7.31.2010

My Brother the Superhero...Yeah Right.

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Takin' a break from YA...maybe someday I'll write a MG book...and maybe it'll go something like this.

My brother thinks he’s a superhero. What’s worse, my mom believes him. Of course, she may be biased. She thinks she’s one too.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re sane people and I love them very much. And there could be some truth to what they say. I mean, I’ve never been sick a day in my life. I’ve never had a scratch on me for longer than an hour. My mom claims it’s because she has a version of “Mommy Magic” like no other mom on the planet: She truly can heal an owie with a kiss. My brother’s claim on the supernatural is yet to be discovered. That’s right. He says he can feel the power surging through him; it just hasn’t funneled into its one true gift. It will, though, he assures me—several times a day.

And guess who he has chosen as his side kick to help him figure it all out? Yup. Me.

I’m just the younger brother, the baby, the cutie pie everyone loves to dote on without putting much stock in what I have to say.

And I have a lot to say, but no one to say it to.

But I’m brilliant. Smarter than my brother. Smarter than my parents.

Only no one knows it yet.

Nobody except the evil neighbor man, known as _________.

7.30.2010

My latest Query...and a New Discovery

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I'm so new at this writing thing that I just discovered querytracker.net and WriteOnCon.com...thankfully! I'm excited for the (free!)online writer's conference (August 10-12)! I was brave and posted my query and first chapter and had a couple of very helpful critiques.

Here's the Query

Dear (Agent),

Gossip, spread over the past 70 years, implicates fifteen year old Dawn Buchanen as the descendant who will cause the collision of the Earth and Themura dimensions. Ironically, she is a straight-laced girl who never breaks the rules. She has no idea Transporters, nor the alternate dimension they visit, even exist—until she falls in love with one. Unfortunately he believes the lie and breaks her heart, convinced she is the one who has come to succeed where her ancestors failed. Dawn is determined to prove her innocence, even when she begins fear she may not be.

Solstice is a 100,000 word Young Adult novel.

Thank you for considering my submission.

7.21.2010

Revised verson August 1

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Big changes for the beginning of the novel...

Chapter 1
Lawrence Nolet

Waves curled over one another, scrambling to crash and rejoin the vast depths from which they arose. Bleached light from the early afternoon sun filled the vast arch above and shimmered off the display of spattering water.

I stood on my red sandy cliff, not far from where she sat. I closed my eyes and breathed in the fresh scent of the ocean below. Faint melodies resonated, rising and falling with the breeze.

I was well aware that I had the ability to transport my mind, soul and body to this place, this Themura. I knew I could take anything I touched with me. I didn’t know I could take something that wasn’t tangible, something like her subconscious. Until now.

I needed to learn why I was so drawn to her. I wasn’t brave enough to talk to her at school. I had barely been brave enough to speak when I transported into her dreams. This time I brought her with me. [Even though she still thought she was asleep, I would try to explain. Then maybe, just maybe she would remember, maybe she would know...when she woke up.] [take this part out?]

I knew my voice would be familiar, but spoke softly so I wouldn’t startle her. I had no tact, my thoughts flowed, a torrent of words, as though I was afraid I’d lose my courage again. “This isn’t a dream, Dawn.” I approached and sat beside her. She smiled at me, like I was an old friend. “I brought you here to this world—a dimension beyond your subconscious—because I needed to find out if you felt it too...the connection there is between us.”

I shook my head and shrugged, helpless. “Having you here, being with you...I’m not afraid. I want you to know it’s not a dream. I have deviated from all the rules in bringing you here, so even though you probably won’t, even though you shouldn’t...please remember.”
My eyes pleaded with hers as I tried to hang on, but her face became fuzzy, and then she slipped away.

Chapter 2
Dawn Buchanen

I awoke and wished I could linger under the warm sheets for hours longer than I was able. Instead, I flung my legs quickly over the side of the twin bed into the cool air hoping, as with a band-aid, that getting it over with quickly would make it easier.

Autumn air had chilled the house overnight, and I stumbled, frigid, to a mercifully warm shower. It was while the heated water pelted down that the memory of the dream from the night before washed over me.

I vaguely recognized the boy from school, from French class, to be exact. How I knew that, I couldn’t be sure since I had never thought much of him before. The details of our conversation eluded me, yet somehow in the midst of my slumber he had captivated me. I felt oddly connected to him.

