Wednesday, June 30, 2010
As I've said before, I've been anxiously scrambling to write and edit a passage that I can take with me to the young writers' camp I'm attending. I'm leaving on Friday and I still don't have anything.
Okay, actually I have almost a page about a girl named William. In theory, it's the opening to a story about a girl and a boy, each with names generally reserved for the other sex, who switch places over the summer. Yeah, haven't quite worked out the kinks, but here goes. Please be utterly merciless:
My parents picked the name William months before I was born. I think it’s about the only thing they’ve ever agreed on. Imagine their surprise when I finally showed up and the doctor announced, “It’s a girl.” It was one of those do or die moments that can determine the future or screw everything up. I can imagine my parents exchanging tense glances as if to say, what now?
They had two choices: embrace my future femininity or cling to the shreds of their tattered marriage. I, of course, was oblivious to all this drama as I was too busy screaming my head off—a skill I have since perfected for days like today.
“You want to send her where?” My dad has taken up his battle station on one side of the kitchen. He’s standing next to the phone, ready to call in reinforcements.
“She deserves a decent father figure!” Mom is the smarter of the pair, not because of her PhDs and countless awards, but because she’s standing next to the knife block.
Dad gasps like mom has just punched him in the stomach—and she might as well have. Even I think that’s a low blow. Finally he says, “She’s my daughter, too.”
“And a fine job you’ve done,” mom says "She clearly has self esteem issues—I never should’ve let you name her William.”
“I’m right here,” I say under my breath, knowing they won’t hear me. They’re in another universe now, where the only thing that matters is being right, and I’m invisible.
“You picked it out,” dad says. “You gave birth to her.”
“And it hurt like hell,” mom, never one to shy away from the gory details, says.
I’m sitting at the kitchen table right between them, and I feel like I’m about to explode. Of course I should’ve known that when they asked me to be a part of the discussion, a screaming match wasn’t far off. My parents have been divorced for eight years and sometimes I wonder if they could’ve made it work. But stick them in the same room for more than five minutes and this happens.
“The male reproductive organs determine the sex!” I scream, unable to hold it in any longer. I'm practically quoting from my science text book. Dad, a biology teacher, would be proud, if he wasn’t so busy looking at me like I’d just killed someone. I turn to mom who’s leaning against the counter, smiling victoriously, and add, “But you could’ve just named me Ashley.”
With that, I march past my dad, grab a jacket and walk out the door. I know it’s childish but I can’t help slamming it behind me. After a moment they start up again. I can hear muffled yells through the thick wood door, but neither comes after me. I can’t tell if I’m more relieved or disappointed—whatever it is, I cover it with a grin as I hear the keys to my dad’s beat up Volvo jingle in my pocket.
I cross the yard, careful to duck as I pass the kitchen window. I catch a glimpse of mom holding a ladle over her head before I turn away. She doesn’t cook much but she sure knows her way around a kitchen.
It takes three tries to start the car. Mom’s Mercedes is parked across the street, mocking me as the Volvo grudgingly sputters to life. My dad isn’t really big on car maintenance but for my mom, first impressions are important. And they’d better be good.
Ugh, she sounds bratty. She isn't supposed to be bratty! Anyways, let me know what you think. Spare no adverb or misused preposition.
Word Count: +584 today
Status: Oh my GOD, have you seen the Deathly Hallows trailer? Dying inside, waiting for November.
Steph Bowe is an Australian sixteen year old. No big deal, right? Well, not only is she the creator of the wildly popular and fantastic blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year, she's also a published author. Her debut novel, Girl Saves Boy, will be published in Australia and New Zealand in September 2010 by Text Publishing and in America in Summer 2011 by Egmont USA
The first time we met, Jewel Valentine saved my life.
Isn’t it enough having your very own terminal disease, without your mother dying? Or your father dating your Art teacher? No wonder Sacha Thomas ends up in the lake that Saturday evening… But the real question is: how does he end up in love with Jewel Valentine?
With the help of quirky teenage prodigies Little Al and True Grisham, Sacha and Jewel have a crazy adventure, with a little lobster emancipation along the way. But Sacha’s running out of time, and Jewel has secrets of her own.
Girl Saves Boy is a hugely talented debut novel, funny and sad, silly and wise. It’s a story of life, death, love… and garden gnomes.
Question: You have an extremely successful blog/website with loads of followers. Did you ever make a conscious decision to build an internet platform, or did you just jump in for the fun of it? Do you have any advice for other newbie bloggers?
Steph Bowe: I started my blog because I wanted to talk about reading and writing and connect with other readers and writers! So it was for fun. I think you're going to do a whole lot better if you do things because you want to rather than if you do things solely for self-promotion and don't really enjoy it. My advice to newbie bloggers would be to just do what you want to do with your blog, have fun with it, and don't worry too much about stats.
Q: Can you describe your novel, Girl Saves Boy, in three sentences?
SB: When Jewel saves Sacha from drowning, they're both forced to confront pasts they've so carefully concealed - a lost sibling, a space where a mother should be, a debilitating illness, fractured families and buried secrets.
Okay, so that was only one sentence, but I can either give you one sentence or the entire blurb, nothing in between!
Q: On your blog you mentioned how you like flawed love interests. How is Sacha, the main male character in your novel, flawed?
SB: Oh gosh, he is flawed in the extreme. He's the opposite of every male love interest in every YA book ever - quiet and awkward and funny and confused. I think the characters are flawed because I wanted them to seem real - I don't really like reading books about perfect characters, so I'm not going to write one.
Q: Were you attending regular high school classes when you wrote Girl Saves Boy? How did you balance school work with your WIP?
SB: I was doing school by correspondence when I was writing Girl Saves Boy, and that was all from home. That allowed me the flexibility to pursue both a writing career and finish high school. How do I balance it? I'm not sure. It can be very overwhelming trying to manage both, and writing tends to be my relaxing thing (rather than watching TV or going on Facebook).
Q: Had you written any other novels before Girl Saves Boy? How did you know this one was "the one"--the novel that was good enough to query for publication.
SB: I'd written two other novels. I didn't know this was 'the one' - it just seemed like the next step would be submitting it for publication, since that's something I've aspired to for so long.
Q: What was your experience with the world of querying and publishing? How long did it take for you to see your name in print?
SB: It was very quick and I was very lucky - I sent out queries at the start of September (three, plus entering in a first page contest on a blog) and three weeks later had three offers of representation. Then took about a month for my agent to sell the Aus & New Zealand rights to my book.
Q: Do you write long hand or one a computer?
SB: On a computer!
Q: If you could be any fictional character, who would you be and why?
SB: In the past I've probably named some character I'd like to be, but to be entirely honest, I don't think I'd want to be a fictional character. There's always so much drama and action and lives at stake. Books are a bit too exciting for me.
Q: What five YA books would you recommend every teen read?
