Chapter 1: Shutterbug

Chapter 1

Unfortunately, when I moved this post and the next two from this blog to the other the first time I copied and pasted them instead of exporting and importing them resulting in loss of the screenshots.  I do have backups of the screenshots (I think) but can’t access my external hard drive at this time to replace them.  You can either read through without pictures which might be confusing or start on Chapter 4.

When Lark’s dad Alex knocked on her door she quickly stashed her gossip magazine into her desk drawer.

“I’m really sorry baby but there’s an emergency at the hospital.  I’m going to miss your cake.”  He said with a pleading look on his face.  With a sigh she nodded and gave him a hug before he left.

On her way downstairs for her birthday celebration, she stopped into her parent’s room to take one last look in the mirror.  Finally, she wouldn’t be boring little Lark Noble anymore!  She’d be a teenager and finally, people would notice her.


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As her mother and brother Tobias sang and her sister Nebula threw confetti Lark blew out the candles on the zombie cake she’d requested for her birthday.

In a shower of sparkles, she had aged to a teen.  She ran back upstairs to the mirror to check it out.  What she saw left her terribly disappointed.  This wasn’t her at all.  She still felt like that little geeky kid that everyone overlooks, just taller.

With determination and a pocketful of birthday cash, she headed out the door, glancing up at the imposing figure of the Landgraab’s mansion across the street on her way out.  Sometimes she wished they’d never moved up here on the hill.

Talk about gossip… there was much more gossip than could fit in her favorite magazines in the Landgraab’s alone. Then again, she thought, my family has gossip aplenty on its own.

Some of the family drama tied in with the Landgraab’s.  Like how her older brother Aaron had gotten Hannah Landgraab pregnant when they were teenagers.  She gave birth to their daughter Joi and just left the hospital, didn’t even look at the baby.

The whole fiasco with Hannah confused the hell out of Aaron and when Caiden came along he almost missed his chance for real happiness with him.  Luckily it all turned out okay.  Aaron and Joi lived with Caiden now.  Lark figured there’d be a wedding in their future.

The craziest bit of family gossip happened before Lark was even born.  When Aaron was just a little kid still.  Their dad had been abducted by aliens!  Her sister Nebula was the result of that abduction although she stayed in disguise all of the time.

Nebula started a club for other aliens in hiding like herself and that’s where she met her boyfriend Harley Salisbury.

Lark was pulled out of thoughts of family gossip when after arriving at the clothing store the clerk asked her what she was looking for.  Lark gestured to herself and the mannequin next to her and said “The opposite of this.”  With a laugh and a wink the saleslady led her to the back of the store.

The nice saleslady at the clothing store had highly recommended this salon for makeovers.  Lark took a quick picture with her phone to commemorate the occasion, wishing she had her new camera instead.  Soon she’d look on the outside the way she felt on the inside.

Finally.  It had taken almost the entire day but it was worth it.  Lark had snuck back into the house and grabbed her new camera before going to the wishing well park to take some photos.  Someday she was going to be a journalist in one of the gossip magazines she loved so much but until then she’d tell the stories of all of her neighbors.  There was so much juicy gossip she hardly knew where to start!

She’d decided on the wishing well after thinking about it all day while she was getting poked and prodded.  Nick’s story was the best and biggest piece of gossip in the neighborhood right now!

When she got home and saw her mother and sister in the doorway her stomach dropped.  Nebula kept going on and on about how great she looked while her mother warned that her father wouldn’t be very happy when he saw her.

While she was gone all day her mom had her room redone and a brand new computer to practice writing on was sitting on the desk! Her fingers itched to tell her first story.  She sat her camera down and added the photo she’d taken of the well to her new computer then started to write.

Chapter 2


Chapter notes:  The Challenge Mashup Rotation is a continuation of my neighborhood rotation Keeping Up with the Jones’s.  If you are interested in getting more background into the families in the neighborhood you can find the chapter index on my old blog.  There are 66 chapters or if you just wanted a quick read on the most recent stories including Aaron, Hannah and Caiden’s then follow the giant arrow to the Meet the Neighbors chapter.

When I moved blogs from Blogger to WordPress I had to choose which stories would stay on Blogger and which would move to WordPress.  Unfortunately, the rotation had to stay.  With an average of 30 screenshots a post and most of the posts being made before I knew how to reduce picture size, it was taking way too much room on the new blog.  When the book club was discussing the story recently I came up with the idea to make a new start with a new name and format. Hopefully, it doesn’t confuse anyone too much!  If you have any questions or need any background info let me know!

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