I’m talking about whether I should write a second sequel, or not, to Goodbye Junie Moon.

Several readers have contacted me via Facebook and asked me ‘What happened next?’

I feel as if I have left some of them hanging as I never went on to talk about life with the adopted children. I ended where they started coming. There were two reasons for this.

1st. I was considering their privacy. However, that is not much of an issue as I use a pen name on my books.

2nd. It was far from easy and I do not want to discourage anyone from adopting the ‘older child’. They need homes even more than the infants and yet there are many people willing to take the babies and infants.

However, I have started considering it and I’ve even gone so far as to write a prologue. This leaves me with more questions. For one thing, both Goodbye Junie Moon and Junie Moon Rising read more like a novel. They have a beginning, a middle and an end. They move along at a pretty smart pace and include some action and drama.

Once Junie Moon became a mother to so many children, the parties stopped. And so did the action…other than the normal dramas of a different kind; those associated with raising emotionally injured children.

I realized I did not want to write a chronologically continuous story such as – 1st so-and-so arrived and then came , blah, blah, blah.

If I write it at all, I want it to be in the form of random vignettes interspersed with initial perceptions, leading to philosophical conclusions. This won’t necessarily hold the reader’s attention because the book could be opened and read at any spot. Consequently I would keep it short and hopefully, sweet.

As I waver back and forth on this decision, I would appreciate some input from others – especially other authors. I will also bring up the subject at my next Writer’s Group meeting.

To give you some idea of my tentative direction at this moment, I shall include the prologue in this post;



Breeeeepp, breeeepp, breeeepp! I tried shutting out the sound. Still it continued, somewhere in the background, like a sticky fly that annoys you on a hot summer’s day. I was at peace; warm, restful, mellow. Breeepp, breep, breeep, the shrill sound persisted, dragging me reluctantly back to life.

The room was pitch black. Groggily, I reached for the phone while trying to remember who I was, where I was. Phone calls late at night were a no-no. My last one occurred at 3 am one unforgettable morning when my mother phoned to tell me that Russell, my brother, had killed himself.

The digital clock blinked at me in the darkness. Two a.m.! I lifted the receiver with trembling hands.

“Hu…hullo?” I quavered.

“You will pay for this, you bitch,” an unfamiliar screeched over the phone. “And if he dies it’s all your fault.”

Who was this nut? If who dies?

“You must have the wrong number.” I answered, now fully awake.

“Are you Jose’s mother?” The female voice was hysterically loud. I pulled the receiver away from my ear.


“There’s no wrong number,” the words fell in incoherent gasps, “And when I hang up here I’m calling the police.”

This was ridiculous. “Lady, whoever you are, I haven’t a clue what you are talking about.”

“David…David my son. He slept at your house last night. You were supposed to watch him and now he’s in emergency, dying… not breathing.” The words gushed out in a sob.

David? That rang a bell. Wasn’t he the school mate who came home with Jose yesterday? A polite boy…he made a good impression on me. But what was this hysterical woman talking about? I made them stop playing Pac-man and go to bed at 11 pm, after they finished the pizza.

“He and Jose are downstairs sleeping,” I answered as calmly as I could. “Is this some kind of a sick joke?”

She spluttered into the phone and released a string of expletives.

“….you fucking dumb bitch…he’s here in the Good Sam, fighting for his life. He’s got alcohol poisoning after chug-a-lugging a bottle of scotch. Where the hell were you?”

The Good Samaritan was the local hospital in Puyallup where we lived, on the outskirts of Seattle.

I still couldn’t comprehend what the woman was saying. We never kept scotch in our house and the boys hadn’t even had any beer. Jose was sixteen and my husband had told him he couldn’t drink beer until he turned eighteen. We thought we were being pretty liberal with that rule as twenty one was the legal  drinking age in the USA. It was a compromise of course. My husband was American but I was Australian and eighteen was the legal drinking age in Australia. I always thought Americans were crazy – sending their young men to war to possibly die at eighteen but not allowing them to drink.

Trying to make sense of this whole, confusing turn of events, I answered, “I’m running downstairs to the boy’s room now. I’ll call you back at Good Sam’s emergency in a few minutes.” I hung up before she could abuse me again.

Jose was the eldest of my six adopted children. When I adopted him and brought him from Columbia, he was thirteen years old. Raising him hadn’t been trouble free. Prior to being adopted he had lived in an orphanage where he gained advantage by using both charm and lies. He could charm people easily, being handsome and quick with compliments. He was always obliging, quick to carry the ladies parcels and so on. I didn’t blame him for that. In his situation, he had to survive as best he could. However, the lies I had a little more trouble with. There were occasions when I smelled marihuana and alcohol on his breath but I was yet to find any in his room.