SB: Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell. Town by James Roy. Looking for Alaska by John Green. On The Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson.
Q: Would you rather be a super hero or super villain--and what would your name/super power be?
SB: I'm going to be really boring and say super hero, who can turn invisible. And since I'm invisible most of the time, and don't save lives for the glory of it, I don't have a superhero name, because nobody is really aware that I exist.
Hope you enjoyed the interview, and thank you so much to Steph who put up with my sucky questions! What about you, how would you answer these questions?
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Soundtrack: Don't Let Your Feet Touch the Ground by Ash Koley, probably my new favorite song.
Word Count: Starting something new!
So I know it's supposed to be Teaser Tuesday today, but I just had to bend the rules. Lilith Fair is an event that showcases female musicians and feminism. It was was started by Sarah McLachlan and became a huge phenomenon from 1997-1999 and now it's back for the first time in a cross North America tour that kicked off in Calgary.
Many of the artists hitting the main stage for the 2010 revival were also a part of the original Lilith Fair. These include Sarah McLachlan, Emmylou Harris, Indigo Girls, Erykah Badu, Sheryl Crow and Queen Latifah.
I think it's pretty awesome that there's an event like this with an all-female line up--and it doesn't hurt that McLachlan, the co-founder, is Canadian. The next generation of performers includes such big names as Rihanna, Sarah Bareilles, Tegan and Sara, Ingrid Michaelson and Cat Power. I wish I could go!!!
For more information, check out lilithfair.com. I spent a few minutes looking over the lesser known acts playing the second stage and about half an hour on youtube being wowed by some of their amazing voices. Ugh, my poor iPod will have a hard time trying to fit all these new songs.
Monday, June 28, 2010
I just thought I'd mention that I'm going to be away for a few weeks starting this Friday, attending this. It's a camp for young writers in my province (and yes, I have talked about it extensively), and I'm totally psyched!
In the mean time, I interviewed Steph Bowe, YA author and creator of the fabulous blog, Hey! Teenager of the Year. I'll be posting the interview as soon as my stupid computer let's me stay connected to the internet for more than twenty minutes at a time--speaking of which, don't be surprised it I randomly cut o--
Just kidding :)
So, you may be asking your inquisitive self, why is there a picture of Matt Smith at the top of this post? Last night I had a wonderful dream about Doctor Who. It was wonderful. I helped save the world from the daleks.
I think it's going to be a good week.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Bio: Cathleen's first novel, Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison, was inspired by her years working in the Canadian Arctic. She's traveled and volunteered all around the world, working extensively in Southeast Asia and Northern Canada. For more information, check out her website.
Against the stark and haunting landscape of Canada's Far North, fifteen-year-old Trista chronicles the events of her life from her room in the Polar Girls' Prison. Caught in the decline of sexual abuse, drunkenness, and failed motherhood, Trista tries to make sense of her past, especially the events that led her to jail. With heartfelt compassion and rare insight, the stunning new voice of debut novelist Cathleen With lends light to the hardships and suffering of the teenage girls and clash of cultures in this remote region that has never before been represented in literature.
Q: You mentioned that you've worked in the North and that's clearly affected your work. How do you think it influences you?
Cathleen With: The Canadian Arctic is a beautiful, serene and also harsh landscape. As a Vancouver girl who lived in Asia for 8 months prior to teaching up north, the landscape had a profound influence on me. I remember seeing the Northern Lights for the first time and the tears freezing on my cheeks.
Q: I read the bio on your website--you've traveled and worked all over the world! Does this influence your writing?
CW: I am currently writing about the places I've traveled. I feel strongly about social justice and abolishing child slavery. I also feel strongly about sexual abuse and how it is hidden in so many cultures--and children continue to become abused under this veil of shame and secrecy. I am only a writer, but I want to write about some of these horrors so people can be aware, help the children, and stop the cycle of abuse. I am currently working on a book about child slavery in Cambodia. I lived there for 8 months in 2001.
Q: Where are you originally from? Does that stay with you even after all your worldly travels?
CW: I was born in Vancouver and raised in Richmond. I took the bus to Vancouver almost every weekend from age 13 on, and I love my hometown. Growing up as a first born Canadian, I was greatly influenced by place and by my family's Danish culture. I also felt tied to Lulu Island (Richmond) and the marshes and dikes that surround it.
Q: Finally off the subject of travel, sorry about that... Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison is your first novel; what was the publishing process like? Roughly how long did it take your to write your book, start to finish?
CW: I started the book as a short story in a fiction class at UBC when I was doing my MFA [Master of Fine Arts]. My teacher, Keith Maillard, said, "It sounds like you might have more to say about this character, I think this is a book." And that was that--he was right! The first draft was amazingly quick--maybe 3 months and then I submitted it to Denise Bukowski, my amazing agent, then Penguin, HarperCollins and Doubleday wanted it--what a heady experience that was... And then I signed with Penguin. The rewrites were hard! They took 6-7 months. It takes a long time for a book to get in the loop to be published--usually about 2 years.
Q: Even in the short excerpt you read [at the author reading], it's clear that your MC has a very strong voice and personality. Are you two alike? How difficult was it to get inside her head?
CW: We are similar in that we both had experiences being institutionalized when younger. I had trouble with depression, abuse in my teens and I was in a psych ward, also in detox and recovery houses when I was young. I was especially intrigued by the idea that you can be doing so well--trying to get your life together--but then one night, just by making a sudden wrong choice, it all comes crashing down. I saw that happen to many friends, some of whom are now dead because they just couldn't survive their tragic lives. I also saw it up north, along with the amazing resilience that these kids had.
Q: What was your first reaction when you found out that you were a finalist for the BC Book Prizes?
CW: Pinched myself--over and over till my arm was blue!!!!
Q: Any advice for aspiring writers?
CW: Keep at it! Share with friends you trust. Take classes, get mentors, and put in that seat time. Don't over analyze or be too critical or hard on yourself: the first draft is never the best. Do what you love and the rest will follow.
There we go, my first interview! Any suggestions on authors I should try and contact (who wouldn't be too terrifying or intimidating if asked to do a blog-interview) or questions I should ask?
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Like the title of his video, it definitely looks like Book Nerd Paradise. Considering my town has one author reading a year--if we're lucky--the conference looks pretty similar to my version of heaven :)
Vlogbrothers youtube channel
ALA Annual Conference web page
You Canadian librarians had better up your game, ha-ha. In all seriousness, I'm going to try my hardest to visit this... eventually.
PS: Yes, yes, two posts in one day, all my friends are on the internet. I know the drill :)
Word Count: Wrote about 2600 today, in a cafe. Most of them make no sense due to an unfortunate caffeine high but it was nice to get out for a while :)
As of yesterday I am officially on Twitter!
