Never Been Texted
by Linda Joy Singleton
When Ashlee’s stepdad completely forgets her birthday she takes matters into her own hands to get the one thing she really wants: her own cell phone. But text messages start rolling in from a broken-hearted boy, and though Ashlee knows not all stories end happily, she’s determined to make hers the best it can be.
Deep calming breath. “About the competition…” I begin.
“It’s not too late to drop out.” Beatrice slips a bookmark into her book then slams it shut and stands to face me.
I’m spitting mad, and it takes all my control not to strangle her with her own hair extensions. But I manage to hold my head high and speak firmly. “Not. Dropping. Out.”
“You should rethink that. Besides, it wouldn’t be the first time you quit something. Didn’t you drop out of the Brain Bowl right before their big championship, which they lost?”
I lost so much more. I say nothing, frozen on the outside while a flash of fire burns inside. I won’t…I can’t…talk about the car accident, about losing mom.
Rory, though, is the one now knuckling her fists. I turn toward her and shake my head in a “don’t bother” gesture, and she backs off.
Beatrice mistakes my silence for triumph. “I’m sure you have some talent, but not good enough for Talent-Mania. Like this book I’ve been reading advises, ‘Never overestimate your abilities; accept your limitations, and embrace your natural skills.’ This isn’t like the Brain Bowl where everyone applauds when you spout off facts like a computer. Take my advice – save yourself the public humiliation.”
When she was 8, she wrote animal stories and by age 14 she was writing mystery novels. In 1986, she had the unique experience of co-writing a mystery, THE TALKING SNOWMAN, with her favorite childhood author, Margaret Sutton (Judy Bolton mysteries). Her goal was to have a mystery series of her own that that happened in 1994: MY SISTER THE GHOST series/Avon Camelot Books. Recently she’s crossed genres to publish her first picture book, SNOW DOG, SAND DOG (Albert Whitman 2014).
When Linda isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, movies, country walks, camping, bowling and reality shows (she’s never missed a season of Survivor, Amazing Race or Big Brother). She also collects vintage girl series mysteries like Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton and Trixie Belden and in 2014 spoke at a Nancy Drew convention. She’s a longtime member of Sisters in Crime and SCBWI, and enjoys speaking at school, libraries and writing conferences.
She lives with her husband, David, in Northern California, in a country home where she’s surrounded by horses, peacocks, dogs, wild turkeys and demanding cats. Follow Linda on her website, Twitter, and Facebook.