I was thinking of these things as I entered the downstairs hallway to his room. In the darkness I smelled an unpleasant sourness. I switched on the light, revealing the source of the odour. Vomit lay in puddles and splattered the walls. Holding my breath, I sidestepped it and opened the door. Jose was asleep, fully clothed, on top of the blankets. When last I saw him, he had been in his pyjamas, under the blankets. David was not in either bunk. Now I was alarmed. I shook Jose roughly while calling his name.  He was dead to the world. I tried again before going to the kitchen and filling a glass with water. Back in the bedroom again, I threw the water in his face. He didn’t even stir. Worried now, I checked his pulse and his breathing. He was okay – just deeply, drunkenly, passed out.

Angrily, I made my way back to the kitchen, lifted the wall phone and called Good Sam. Five minutes later I had David’s distraught mother back on the phone.

“How is David?” I asked. “Any improvement?”

“As if you care,” she spat “but thank God he is breathing at last.” She inhaled noisily. “We have to wait to see if there is any brain damage…you…you neglectful… bad, bad person.”

I sighed heavily. “Look, I could hardly stay up all night watching over them as they sleep. I’m not a robot. But please…tell me what happened. Jose is passed out so I know nothing.”

“Apparently, while you were not paying attention, they went to a party at another teen’s house. The parents were away and when the noise got too loud, the neighbors called the police. Thank God they did. The police found David unconscious and called an ambulance. If he survives, it’s no thanks to you.” She hung up.

There was no sleep for me the remainder of the night. I sat at the kitchen table nursing innumerable cups of tea and thinking about my situation. Had Doug and I made a mistake by adopting so many children? There were times when I thought we had.

It wouldn’t be so bad if Doug’s work didn’t take him away from home, but as a ship’s captain, he was gone half the time and I was left in the role of a single mom. None of the children were babies when we took them and the six of them carried deep emotional scars to varying degrees. Each one had experienced horrors that no child should. The adoption agencies had never warned us of some of the problems we were inheriting. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and considered they may not have known, or wanted to know, the full stories. Our Korean son, Choi, whom we adopted as a healthy, thirteen year old boy, had barely unpacked when we had to rush him to hospital. Two operations later and we had saved his life. The doctors said his heart would have killed him before he turned sixteen.

My heart had been filled with love and a desire to help some of the world’s most needy. You might well call me naive. Good intentions are not always enough and I had unknowingly been unprepared for the problems that I encountered. It would take all my strength and resilience to succeed in the job that I was determined to finish.


If you can’t feed a hundred people then feed just one.

Mother Teresa.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. alsendall
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 03:37:56

    I have no doubt that you should write the next book, and little doubt that you will.
    I understand that some readers, most perhaps, will feel they have been left hanging, and will be waiting to read what happened once your dream of adopting damaged children became reality. Junie Moon Rising, is natural lead into this next book which is an important part of the story that should be told.
    I don’t think you need to worry too much about plot and structure. The story has its own natural arc, from one to six to one.
    Good luck,


  2. Terri Eberlein
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 03:52:43

    Carry on! I love what you have so far!


  3. June Collins
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 04:19:09

    Thanks Terri – Alan.
    I see I missed the word ‘voice’ in the second line of dialogue in the prologue. That comes from posting too quickly. Sorry everyone..


  4. darlenecraviotto
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 07:46:18

    Keep writing. You’re on to something really good with this.


  5. Charlene
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 13:14:47

    Please do! After finishing Junie Moon Rising, I was hoping you would write more.


  6. Susan Joyce
    Aug 29, 2013 @ 13:27:35

    Definitely! You need to tell this story because it’s near and dear to your heart, and an important one to share. It’s a big part of you you are. If you don’t have a title yet, I have a suggestion.
    My husband Doug (strange coincidence) and I adopted our son Jesse when he was eleven, almost twelve. We were mentors with the Big Brother, Big Sister program in NC. His mother had terminal lung cancer. No one in the family wanted him. We knew if we didn’t adopt him, he would fall through the cracks and never see the light of dawn again. So we did. One day, I hope I can help tell his story. Writing is always great therapy.
    Where is Jose today?


  7. June Collins
    Aug 30, 2013 @ 01:29:56

    Jose today lives in Australia, happily marries with 2 children. Owns a hobby farm and works as a linesman with the electricity company.
    I am familiar with Big Brother. Good job, Susan!


  8. Shauna Tanner
    Aug 31, 2013 @ 03:52:23

    I love what you have written so far. I’d really like to hear more about you and the kids. I’m a special Ed. Teacher and one litte boy broke my heart because he was functioning far below his ability level. When I heard that he was going into foster care, I volunteered to take him in. His mom could never keep her act together so 3 years later we adopted him. It has been a roller coaster ride for sure , but he is the sweetest young man, working, driving anding getting girlfriends that I can’ stand. 🙂


  9. Jeri Burn
    Aug 31, 2013 @ 12:11:12

    You must write your story, June. Your prologue is so engaging I have read it twice. God has gifted you with a wonderful talent; you need to use it.
    I am hungry for more. Please keep going!


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