For months (basically ever since I started reading magazines on writing including how to build a social media platform--ooh, look at me, all fancy and writer-ly) I've heard about how important connecting is as a writer. Not saying I can legitimately call myself a writer, but I think that connecting with other people that share the same interests, no matter how professional you are, is a fun and rewarding experience.
So, what are the ins and outs of tweeting up a storm? I've turned to my best bud, the internet, for some helpful tips.
- One hundred and forty characters. That's all you get per post. This is like the epitome of editing--you have to condense everything you say. It makes reading other people's comments a lot easier, especially if you're slightly ADD like me, but it can also be a little stressful when you start nearing 140 and the count goes bold. Twitter is punchy and straight forward, and that's why it's so popular.
- @yourmum. If you want to reply to someone, just type @ then their user name. It's a lot easier to work up the courage to do that than actually talk to them--especially if "they" are a published author, recognized musician, etc. This is a nice and easy way to talk to people you admire or are interested in without really talking to them...?
- #thislistissoincrediblystupid. To express an opinion or tag a tweet with an emotion, a topic, etc just type # and something, for example: "GHANA WON!!! #worldcup"
- It's pretty easy to find your friends because most people have their full name or either their profile or as their actual user name (for example, my user name is erikaloggin). It's also easy to locate famous authors, publishing houses, agents and musicians--like I've just done. I'm now officially following Maureen Johnson, John Green, Hannah Moskowitz, Megan Crewe and many more.
- Following--but not in a creepy way! To be subscribed to someones tweets you go to their profile and click "Follow". Yes, after thinking about it a little, it's basically the creepiest terminology they could have used, second only to a "Stalk" button. I guess it makes sense, though, considering how many people tweet via cell phone wherever they are.
- Describe yourself in 160 words or less. That's how long your bio can be--max. This was a major challenge for me considering most writers use their bio to talk about how many books they have published, when they're coming out, etc. I wrote about how I like singing along--badly--to Leonard Cohen.
- Make a name for yourself. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter--they're all valuable tools to help get your name out there. For instance, when I Google my name the first eight links are actually me! Okay, maybe not so impressive, but the very first search result is my new Twitter account followed by my Nerdfighter account (which, to be honest, I never go on), my blog and my DeviantArt page. Oh, and a newspaper article about my school, exciting stuff.
Quite frankly, I never really saw the point of Twitter but now that I'm on it, I have to say, it's kind of fun :3 Except, of course, that several people use way too many exclamation marks. You've only got 140 characters, why not spend half of them making every word sound exciting and flashy? I can think of a few good reasons...
If anyone wants to be friends on Twitter--or, God forbid, follow me--I'd love to see you there. I'm known as erikaloggin. I know, not the most creative user name, but every other variation of my name that I could think of were taken. Well, at least it suits me.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Word Count: 1963 starting entirely from scratch, but hey, that's 1963 words I'm actually semi proud of!
I've decided to start another weekly segment because Teaser Tuesday has been a lot of fun--and good motivation to actually post something. Five on Friday (I keep thinking there's a bad joke to be made out of the title but nothing comes to mind--ideas?) will basically consist of me--if you weren't tired enough of that already--listing five things about a random topic.
This Friday, because my WIP is really the only thing on my mind (but don't be fooled into thinking that means it's any good), I give you the following:
- My main character's name is Emma. It's a pretty common name which is a new thing for me, the girl who was constantly searching out new, unusual names for characters (believe me, one abstract noun is often enough). I also know a girl named Emma which sometimes makes it hard to picture scenes.
- It was inspired by this picture:
- Emma doesn't know how to swim. She grew up in a small beach town but never learned how to swim which later becomes a major plot point--more like a very mushy, aww-worthy scene where the hero tries to teach her.
- Emma is a photographer. That basically means I need to look up all sorts of facts on shutter speed and exposure--or, at least, I should. I'm currently too busy pushing through a crappy first draft.
- It's the summer romance of WIPs. It takes place during the summer in a town with perpetual sunshine and the perfect surfing beach. I've never written anything like this before and I really want to finish the rough draft by the end of the August, mainly because if I try to work on it in the fall (or, God forbid, winter) I'll probably swap every mention of sand with snow and make everyone shiver a lot.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
"What do you want from me?" he asks. What I want from every person in my life, I want to tell him. More.
Abandoned by her mother on Jellicoe Road when she was eleven, Taylor Markham, now seventeen, is finally being confronted with her past. But as the reluctant leader of her boarding school dorm, there isn't a lot of time for introspection. And while Hannah, the closest adult Taylor has to family, has disappeared, Jonah Griggs is back in town, moody stares and all.
In this absorbing story by Melina Marchetta, nothing is as it seems and every clue leads to more questions as Taylor tries to work out the connection between her mother dumping her, Hannah finding her then and her sudden departure now, a mysterious stranger who once whispered something in her ear, a boy in her dreams, five kids who lived on Jellicoe Road eighteen years ago, and the maddening and magnetic Jonah Griggs, who knows her better than she thinks he does. If Taylor can put together the pieces of her past, she might just be able to change her future.
This was a fascinating read and I loved every minute of it. For starters, Taylor Markham is an awesome narrator. She's fiery and sticks up for herself which is a welcome relief from a lot of YA books I've read. She speaks her mind--and not just when it helps her get the guy, either, because she's true to herself. I also loved Jonah Griggs because his personality fit Taylor's so perfectly--they can both act like total assholes and neither backs down from their confrontations.
The intertwining stories mesh past and present in a way that's so well edited that it leaves you begging for more of both. All of the characters leap off the page. One downside, however, it took (me, anyways) a little while to get into the story. It was totally plot driven but, for the first few pages, I was kind of skeptical. Totally worth the time and perseverance, though.
On the Jellicoe Road was one of those books that I had to put down every few chapters just to freak out. I would read something so beautiful or surprising or horrible, put it down and scream for a few minutes. It's totally worth it, if even just for those moments.
I highly recommend On the Jellicoe Road to all YA lovers. People who normally gravitate to books with male narrators might be pleasantly surprised by Taylor's no nonsense, sometimes erratic voice. It was a great read.
Check out the author, Melina Marchetta (Australian author of several other books including Saving Francesca, Looking for Alibrandi and, most recently, The Piper's Son) at her website.
So what do you think--book reviews?
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I've been reading Steph Bowe's blog a lot lately. Once I got over my original, I hate you! You're published at 16! Argh! reaction, I've found a lot of cool stuff. For instance, in reaction to another article where someone said:
Well written, publishable books by teen writers are definitely the exception, but that doesn't mean they don't happen.
Steph Bowe wisely replied: Well written, publishable books by adult writers are also an exception. A beginning writer is a beginning writer, and it doesn’t matter how old they are.
I think that's pretty cool.
We've all heard the old saying, right? "A picture's worth a thousand words." So, get 60-70 pictures and you've got yourself a novel! Okay, maybe my methods of avoiding any actual writing aren't all that successful.