Not straying from routines I had set in place a month and a half before, I emerged from the shower and swiped at the sweaty mirror. Reflected there were imperfect features--nothing like those on his flawless face. My nose appeared slightly bulbous in the middle of my narrow face. High cheekbones met my angular jaw line which cut down, accentuating a sharp chin. Hazel eyes were framed by dark eyebrows. My one saving grace was my long eyelashes. Still, there was no way he would find me attractive enough to talk to.

As idiotic as I knew it was to entertain the yearning I felt for this boy who before this past hour had never caught my eye, I felt an urgency to be at school and to see him, as though he would feel this same connection due to a dream I had had, by myself, without him.

Once dressed in my most comfortable pair of jeans and favorite plum knit sweater, I opened the bathroom door. Cool, dry air from the hallway rushed in. I went to eat breakfast before trying to dry my hair in the humid bathroom, dampened by my hot shower.

The kitchen was empty, as usual. My dad had already eaten and gone, most likely after a brisk jog. I hadn’t joined him for a morning run since school began and my muscles longed for the exercise they missed. As if in sync with my thoughts, our black mutt, Zodiac, padded in and poked his wet nose at my fingertips, whining.

“Not today, pup.” I caressed behind his ears, a bleak attempt at an apology. My dad never included him on his jaunts. Zodi was the closest I had to a sibling in the house, and while I appreciated his company, I would have preferred a brother or sister to accompany me in my mundane life.

From the living room, just off the kitchen, an anchorman was droning on about taking precautions due to the flu that was affecting large portions of the city’s population. It had been the same every morning as of late, so I pushed the power button on the television remote to silence him.

After pouring a bowl of Rice Krispies, I delved into the book I kept on the counter to read while eating. However, the Katherine Patterson novel I was currently engaged in dredged up the foreign emotions my dream had awoken in me. While my eyes continued to follow the words, my mind was lost to the one hazy image I remembered from my sleep—his face. I couldn’t shake the romantic feelings the dream had awoken in me for him.

Walking back down the hall I reminded myself that it had only been a dream and it would affect no one else but me. Nonetheless, as I pulled my fingers through brown, blow-dried hair and curled the final strands with a curling iron, I couldn’t shake my unusual excitement for a school day to start.
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My novel description for my latest query letter...does it hook you? (It's supposed to be 1-3 sentences long...this is the shortest I could get it!)

Until Dawn Buchanen, a straight A student who spent her weekends reading and volunteering, fell for a boy with the ability to transport to an alternate dimension, she was a seemingly typical teenager whose goals in life were fairly simplistic: she wanted to tone down her goody-goody image and add a little excitement to her mundane life. Through him she learned that her late great-grandmother was implicated in a sinister plot and that she was now under suspicion of being a vindictive descendant come to succeed where her ancestors had failed.

Suddenly, her quest to shed her squeaky clean image was overshadowed by one in which she must prove her innocence, even when she herself feared she may not be. With the risk of having an innately evil soul, would it be too late by the time she realized she should have been happy—being just plain good— all along?

Solstice, a 100,000 word Young Adult novel, has a touch of fantasy, but is set firmly in reality. My novel incorporates romance and suspense, and while it embraces young love, shows the importance of overcoming obstacles independently, recognizing that one’s own worth—being able to accept oneself— is as important as earning the love of another.

7.15.2010

My hook...or is it?

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Today's blog is the beginning of my novel...let me know if it grabs your attention or if you think I should go back to the "writing board"!

Seated, alone on a red sandy cliff, I closed my eyes and breathed in the fresh scent of the nearby ocean. Faint melodies resonated, rising and falling with the breeze. I sighed, knowing I would soon wake up and have to leave this place. From behind me a deep, familiar voice spoke.

“This isn’t a dream, Dawn. I’ve brought you here purposefully, to lower my inhibitions, because to you this will seem like only a dream, one you may not even remember. But I had to try. I needed to find out if you felt it too…the connection there is between us.”

Seated by my side, he shook his head; his dark, shaggy hair looking even more mussed, making him even more attractive, if that was possible. He shrugged, “It’s not a dream. Please remember.”

His hand firmly clasped mine and his dark eyes pleaded. I tried to hang on, but his face became fuzzy, and then I slipped away.