Tag Archives: Snowiks

Scenelette: Another Orientation

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Hey everyone! Here’s a little scenelette I wrote as I was investigating Chief Snowiks (from A Book Without Dragons) and how he feels about his job. I felt like there was a lot there, and I wanted his struggle to be more than a one-dimensional “I’m burned out” kind of thing. I also decided to write it in first person, since that’s his POV style in the book.

***

I glanced in the mirror and straightened his already perfect uniform. These used to be my favorite days, and they still were, but now they were simultaneously my least favorite as well. I was glad that I don’t need to justify this dichotomy to a therapist.

There were three new recruits this time, all eager and ready to begin their careers. Every time I see recruits they seem younger, but I know this is just because I’m getting older; older and delivering the same speech over and over again.

As much as I hate this landmark of another year having passed, I don’t know how I could continue without his periodic reminder of what genuine excitement looked liked.

He saw it in each of the young men and woman as they joined the force; that true and unhindered belief that they were about to perform a desperately needed service to the world. And maybe they would, how should I know?

When I entered the room, the three recruits were sitting at the table with blank notebooks and fresh pens and uniforms so new I could smell the plastic that had previously hugged them. They weren’t talking when I entered, but that didn’t stop them from being quieter when they saw me.

Their mouths twitched like they wanted to smile, but not nearly as much as they wanted me think of them as serious and worthy. Silly children; I already thought that without them trying.

“Good morning.”

They tripped over each other in voices that would have sounded magnificent if they had been speaking the same thing. I think one of them said, “Yes, sir.” And other said, “Good morning, Chief.” The third also started to say good morning, but stalled because he didn’t seem sure what to call me.

“I’d like to start off by congratulating you on graduating at the top of your class,” I began. I tried some years to move the wording of the speech around, but ended slipping back into this one anyway, every time. “I cannot emphasize enough what a great service you are doing by pursuing a career in upholding the law.

“This role in society is not always an easy one, or a safe one, and you will not always be well loved. But whether they appreciate it or not, these people will come to owe their way of life to men and women like you. You will be challenged daily with making decisions that effect lives – sometimes hundreds of lives, and sometimes only one.”

They watched me, drinking in my words and storing them as camels might. I knew the speech so well that I hardly heard myself giving it anymore. I didn’t notice until their faces turned from attentive to concerned that I had stopped speaking.

“Chief Snowiks?” The boldest one asked. “Is something wrong, sir?”

I smiled for him, and sat down at the table instead of standing at the head. After all, who was I kidding, really? “No. Nothing’s wrong. But I don’t want to start off your career by building it up to be something it’s not.”

They glanced at each other, only the barest flicker of the eyes beneath eyelashes, and then they were watching me again.

“Here’s what being a cop is really like,” I told them. “It’s filling out parking tickets, and writing fines when you catch someone urinating on a public building. It’s paperwork, and reports, and patrolling. It’s not glamorous and it’s very seldom heroic.” I shrugged. “Honestly? Being a cop is a job. And there are going to be things you like about it, and things you don’t.

“There will be times when you are bored out of your wits. You’re going to wake up some mornings wishing you could just stay in bed, and afternoons where you can’t stop counting the minutes until quitting time. Yes: it’ll happen. And it’s okay.

“You probably won’t feel like you saved the world. But it’s a job, and it’s as useful and necessary as any other. No more, and no less. As long as you keep that in mind, you’re going to be fine.”

But, of course, that isn’t want I said to them. That’s only what I wanted to say; what I wished someone had said to me so very long ago. No, these three were too happy, and I wasn’t going to be the one to take that moment from that. Let them at least have this, and maybe they’ll have something more than I did. I wanted that for them.

“Chief Snowiks? Is something wrong?”

I cleared my throat and smiled. “Not at all. As I was saying…”

***

Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed this piece because it let me see a softer side of him, and a glimpse of his well-buried optimism.

As a side note – I just wanted to say that I don’t mean this in any way to be a commentary on police officers in general. This is just one specific character and his personal journey as it relates to the job.

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Happy new year to all!

 

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Soul Songs – Harold Snowiks

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This post features Snowiks
from A Book Without Dragons.
No Spoilers

I was taking a walk with my iPod, browsing for soul songs—
[Hannah – You should prooobably explain what you mean by that, Liv.]
[Me – Good point, thanks.]

Music has always been very important…
[Hannah – no, not here. In a separate page with a linky thing. Like you do with my name.]
[Me – Why?]
[Hannah – Because you tend to be really long-winded, and I don’t want you to take up the whole blog post with the explanation.]
[Me – Okay, fine.]

Click Here for more info about Soul Songs.

[Hannah – Lol, why is it capitalized? Feeling self-important today, are we?]
[Me – Get out.] Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: My Characters Interacting with Cats

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This post contains characters from A Book Without Dragons
Drabble type – Pseudo canon

Minor Spoilers

Kitteh

Remember Five Tales of a Lost Teddy? This is very similar, except I have my characters all interacting with cats.

Willow

Cats didn’t like Willow nearly as much as he wanted to like them. They were so universally considered mystical and secretive, and anyone loved by cats tended to have something unique about them. Given that, Willow couldn’t be particularly surprised that he didn’t easily attract feline companions. But it made him sad all the same.