In my current WIP, my main character, Emma, is a photographer. Originally she was an artist but that was mainly just my way of filling in scenes--"Oh, you're not doing anything? SKETCH!"--and I think photography fits her shy personality a lot better. Anyways, this has got me looking to pictures for visual inspiration. I've gotten pretty addicted to weheartit.com, a photo sharing site. All of the pictures below are basically my plot.
How do you get inspired? Are you a visual person? Let me know.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
It's still Tuesday for a few more hours! Today wasn't a very productive day. I sat around the house, moping about how I'll never finish a book... Yeah, it got kind of ugly. But--there is a but and it's a big one, ha-ha, two year old humor--at seven o'clock I met with two of my friends to discuss writing. It was really cool and just what I needed, thanks guys :)
Anyways, we got to talking about post-apocalyptic stories and when I got home I dug out the following, a very old opening to a story called "The Golden City". I've only been outlining for my current WIP (more like re-outlining) and fleshing out characters--nothing teaser worthy, to be honest.
So, here goes:
“Your house is burning.”
The whole table goes quiet when Travis speaks. As if his deadly serious grey eyes weren’t enough, there’s something about his voice that has me smelling smoke.
We recover quickly, and soon enough I remember that I’m in the school cafeteria with nothing endangering my life but the near-toxic macaroni and cheese. But there could be.
It’s called Survival and it’s a game that we’ve been playing since we were kids. One person thinks of a scenario and the rest of us have to come up with a way to get out of it alive. It’s training in case something like that really does happen one day, and everyone takes it seriously. But if it were a real game, I’d say Travis’s piercing gaze and steely cold voice are two majorly unfair advantages.
“Is it serious?” my best friend Pen speaks up first. Her eyes are closed and I can tell that she’s visualizing.
“Yes,” Travis says and for some reason he sounds amused, like he’s talking to a child. That’s one of the reasons I don’t like him. He talks down to Penelope just because she takes Survival so seriously. Well, hell, if she actually wants to survive then I don’t think anyone should make fun of her for it.
“The whole place is up in flames. It’s total chaos.”
“Am I injured? Any smoke inhalation?” Erin, a girl with dark curly hair and an unbelievable IQ, has to push her glasses back up after she leans in too far, eager to play.
“Nope, you’re fine,” Travis says and Erin blushes when he looks at her.
“Wait a sec,” the boy next to me speaks up. I think his name’s Christian, and he’s all muscle. I’m surprised to hear him say anything; like me he tends to listen while the others work out all of their life or death situations. “Am I actually inside the house?”
I don’t know why, but Travis is staring at me. Not just a quick glance like he sometimes sneaks in study hall when he doesn’t think I’m looking. His stone-gray eyes are locked on mine, and I put my turkey sandwich down, impossible to concentrate on anything other than him. That’s the other reason I can’t stand Travis O’Shea. The fact that I’m just a tiny bit in love with him.
Everyone else at the table clues in and follows Travis’s gaze. With all of their eyes on me, I can feel my face heating up. I think Erin is whispering something, but it’s only Travis’s voice I hear, and what he says sends a chill up my spine.
“No. But your family is.”
The table goes quiet again, but this time it’s more like the quiet before the serial killer jumps out of the closet in a horror movie. Everyone’s waiting for Travis to yell, “Just kidding!” or something. But he doesn’t, and when what he said starts to sink in. Travis crossed a line. It might not have been said out loud, but everyone knows that you don’t bring family into Survival.
Everyone’s silent, but they haven’t moved. They’re still staring right at me, some looking surprised or afraid, but a few glaring like I’m to blame for what Travis said. I don’t look at any of them, though. I’m determined to match Travis’s challenging gaze once and for all. I’d be lying if I said that the idea of having my family—especially my little brother—inside a burning building didn’t freak me out, but I don’t want him to know that.
Even though my heart is raising and I can practically hear my brother Henry’s screams, I don’t look away.
Pen clears her throat and I’m reminded of why I love her so much. “A-Are they near a window or a d-door?” she chokes, fighting back tears.
Pen has little brothers and sisters, too, but the oldest is only seven years old, not like Henry who’s in eighth grade. Travis slowly turns to look at her, reluctantly breaking eye contact, and I shoot her a grateful smile. She nods, but I know what we’re both thinking. Henry could get out—they couldn't.
Travis shakes his head. “It’s a two story house and they’re upstairs. The fire is blocking the windows.”
“Call the fire department! Get some water!” Christian says, gripping the edge of the table so tight his knuckles are white. I've never met his family, but you can tell we all have something to lose.
“With what phone?” Travis raises his eye brows. “What if you’re out in the country, no lakes or ponds anywhere...” his gaze flits back to me for barely a second, but it’s long enough. I live in the country, in a small two story house half an hour outside of town. Does Travis know more than he’s letting on?
I open my mouth to say something, but before I can someone stands up. “Stop it! Can’t you see what you’re doing—you’re just spreading fear. You stop this game right now, you... you monster!”
I’m surprised to see that it’s Erin who finally snapped and turned on Travis. She always seemed so level-headed.
“We’ve got to be prepared.” Travis says in a low voice.
"That’s your excuse? Fine then, Mr. Survival, what would you do?”
“I would...” he stops and looks around the room like he expects the answer to appear right in front of him. This time I’m looking right at him, prepared to meet his gaze when he looks over. I don’t know why, but when he speaks next, I know that it isn’t just an answer—it’s a message. “I would go back inside.”
“Then you’re dead!” Erin says but by now she’s back in her seat, under control. She sounds so tired and worn out, it’s like she’s run an emotional marathon.
Travis shrugs, “I didn’t mean that we have to be prepared to survive every situation.”
“Then what do you mean?” Erin snaps defensively and I swear it’s the most I’ve ever heard her say that isn’t in answer to a teacher’s question.
“You’ve got to be ready... to make the choice.”
That shuts her up, and she sinks down into her seat, looking defeated. It doesn’t feel like anyone’s won anything, though. I sneak a look at Pen and see that her eyes are rimmed with red, but at least she’s stopped crying. The other kids at our table—most of whom I know, at least by appearance—have all swapped their stunned looks for grim acceptance.
I look down at my sandwich, which suddenly looks horribly unappetizing. It’s an effort to bring it to my lips, but I take a bite anyways. A few kids look surprised, but after a moment everyone else starts eating, too.
If we don’t eat the teachers will get mad at us—tell us that we have to keep up our strength in case anything happens. Funny, considering the last major attack on our town was around fifteen years ago.
We don’t question it, though, we just eat. Because we have to move on.
So what do you think? Can you tell that I just finished The Hunger Games and The Forest of Hands and Teeth? It's totally unedited and UGH, I mention the color of Travis' eyes so often. *face-palm*
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Words: ...status pending?
