar to our basketball team for beating cross town rivials, the Bloomfield Knights...." The voice continued without much attention from the student body.

Spooky rolled her eyes and said, "Blah, blah, blah." Tanisha giggled but suddenly grabbed her arm and commanded, "Stop, listen!" The announcer was saying,  " Mrs. Penney would like to announce the forming of a creative writing after-school club. All  interested students should sign up in front of room 210 by 3:30 today." The rest of it was  just noise as the girls grabbed their belongings and raced out of the computer lab.

Tanisha and Spooky loved to read, but they had shared their secret love of writing.  Spooky wrote short stories and was working on a novel. Tanisha had written poetry as long as she could remember. They knew Mrs. Penney and thought she was pretty cool. So it was a no-brainer to join the club.

They giggled as they ran to be the first to sign up. They reached Mrs. Penney's room and saw a large colorful sheet of paper on the bulletin board next to the door. It explained that the club would meet on Wednesdays, from 2:30-4:00. A late bus would be provided. The last sentence was underlined and starred, "*Only serious writers are invited to join*"  The girls playfully pushed each other out of the way, to be the first to sign. They must have been making a bit too much noise because Mrs. Penney opened her door. She gave them a stern look and said, "Girls! my class is still in session." They both apologized and quietly signed their names. "Not the best way to start out," Tanisha lamented. Spooky came back with, "We'll dazzle her with our brillance!" They walked down the hall back to the computers, talking excitedly about the club. Tanisha was glad a late bus would take them home. "'Cause there's no way Big Momma would let me walk home that late all alone." Spooky agreed that it made it easier for her, too.

Not much research got accomplished when they got back to class. They were too busy trying to decide whether to bring the things they had already written with them to the first meeting or wait to see how it went. Both decided to wait.

By Wednesday afternoon, Tanisha and Spooky were clock watching and wiggling in their seats. They admitted later, that they didn't remember a thing any of their teachers had said that day. When they reached Mrs. Penney's room, they were surprised to see a few kids already there. Tanisha and Spooky grabbed two seats in the front row.

At exactly 2:30, Mrs. Penney closed her door. She smiled at the group and remarked, "I guess everyone who wants to be here, made it." She was one of the younger teachers in the school. A tall redhead with large blue eyes, that her students swore could see in the back of her head. She was known to be fair but one teacher you didn't mess with or try to "play." With a keen sense of humor, she was known to put the toughest street kids in their places.

Tanisha noticed she had changed out of her "teacher clothes" and into blue jeans and a school sweatshirt. Both girls were surprised when Mrs. Penney sat cross-legged on the top of her desk.

"Good afternoon, fellow writers," she began. The class giggled at that, but got serious when Mrs. Penney started to lay out the plan for the club. "This club will have two main goals. First, to share original writings of all kinds so we can learn from each other. Each week, you'll have a published author to read and report back on to the class. Nothing formal like a book report, mainly your opinion. Secondly, there will be a district-wide writing competition. It will be divided into categories; poetry, short story, fiction and non-fiction, biographical, and novels. The winners will then compete at the state level. Those select few will go on to the nationals in California."

That got the whole group buzzing with excitement and questions. The rest of the time was used answering those and then Mrs. Penney handed out that week's reading assignments. Tanisha's was a poem by Emily Bronte and Spooky was to read a selection from Walt Whitman. Mrs. Penney dismissed the club and wished them happy reading.

The bus ride home was filled with nothing but thoughts and ideas of the club. Especially the writing competition. Spooky said, "Girl, we got this one. Both of us are California bound!" Tanisha was not so confident. No one else had read any of her poems. She didn't know if they were hopeless or totally the bomb. But, she guessed she'd find out real soon.


Tanisha and Spooky witness Jerome and his girlfriend. During school announcements, they hear about a club that sounds perfect for both of them.
The bomb- something very cool
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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