This particular one was scraggly and thin, and Willow just happened to have a cheese stick in his pocket, so his odds were much better than the average day as he approached the cat. She paused in her fitful attempts to wash her face and stared at Willow indecisively.

With the minimum amount of crinkling, he stripped the plastic packaging from the cheese and separated a segment. Then he knelt, held it out, and waited. Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Snowiks and the Post Office

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This post features Snowiks from A Book Without Dragons.
No Spoilers

Drabble Type: Canon (aka – Events that really happened to the characters)
Timeline: After the events of the book 

~*~

Snowiks opened his e-mail with the daily sense of defeat. He didn’t know why he still checked it, really. It was considered antiquated. (People these days were using voice-snaps, which Snowiks refused to send simply because the name sounded stupid.) This time, though, his routine wasn’t for the sake of warming up the keyboard – he had a message.

And what’s more: the message was from the post office. Paper mail hadn’t been delivered for the past decade, but the establishment still existed. The e-mail concisely informed him that he had something waiting for him and could he please pick it up before next Thursday?

No need to wait that long. After his shift ended, he didn’t even swing by his home before heading towards the local post branch. (‘Local’ takes on the meaning of ‘a two hour drive’ when one lives in a town as small as Chagrin Heights.) Read the rest of this entry

Drabble: Pumpkin Spice Day

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This post features Jasper and Snowiks from A Book Without Dragons.
No Spoilers

Drabble Type: Meta (aka – characters know they are characters)

~*~

Chief Snowiks saw a brief shadow on the door only moments before it swung open—Jasper, apparently, didn’t feel the need to knock.

He also didn’t feel obliged to ask Snowiks if he was busy. “Chief! It’s Pumpkin Spice Day! Where were you?”

Snowiks flipped over the top paper on the pile, though it was purely a reflex. Jasper technically had security clearance to look at anything that might pass over his desk. “I was right here,” he said. “And what is…?”

“Pumpkin Spice Day,” Jasper repeated, holding out a to-go cup of coffee as if that explained everything. Read the rest of this entry

Five Tales of a Lost Teddy

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Remember how I said each of my five main characters for A Book Without Dragons is written in their own unique writing style? (No? Never fear, I’ll get you up to speed – Click Here).

Well, I thought it would be fun to write a post where I put each of them in the same situation and then write a micro-scene of their reactions in their individual writing style. So, here is what my five characters did when they found a lost teddy bear in the park…

~*~

Bethany (2nd Person, Present Tense)

It looks like a balled-up sweater from a distance, but when you get closer you realize it’s a stuffed bear, and just like that, you are having a terrible day. Read the rest of this entry

An open letter from a fictional character (Snowiks)

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As promised, here is the first of five letters, directly from one of my characters to you! Snowiks hails from A Book Without Dragons, which is charging into the world in 4 months. (Squee!!) Enjoy! 

~*~

To: Readers

From: Chief Snowiks, CHPD, Idaho

Good Morning, Readers. It has come to my attention that, while you have received information thus far about the main characters in this novel, you have been told little—and possibly nothing—about the place in which these people live. I firmly believe that it is impossible to properly understand a situation without the context of a physical location. Therefore, I’ll be taking this opportunity to tell you where we live. Read the rest of this entry

Snowiks – Chapter 0

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Welcome to my first ‘Chapter 0’ post for A Book Without Dragons! Let’s check out what Snowiks was up to right before the book starts… 

~*~

I scanned and submitted that last of my paperwork, and then stared intently at the phone wishing it would ring. It probably wouldn’t, though. Officer Grayson was no longer a rookie; he no longer called with questions unless something went wrong.

It wasn’t that I particularly wanted anything to go wrong. I just knew that the remaining two hours of my day would feel like ten if I spent them rearranging paperweights. I have four paperweights on my desk: all thank you gifts from the same middle school teacher. Our station was a popular field trip spot with her for a few years, but then she got permission to bring them to a bigger (and probably more exciting) police station in Boise, so that was the end of that. Read the rest of this entry

My Characters Decorating Trees

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Memo to All Characters: With the approaching winter holidays, I will be providing each of you with a small pine tree. Please submit your proposals for how you wish to decorate it so I can supply the appropriate ornaments.

Your friendly neighborhood alter-ego

~ Hannah Barbeck.

 

Willow (From A Book Without Dragons)

“I just want lights, please. No ornaments.”

[Hannah: That doesn’t sound like you…]

“And a sophisticated circuit board and programming equipment so I can make the lights spell out seasonal messages and change colors and respond to voice commands.”

[Hannah: Okay, that sounds like you.]

Read the rest of this entry

Character Reveal – Snowiks

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Today we have the third of my character reveals for A Book Without Dragons!

The spotlighted character this week has actually been on my blog before for a crossover drabble back in September (Which you can read Here, if you missed it. It’s particularly worth a look if you’re a fan of Lester from The World That Forgot How to Dance.)

~*~

Name: Harold Snowiks – I mostly refer to him by his last name

Appearance: He’s approaching retirement when the book opens (and he’s not at all excited about the prospect of being put out to pasture, by the way.) His hair is mostly gray, but was dark brown once. He’s tall, has smoky-brown eyes, and a focused expression that frequently comes off as ‘stern.’ Read the rest of this entry