I am not finished yet.
Yesterday I hung out by a campfire, sang along to Disney songs and stained my skin with charcoal and sand. It was very fun. Oh yes, convincing enthusiasm, no?
Ha-ha. Anyways, it's been hot out and the sun has thankfully been patient enough to let me sleep in until noon the past two days. All this time I've done very little writing.
In case you didn't know, I'm going to a writing camp this summer with my friend, a poet. I've also recently decided to wake up at 8:00 (oh my god, how is that physically possible?) at least three days a week to write in the morning, something I've never tried before because quite frankly, I'm ridiculously lazy. And, something that I haven't really said, I've largely given up on my ex-WIP. We had a pretty passionate week but now it's over.
This is the part where some mysterious cast member jumps out from backstage and says, "Or is it?"
I really like this story and I really want it to be finished. That might not sound like a big deal but for me, she who finishes nothing, it really would be. One problem? My main character has literally no personality. She's all over the place, and I'm having a really hard time deciding if I want her to be a shy bookworm, a cultured artist, a fierce older sister or something in between. Ugh.
All I wanted to say in this post is that I've been largely avoiding writing. Sure, I can blog about writing, read books on it, talk about it till I have nothing to say but if I don't do any actual writing, I'm never going to get any better.
And yes, it did take me this long to really figure that out :)
I'm having one of those weirdly life affirming moments--while sitting on the couch, watching the MMVAs (Much Music Video Awards). Not exactly the best setting for an OMGWTF moment. Better luck next time.
How are things going with you? I'm so amazed by people who can write steadily, a bit each day--or at least have a regular writing routine--and not get totally sick of it. How do you do it?
PS: For a seriously inspirational shot to the arm, check out weheartit.com for pictures with stories that just beg to be told.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
For those of you who don't know, a Moleskine is a small notebook. It comes in several colors with the option for ruled, grid or blank pages. There's an elastic ribbon that holds it closed and an expandable pocket for all your important pieces. It's also a bit of a legend.
Moleskines are not, as I first feared, made of actual mole skin (although they are pronounced the same, as far as I know). The term was affectionately coined by Bruce Chatwin who was a proud Moleskine devotee. And he's in good company--Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and a whole host of other writers and artists, including countless people who are alive today, writing and loving their little black notebooks.
With this post in mind, I thought finding info on my new notebook might be difficult, but so far I've gotten all these facts out of the history pamphlet that comes with the notebook. It's the little things like that that make me smile.
Moleskines are alive and well today--after a major shortage in the mid '80s. Check out moleskinerie.com for a look at "Legends and Stories"--plus some photos of celebrities with moleskines. I feel like I'm a part of something.
Obviously, I have a few apprehensions as to what to write. It's just so beautiful and so pristine--so full of class and culture--I don't want to ruin it with my angsty teen poetry or trashy words. I would normally use it as a diary but I have another ongoing journal going on in a pretty, floral notebook.
One more lovely upside of the notebook is that it's the perfect size for travel. I can imagine myself, years from now, tucking it into my pocket and catching a subway to an incredibly important event in a fabulous city like Paris, London or New York. For now, I'm about to tuck it into my jeans (if it'll fit--stupid tight pants obsessed culture!) and go to the lake for a campfire party on the beach that hardly counts as a beach because I live in Northern Canada. Not super Northern but cold enough that I don't think "beach" is the right word for it.
That said, I'm totally psyched for some new experiences, all recorded, no doubt, in handwriting (because cursive needs a revival) in my brand new friend. My Moleskine.
PS: Just discovered they're also called "Mollies"--yes, I think s/he has a new name.
Friday, June 18, 2010
I hate all these fucking fake Hollywood people! None of the people in the movie are cliche actress diva types, or anything, the producers are just so... awful! They want the TV show to be funny not sad. The main producer, a woman named Lenny, even says something along the lines of, "Originality scares me. You don't want to be too original."
I also wanted to say that I'm so unbelievably glad that all of the people I've met so far on this crazy writing journey I've embarked on are real.
They speak their minds, their critiques are harsh but genuinely honest. Blogs I follow and work I read... It's all so wonderful and original and sparks all sort of crazy ideas--mainly, God, I wish I wrote that! All the questions people are asking on forums are well phrased and the answers are thorough and helpful.
My friend K (also known as Akina-Hana over at Burning Autumn) was telling me about something in Japan--I can't remember the name--where people show one side of their emotions and actually feel another. She was talking about it in the way where if someone is talking to you and you're totally tired or stressed, you still smile. Honestly, I wish more people said what they thought. It can be annoying at times, but be yourself. And don't be cheesy. God knows cheese has nothing to do with this, besides the munching kind :)
They just mentioned Gilmore Girls on the the movie. That makes me so happy!
By the way, besides my brief movie rant, I just finished ninth grade. It doesn't even sound like an achievement, does it? Ninth grade (by the way, I've discovered that when you reach a certain age you start calling it ninth grade--before then it's always grade nine. I'm growing up), big whoop.
Anyway, I'm happy being slightly older, the tiniest bit wiser, and a whole lot happier now that exams and homework are gone for the summer. Two and a half glorious months.
I'm sad, though. I'm sad that I won't see my older friends for a year, if at all. I'm sad that my yearbook signatures are the most I'll see of some of my friends for the next two months.
A word of advice, courtesy of The TV Set. Never sell out. Never back down. Stand up for your self and your work. Be brave, be bold, be original.
Have a great summer. Don't ever change.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Words: Bah, same as yesterday. I have exams, I swear!
Today is a bright and shiny day. Know what else is bright and shiny? Oh yes, awards :)
I just got my first ever award, from Caitlin over at Caitlin Darrell: A (Sort-of) Life. She is very nice and very awesome and I'd like to thank her for being so supportive in her comments and award-giving (because that is obviously a verb).
There is is, in all of it's snazzy, green, FIRST EVER AWARD glory. It makes me so happy--so happy I must continue to use these annoying smileys :) :) :) Glad I have that out of my system.
Like any organized society, this award comes with responsibility (psh) and RULES:
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Pass the award along to 15 bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are fantastic for whatever reason! (In no particular order...)
4. Contact the bloggers you've picked and let them know about the award.
So, as if any of you actually wanted to here more about me, Seven Things About Moi:
- I love bread. I know it might not be the healthiest thing to love but my mom and I are constantly buying shmancy breads, slathering them in butter and pigging out, ha ha.
- There's a drum set sitting in my bathroom. I've always wanted to play the drums and this one was at a garage sale, so we bought it. My mom's house is tiny, though, so we put it in the wheelchair accessible shower part of the bathroom. It will soon be moving to the garage, though, for some serious head banging.
- I have one older brother who is basically the bee's knees.
- I love out of date expressions like "the bees knees" and "don't raz my berries, man."
