Sunday, September 28, 2008

In the Land of Lost Books: The Trylaons

Hello, and welcome back to the Land of Lost Books! This next tale involves one of my favorite childhood plot devices: the ginormous family. And if you don't think a ginormous family is a plot unto itself, you clearly have not watched enough Just the Ten of Us. (Note: For the purposes of bloggery, I will classify a ginormous family as one that contains six or more children and any number of assorted adults.)

This time, before I jumped into the intricate plotline, I whipped up something of a character fact sheet. Because when dealing with a ginormous family, you really need a way to keep track of who's who, their ages, and important details like their catchphrases—which, of course, you must then find a way to worm into the story's dialogue by any means necessary. Catchphrases are just as good as a plot, right?

The Trylaons

If you're stumbling over how to pronounce that, never fear! It will be spelled phonetically in the story!

1. Eric Nathaniel Trylaon 39
Kids are too darn crazy to understand.

2. Tamitha Devere McBrake Trylaon 36
Just like old times, huh?

3. Samantha Elizabeth Trylaon 14
No, really, he did?
Pretty, cheerful, energetic, looking for a good time.

There are one-line descriptions of each child, but not the parents or the baby. Because in case you haven't noticed, parents and babies played extremely minor roles in my work at this point. They were the literary equivalent of extras.

4. Marilyn Elaine Trylaon 12
Soak your head in a bucket of rotten water!
Cute, reliable, good ideas, wants to write a book.

5. Nicole Bianca Trylaon 9
A good book can take your mind off anything.
Cute, reader, organized, wants to grow up fast.

6. Adam Timothy Trylaon 7
Try jogging, it's good for the brain.
Cute, loud, athletic, wants to be in olympics.

7. Shenelle Caroline Trylaon 5
Shhh... my baby's sleeping now.
Cute, quiet, caring, just wants to be a kid.

8. Michael Jeremy Trylaon 1
Goo... Ma ma Shenelle.

And now to the riveting page and a half of sibling bickering!:

Marilyn stomped into the Trylaon kitchen. (Pronouned Trīlŏn)

Seriously. My mom must have helped me with that.

"Well, it's about time!" said Samantha her 14-year-old sister.
"Oh, soak your head in a bucket of rotten water!" she answered.
"Girls," their mother said "Be quiet, your father had a tough day at work."
"I had a tough day at school." said Marilyn as she bit into an apple.
"Don't ruin your apitite!" cried Samantha.

Just then Adam burst through the door.
"I won! There, Nicole, I won!" he said.
"You cheated!" complained Nicole.
"There you are, Nicole! Get in the car for your dentist's appointment." said mother.
"I hate the dentist!" she yelled as they walked out of the door.

Just bring along something to read! A good book can take your mind off anything, Nicole!

Just then, Shenelle came in.
"Okay." she said. "Where is she?"
"Where's who?"
Samantha screamed. "That rat got out again?"
"It's a hamster." replied Shenelle.
"Well, whatever. Just find it."
"I see I'm not wanted." and Shenelle left.
[Yes, according to the character fact sheet, she is five.]
"You certainly aren't." muttered Samantha.
"I heard that!" shouted Shenelle.
"Oh, so what." answered Samantha.
"Marilyn rolled her eyes. "I'm outta here." she said.
Right after she left dad walked in, half-asleep still.

Work was so bad he had to take a nap.

"Hey, dad!" said Samantha and she waved absently.
"Wanna run the marathon, dad?" teased Adam and he jogged in place.

You guys know seven-year-olds who run marathons, right? RIGHT?

"Boy, oh, boy" said dad. "You kids makin' a big ol' racket down here. Can't sleep."

Oh, Eric! You know kids are too darn crazy to understand!

"Right dad. Hey, I'm gonna call Kathy."
"Don't tie up the line."
"Right dad." she said as she dialed. "Kathy... Really... No,.... he did.... what.... I hate her... do you really think so? Yeah?"
Then Adam rolled his eyes and he left along with dad who said "Don't stay on too long."
"Right dad." said Samantha.
"Boy," said dad when they got out. "I have some headache." He knocked on it.

Exactly how does one knock on a headache?

"Try jogging, it's good for the brain." Adam called down the stairs.
"Okay," said dad. "Maybe I'll try it."

And then it ends. Ahhh, just like old times!

So, was all of this sibling rivalry (erm, loathing?) imagined for the sake of the story, or did it have some basis in reality? Read the following journal entries and you tell me...

Journal topic: The trouble with brothers and sisters

The trouble about my sister is that she bites! It is not mature or lady like for a 9-year-old to bite but, she does. Also, she makes ugly faces and rude noises. She thinks she can always get her way. Oh, she also tries to bribe my brother with candy and always bursts into my room. WHAT A PAIN!

The trouble about my brother is that he is too young to understand what homework is. He thinks 'weapons' and 'battle beasts' are everything. Also, he likes to play with 'Barbie' dolls. He's afraid to walk up the basement stairs but he can walk down. OH NO!

Sometimes brothers and sisters can be O.K. if they work at it. My sister is mainly a big pain. Most of the time my brother is nice but he drives me crazy. OH WELL!

Journal topic: What works for me in a conflict

If I am in a conflict with my sister I walk away. I do that sometimes. Sometimes I tell my mom. Sometimes I hit her. I hit her if she hits me or if she won't leave me alone.

If I am in a conflict with my brother I take what I want and go. Sometimes I tell my mom. Most of the time I pretend to choke him. Then he won't bother me.

If I am in a conflict with my mom or dad I go in my room and blast my radio. Sometimes I blast my casette player. I stomp my feet and slam doors. My dad says if we keep slamming the doors, he will take them off their hinges.

In fact, he did.

If I solve a conflict in a non-violent way I tell mom. Or I can quietly go to my room. Or I can walk away. Or I can just stop.

Question: Does it count as violence if you're just pretending to choke someone?

I often pray that I will not be cursed with children as obnoxious as I was. Please, God, pleeeeeease.

NEXT TIME: Guest author (and my BFF) Jamie lets us peek inside her "celebrity"-autographed diary.


zanne said...

I loved the show Just the Ten of Us! It was cancelled way too soon. I wish they still showed reruns. Your character fact sheet is hilarious. I love how the characters have catch phrases!

I was surprised to read you had so much conflict with your sister. You seemed to get along so well.

Sada said...

I obsessively taped every Just the Ten of Us episode that featured the Lubbock Babes.

My sister and I hung out all the time, which was sometimes great and sometimes led to the biting and the hitting. I believed it was uncool to get along with your siblings, so when it came to my "public image" I generally portrayed my sister as a huge pain in the ass. (We get along very well now, though!)

BadKat said...

Just the Ten of Us!?!? Great stuff, and they need to show the 2-1/2 seasons of that show on TV Land. Totally better than Growing Pains!

Yuck, stale water smells horrible!

"Boy, oh, boy" said dad. "You kids makin' a big ol' racket down here. Can't sleep."
Is Eric southern?

Oh man, my sister and I were the ultimate anti-brother team. Sisters=nice, brothers=crappy in our world.

NoseInANovel said...

Next time someone is pestering me at work, I'm totally going to tell them "Oh, go soak your head in a bucket of rotten water!"


Cory said...

I love that your sister was a biter (as was mine). I also love how you're so open about hitting and (pretend) choking your siblings. I generally acted as though my brother and sister were the mean ones and I was mature enough to ignore it (even though my brother was several years older than me, more mature, and generally avoided me at all times).