- I wish I was a dancer. I often randomly break out into dance in my room. And singing, but honestly, no one wants to hear that.
- Dr. Who = love. No questions asked. Sci-fi, totally random plots, cute Doctor, British accents, what more could you ask for? Speaking of which, it's on in about five minutes...
- I LOVE science. I know I'm a major nerd but science always makes me smile--learning new concepts and suddenly having things click. I don't think I could ever be a scientist, though. Too boring.
- Kristy at This Train of Thought has Been Derailed
- Hannah Moskowitz at Invincible Summer
- Akina-Hana at Burning Wisdom from the Uniform of Autumn
- Kara at Moomurs
- B. Light at Writing by Night Light
- Everyone over at Writer Unboxed
- Roni at Fiction Groupie
If you can suggest an awesome blog then please leave it in the comments! Thanks again, Caitlin!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Words: 13 333 <-freaky number! And yes, I have been slacking...
A short story I wrote for this month's issue of our school magazine. It's name is "Water Girl" (working title. It's kind of lame and oh-so-much lamer once you actually read it).
My chalked feet tense on the taut rope—the only thing that stands between me and the ground, a hundred metres below—as I peer over my curled toes and swallow hard. There’s a children’s wading pool, stands full of people and me.
“Introducing...” Oswald, the chubby ringmaster, begins with a flourish. A pre-recorded drum roll comes over the speakers and a spot light dances around the tent before it fixes on me. I squint in the bright light but flash a winning grin at the audience. “Marina the Water Girl!”
I wave and smile, gritting my teeth. Relax, Marina, I take a deep breath, no one wants to see a girl jump off of a tightrope and almost land in a pool. If they wanted to, I bet there’s something on the internet. Some blooper reel set up just to poke fun at people like me.
My old biology teacher, Mr Temple, used to say, “Humans are sixty percent water and forty percent ignorance.”
The other kids would sneer or scoff, but not me. Mr Temple and I always ate lunch together at the collapsible table attached to the Strong Man’s trailer, away from the other kids. We sat in silence, content in each other’s company. “Sure glad I’m not a human,” I said once, through a big bite of turkey sandwich, when I was feeling particularly bold.
“Me too,” his eyes twinkled and he took a swig from the little thermos that he always kept on hand
The other kids used to make fun of Mr Temple for his long white hair, half moon glasses and tie-dye tee shirts. They said that he was a hippie, said his thermos was full of booze and he wasn’t a real teacher. There were wrong about the last one, though. Mr Temple was the best teacher I’ve ever had.
He left the circus last summer because all of the travel was getting to him. Apparently he wanted to spend more time with his family but no one knew who exactly his family was. It was hard to imagine that Mr Temple had actually come from somewhere. That’s what he told the rest of the class, anyway. On his last day, he ate lunch with me.
“Guess I’ll be seeing you, water girl,” he said with a smile.
“I hate when people call me that,” I scowled.
Mr Temple nodded sagely. “That’s why I have to go,” he replied. “All you freaks—you’re not really freaks, are you?”
He looked like he wanted an answer, so I shook my head and he laughed. “Well, maybe sometimes, but we all are. You know what, Marina? You’re most normal person here.” That's the first time anyone's ever called me normal.
I imagine Mr Temple in the stands, cheering me on. Or maybe he’s covering his eyes, crossing his fingers for me. I’ve done this stunt a thousand times, and my mother a thousand times before that. She was the original Water Girl—called Aqualine by the ring master even though her real name was Isobel. I don’t know what my real name is, if I have one. Marina could be just another gimmick but for now it’s what I answer to.
Oswald touches his nose, my signal to get a move on. I bend my knees and dive into the air. I watch my mark—a little red dot painted dead center of the pool. If I miss by even a fraction of an inch, I’m gone. Despite years of practice, I can’t calm my nerves. My heart jumps around in my chest, rattling against my ribs, threatening to break free and kill me here and now.
I’m in the air for less than ten seconds but in that time I can feel the crowd hold its breath. My turquoise tights and dark blue body suit ripple as I careen downward—the white ribbons Oswald insisted on braiding into my dark hair catch the breeze and for a moment I pretend that I’m more bird than fish.
The crowd roars when I land with barely a splash. I could tell you that it’s all smoke and mirrors and bungee cords, but when you get down to it it’s mostly guts, stupidity and a firm assurance that the tiny wading pool is my only option.
But next time, maybe just a millimetre to the left would be the better choice.
Hope you like it!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
In the meantime, I've been wondering about what I should bring with me to PenWriters this summer. It's a five day youth writing camp that my friend and I are going to in Penticton, BC. The guest speaker is Meg Tilly--my friend and I are going to watch Fame for some research material because, sadly, I am part of the ignorant 5% of our population that has yet to watch Fame.
Anyways, by what to bring I don't actually mean that clothes-wise. I'm more concerned with whether I should bring a book of poems, a rough first draft or a novel or a short story. I'm pretty much convinced that all of the other 13-18 years olds there will be wildly talented and otherwise genius, so, luckily, today I finished a short story without even realizing it. And I'm pretty proud of myself because finishing things has never been my forte.
In fact, endings in general are just plain suckish. Especially considering I usually give up on a story before I get to the ending, so I don't have to worry about flailing loose ends. An ending means it's over, though. And I've got to admit, I'm still a sucker for happily ever after :)
In other news, you should definitely check out theoatmeal.com and you should definitely take some of their quizzes. I have to admit that, for a dark period in the middle of the summer of grade seven, I spent countless hours hiding in my room, taking ridiculous personality quizzes. Those were more of the Which Harry Potter character is your soul mate? variety, though.
I'm overjoyed that theoatmeal.com has a quiz entitled, "How Many Justin Biebers Could You Take in a Fight?" Now I will finally know.
PS: The results are in: I could take 21 Biebers in a fight! Yes! I must say that, although in conception using torn off body parts as weapons might make sense, I'm not sure if I could go through with it in real life, so the total may border on fraudulent. Whatever. I'm on to discover, "Are Your Loved Ones Plotting to Eat You?"
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Wow, what a dreadful transition! Anyways, the poetry party last night was positively smashing. We had about 15 people show up and all but one read a poem. It was a much better turn out than we'd ever imagined, so right now I'm pretty happy :)
Here's the poem I read, unofficially titled "Walking Away":
The sun never really goes down
He tells me, glasses propped on hooked nose like a bird on a telephone wire
It’s just an illusion
Made by the earth turning.
I kick a rock across the street
And know I’m just passive aggressive
But that’s what he gets for being progressive.
What do you want me to do about it?
It’s not a threat
Just a threatening statement
And we clench our fists like warriors in some unspoken battle
Because the difference is too fine to spot.
I want you to know.
And I want you to know how hopeless you make me feel
Like every day is a new disaster.
If the sun never goes down
Then it never comes up
And that leaves us in this stupid in between
That makes me want to pull out my hair and
Curse every hour in the day and every letter in your name just so there can be an ending.
If we spin fast enough, could we turn the earth back on its axis?
He wonders out loud.
Could we buy ourselves an hour—a day?
Or, I interrupt, would we just make ourselves dizzy.
He turns on his heel, a perfect silhouette
Of someone I just haven’t met.
Gravel crunches under his feet—like fallen leaves or hardened snow—because, night or day,
Every season has a different sound for walking away.
So what do you think?
Another person at the Poetry Party was Janine, aka Ninemenonrocks. She's an amazing poet, and let's just say I'm glad I didn't have to follow her! She read "If You Are Innocent" and "Donnie, She's Gone".
It was an awesome night and I'm so glad that it went so well. Yay for happy endings--Fanny and Edmund are together at last (and we can all try to forget that they're cousins--yuck!).
Thursday, June 10, 2010
word count: 11 726
Do you notice anything... different about me?
Oh, what could it be, Erika's blog? Did you get a hair cut?
Psh, no. I've recently discovered the infinite joys of customized templates! This pretty little number comes courtesy of Gisele Jaquenod and Birdie. If you're looking for your own template, Yummy Lolly also has some cool stuff. I apologize that both sites offer mostly cute, happy, in-some-cases dessert themed templates. You'll just have to learn to live with that, now won't you?
So besides the new look, I want to give a massive shout out to Absolute Write. The writers there are so inspirational, helpful, kind and welcoming. And hey, a few of them are even published. You can literally hang out in the forums, talking to published authors. Sorry, I'm such a geek that that is still blowing my mind.
I'm thinking it's in part--if not mostly--due to AW that I have six followers at this time. It's a crazy huge gigantic deal to me. Thank you (yes, YOU!) so much for reading my blog, following it, and not posting creepy comments about what will happen to me at 11:11 pm if I don't obey. It means a lot.
A few weeks ago, I made a "To Do Before I Graduate" list. It's like "To Do Before I Die" but a bit less morbid. One of the things on it, which I know I can't really control, is to have ten followers. Just wanted you to know how much you mean to me. Sixty percent capacity--alright! ;)
In other news, this totally made my day. I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed that a vampire of all things got the top spot. They're taking all the best ghoulish titles away from my kraken buddies.
The times they are a-changing. That's Bob Dylan, isn't it? We bought my dad a t-shirt that said that for his birthday last year. It feels particularly pertinent now, with just over a week of school left before summer break (whoop, whoop!).
Got any big summer plans? We could go to a beach so I can show off my pasty white, I-stay-inside-writing skin. Good plan, yes?
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
My name's Erika, and I've written 13 pages. This is the part where you say, "Hi, Erika" so that I don't feel like such a weirdo. Anyways, I'm pretty happy with my word count for the past few days--even if it means falling seriously behind on my homework. Only 7 more days of school until the summer--long, luxurious days with nothing to do but do nothing... And write, of course ><
This post is about poetry--whoop! I always used to think of myself as a kind of poet, but in truth my version of "free verse" is more like fancy sounding word vomit.
One of my friends and I have teamed up to hold a Poetry Party this Friday. It's a tradition that our families and a few other people have been doing for years--meeting once every few months for a potluck dinner and sharing poetry. Everyone, regardless of age or talent is encouraged to read a poem (it can be something by Poe, of course, if you're so inclined, or anyone really). Everyone who reads gets a number, they're entered in a draw for gift certificates, it's tons of fun.
I've been doing poetry readings for as long as I can remember and reading my poems from about age five on, I think. So you'd think by now I'd have it down. Then again, in those days mumbling something about "A cat and a bat and a rat and, uh... did I say cat already?" was totally acceptable. Now that I'm fifteen, people like something a bit more coherent.
I'm stumped. A few of the people invited are legitimately amazing poets and writers whereas, sure, I can write a short story about people with claws for hands (or, I guess I could...?) but compressing my thoughts and emotions into something as finite as a poem--and then reading it in front of people? It's pretty intimidating.
So I've turned to the internet for inspiration. Some days I honestly wonder how I would've gotten by if I lived, say, forty years ago. Encyclopedias. Lots of 'em.
Any suggestions? Any?
Didn't think it would be that easy, though, did I? Maybe I can write a poem on meiosis, considering that's what I'm supposed to be studying right now. I could just splatter a few literary terms on a page--for instance, this post has no plot--but somehow I don't think that'll cut it.
Quite frankly, I think I just have to put my nose to the grindstone, or whatever it is people say, and get to work.
So what do you do when you're facing a particularly difficult writer-ly challenge? Do you tackle every scene head on, despite your fears? Do you devise a brilliant plan, plotting out every moment, or, in my case, every stanza, before logically working your way through whatever it is that's holding you back?
Good luck with whatever challenges you. Hey, maybe you'll go off and throw your own Poetry Party after reading this. And maybe you'll invite me...? Nope, wasn't counting on it :P
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I stayed home sick from school today because I've been sleeping really badly and was so tired yesterday that I almost just called it quits while walking home from school yesterday. I kid you not, I was prepared to make camp on the side of the road. Now I have piles of homework awaiting me when I get back tomorrow, and massive bags under my eyes.
Despite all of this, I've decided to go ahead with "Teaser Tuesday". I know it's not exactly original, but hey, it's gotta be used so much for a reason!
Below are the first two pages of a project that I've basically abandoned these days due to unruly characters and no idea what should happen next! Did I mention that my current WIP is up to 8200 words? I'm trying out the whole freakishly fast first draft method. Obviously I'll have to delete most of it come editing, but it's a great way to keep things fresh.
Growing up, Daniel and I were big into crossing our hearts and hoping to die. With us no secret could be told without a pinkie promise to back it up, and we definitely had some secrets to tell.
From the moment I was born, Daniel has always been there for me. We were born in the same year, on the same day, even at the same hour. The thing is, Daniel was born five minutes before me. He always seemed to be five minutes ahead and always had at least a five minute head start. If you listened to him, he would say he’s five minutes wiser, but that’s a load of bullshit unless you think it’s wise to run off in the middle of the night and not tell your best friend any more than, “I’ll be back soon, I swear.”
I didn’t want Daniel to be back soon. I wanted him to be safe and happy and crazy and mischievous and I wanted him to be all of those things right here in Baybridge Cove with me. It was two months ago today that he tapped our secret knock against my bedroom window. Daniel’s face was red from the cold and his hands felt like ice when I helped him in.
“Hey Brig,” he said. He sounded tired but there was something in his eye—something dangerous. I should have known right then and there that something was wrong with him, and I should’ve... I don’t know. If I could go back and talk him out of leaving, I don’t know what I would say. From the look in his eyes, as if staying in the city for even a second more would burn him alive, I doubt any rational argument would’ve worked. Maybe I could’ve locked him in my closet or told him I loved him, or something crazy like that.
“Hi,” I said. I was wearing a silky nightgown that my sister Claire gave me for Christmas. I was freezing my ass off but, to tell the truth, I wasn’t expecting Danny to come that night. I was expecting someone else.
The nightgown barely reached my thighs. Even though Daniel and I were friends literally since we were born (and had seen each other naked dozens of times, or so my mom has told me multiple times. Birthdays, Christmases, parent-teacher meetings, she never manages to miss an opportunity to completely embarrass me), the past few years a few things changed with us, or at least with me. For instance, I fully understand Danny has a penis and thanks to Claire’s need for ‘sisterly bonding,’ I know exactly what it's supposed to do, thanks to anatomy lessons using sadly inaccurate Barbie and Ken dolls.
I started to turn red and was looking for my bathrobe when Danny said, “You look...” I was practically holding my breath at this point.
I sat down on my bed and offered him a seat, but he shook his head and closed the window behind him. Danny was wearing full on winter gear, from the thick waterproof boots to the bright green scarf his mom knitted him every year, without fail.
“Where are you going?” I asked, noticing for the first time the bulging backpack draped over his shoulders.
He shrugged it off and said, “Nowhere, really. Just making the rounds to all my lovely ladies around town.”
“Funny, funny,” I rolled my eyes. “But honestly, Danny, what brings you here? I’m sure you have better things to do on a Friday night than sneak into my room.”
A few years ago, that wouldn’t have been true, but by then I could tell than he and I were drifting apart; five minutes can be a long time, when you think about it. There was something about Danny that drew people to him—just like there was something about me that scared them away.
He smiled a little but it didn’t reach his eyes. “You’re wrong, Brig. There’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
Daniel was standing in front of my by then, still with the same look in his eye. I couldn’t quite place it but it definitely wasn’t the usual, easy-going Danny I grew up with. And then Danny leaned down until our faces were level I could count the gold flecks in his hazel eyes if I wanted to, but I didn’t. It was so hard to meet his gaze when he looked like that; so determined and full of the will to do anything, whether it was dangerous or stupid or scary.
The air was so stiflingly hot that I could hardly breathe. Staring at Daniel like I had all my life was like looking in a mirror. It was hard to believe that we were so different now. His dark hair was still damp from the snow.
“Brig...” Daniel said slowly. Whatever he might have said was cut off when he put a hand behind my head and pressed his lips against mine.
Daniel felt so cold. I wanted to throw my hands around his neck and kiss him until his temperature boiled over, and we could be feverish and silly together. At that moment I felt for this boy like I never had my whole life. All I wanted was Daniel.
I’m not going to lie to you, so I’m not going to stop there even though I wish I could. But if I don’t tell the truth then I might never see Danny again. Just please promise not to hate me by the time I’m done.
I pulled away, because it wasn’t right. It wasn’t right at all. “What the hell, Danny?” I sounded breathless and hated myself for it. The look on Danny’s face made me feel doubly guilty.
“I... I thought that maybe...”
“You thought what?” Remembering this makes me feel horrible; Daniel was pouring his heart out to me and I was acting like a petulant little kid. Just like when we were four years old and I pushed him off his bike because I wanted a turn. Our history was full of moments like that. But that night I was acting the way I was because I knew something Danny didn’t: I knew that Nick Beechman, my sometimes boyfriend, would be arriving any moment for the same reason that I was wearing that stupid nightgown. To have sex for the first time.
“You thought that after that past year when you’ve done nothing but ignore me you could just show up at my window like we’re in fifth grade and—”
“When have I ever ignored you?” Daniel asked and his green-brown eyes looked so honest I had to look away.
I opened my mouth to respond but another knock at the window interrupted me. The window was unlocked and Nick let himself in. He’s the opposite of Danny in so many ways. Nick’s blond, tall and has a lightness around him that’s almost angelic. Danny is dark and mischievous with a solid feel to him that has nothing to do with his looks.
I expected Nick to be angry that Daniel was there, but he just pushed past him. Nick put his arm around my waist and planted a quick kiss on the side of my lips. His kiss was hurried and forceful and it felt like he was claiming his territory.
“Hey Danny,” he nodded. “How’s it going?”
“Alright, thanks,” Danny said calmly enough but I could tell that he was furious. “Just hanging out in Brig’s bedroom—nothing weird about that.”
“Well, my girlfriend can be very hospitable,” Nick pulled me closer to him.
So, what did you think? Let me know in the comments--I want to know if Teaser Tuesday is worth doing? If blogging is worth doing? If life is worth doing. Now that's deep.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I've started a new story. Oh yes, it wouldn't be a new month without a new novel idea stewing around in my head. This one's about a girl who sees two boys jump off of a pier--and one of them is shot in mid air. When they get out of the water, though, they're both perfectly fine. Basically she can see the future and... No idea where it's heading, which drives me crazy! I need to know the ending--I refuse to simply cast off yet another project after I lose interest.
I have a goal.
Not so much a goal as it is a set-in-stone obligation. I have just under seven months to finish a manuscript because I am determined (DETERMINED!) to have a book finished by my sixteenth birthday.
Bear in mind, there are several loopholes to this. 1) It doesn't have to be finished well. I just want a first draft, something that I can edit the crap out of and make into something, well, mildly presentable? 2) It doesn't have to be long. I've been reading Hannah Moskowitz's (author of YA novel Break) blog and guess what? Her first drafts are only around 30k words and generally written in about a week's time. And I have seven months!
To me, that was a complete and utter shock. Books can be under 90k and still be books?! Who knew! Everyone always says, writing is rewriting. But so far I haven't finished a manuscript to the point where I can begin rewriting it. Very sad.In other news, I think this t-shirt is fucking awesome (link). Buuuuut, I have no money to even think about online shopping right now! I really need a job. Oh, woe is me to finally have to join the workforce. I was always more of the mentality that if money can't buy you love, why would you want to work in the first place. It may not be wise to get all of your wisdom from the Beatles, however. I still think I'm a walrus.
One last thing before I go! I was looking through a photography book (my other great love, next to writing and my imaginary blogoverse, of course) and I saw a picture of what may be the coolest animal alive. The three toed sloth.
Obviously I'm jealous of sloths, simply for their ability (and it is an ability--it's actually an evolutionary adaptation, though... I'm not sure why) to be so lazy. Did you know, though, that the 3 toed sloth only ways 10 to 15 pounds? And they look so cute!
PS: A lot of blogs I've been reading have specific weekly sections like 'Teaser Tuesday', 'WIP Wednesday', stuff like that. I think I might just have to try it out! Keep you eyes open for some very cheesy, week day themed posts. Then again, that means I might actually have to post more than once a week.
Soundtrack: Nighttiming by Coconut Records