Category Archives: Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday

NEWSFLASH first: Last night I got another request for a partial — not from an agent I’d queried, but from an agent who saw my query on the Kidlit blog contest. It’s a legit agent who doesn’t accept unsolicited queries, so this is a cool opportunity.

So the lesson is: enter contests.

Now for the teaser. I know I blab on and on about how I have no time for anything at school, but I did have enough time this weekend to pull this out of nowhere. Ladies and gentlemen: UNDERTAKING.

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[Teaser snipped; thanks for the comments!]

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Could this be my Nano novel? It has no plot… so far. Any ideas are welcome. Speaking of Nano, it will be the topic of tomorrow’s post! (For those of you who don’t know, Nano is National Novel Writing Month, that fun-filled and glorious month when writers drink gallons of coffee, get no sleep, and write 50,000 words in 30 days. Only the brave — or do I mean insane? — survive)

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Teaser Thursday

Tuesdays are teaser days usually, but this week Thursday will get the honor. In this scene, Sophie sees Mr. Green Eyes again… Enjoy!

[Teaser snipped]

PS: As of this weekend (hurray for vacations!) the sequel is about 1200 words long…

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Teaser Tuesday: Imitation

Listen to the tunes of speech, the intonation patterns we use to connect our thoughts in conversation. The next step is using those patterns as the skeleton of thinking: Find a voice, then think.” (Dona Hickey, Developing a Written Voice)

No INBETWEEN today. Instead, I’d like to tease you with a writing prompt. It’s basically what I did for part of a style/grammar class assignment this week. My  professor related it to trying on clothes: Style is like clothing. Writers can try on all sorts of styles, maybe collect a vintage wardrobe and mix in a few chic accessories — or stick with stuff that’s more Vogue and modern. Mary Oliver, as you’ll find if you click through to the following link, has a distinct voice and style. My class had to imitate her voice, wear her clothes, try on her style, and so will you if you try out this prompt.

Click through to this link. It’s an excerpt from Mary Oliver’s Blue Pastures. I’d paste it here, but it was pub’d in 1995 and I’m uncertain of copyright rules. So just scroll to page 19, the paragraph beginning “When the great horned…” Just read that paragraph; it’s not too long. Gorgeous writing. I’m obsessed.

Now list a couple qualities of Oliver’s writing. I got:

  • sentence length moves from long at the beginning of the paragraph to short at the end
  • hard alliteration
  • LOTS of piled adjectives

So, for the assignment, I wrote this little 150 word paragraph in an attempt to imitate Mary Oliver.

On foggy fall mornings when I trudge out to the car, ice clings to the leaves on our Japanese maple and turns them into red crystals that sparkle when the sun comes out to melt the ice into condensation. All through the day, condensation drips onto the dewy grass or steams into the softening air until the crisp coming of evening freezes up the leaves again. Almost always the changing fall air burns the Japanese maple more brilliantly red by the day until veins of flame-colored orange streak through their centers and sear their crinkly edges brownish-burgundy. Then I pluck the leaves from creaky branches or scoop them off frozen soil, and press them flat inside fat phone directories. When all the leaves I leave on the maple are plastered to the pavement by deluges or rain or piled around the storm drain, I peel back the pages of the phone books. Suspended in time are my September leaves. Fresh fall fire fills my house.

Will I get 100%? Yeah? What would you do differently or similarly? Give it a try. It’s fun to try on new clothes.

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Teaser Tuesday

Agent update: agent #1 (who requested the exclusive partial) said no. So I’m sending to agent #2 (who requested the full). Somehow I wasn’t disappointed when I saw the email today. I’m getting better and better at not taking rejection personally, which is essential to this query process. If agent #1 wasn’t excited enough, agent #1 wouldn’t have been a good fit for me. Maybe agent #2 will be? We’ll see.

Also: that article about me comes out today… If anyone clicked through the link and is here for the first time, welcome! Cruise around and get acquainted with this place and my book, which is called THE INBETWEEN. You can read more about it here or read more about me here.

[Teaser snipped]

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Teaser Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!

Teaser Tuesday is going to be short for no particular reason. But first I would like to tell you a story. It is a true story about a conversation I had with a boy sometime last week. Last week was very hot — maybe in the two hundreds? I died. Anyway (this takes place at dinner and I had juuuust met this boy at the start of the meal) —

All of us: The showers in [our dorm last year] were so much better.

Me: I haven’t tried the showers yet.

(Side note: it was actually the SECOND day of being here. Classes hadn’t even started yet.)

Boy: You haven’t taken a shower yet????

Me: Um…

Boy: I took like three showers today.

And… that was the end of the conversation. We are not friends currently. I think he’s afraid of me? But I promise I’ve taken LOTS of showers since then. (And it’s a true fact: our showers last year were so much better.)

[Teaser snipped]

beach walk

beach walk at sunset

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Teaser Tuesday

It’s scorching down here, and let me tell you I am NOT a fan of slogging around in 90 degree humidity all day long. I’m seriously covered in sweat 24/7. Gross. I have also had no time to write or think or sit down (I wrote the following post last week), which is okay for now. College is fun (minus the boys below us whose music makes the floor vibrate).

Speaking of boys, you met Mr. Green Eyes last week. I like him a lot, but he isn’t in today’s excerpt. Setting: Sophie has just arrived at her aunt and uncle’s house in Morrow, Oregon.

Imagine a place that looks something like this...

Imagine a place that looks something like this...

I unlock the window latch, heave up the frame. Salty air races into the room, blows through my open duffel like a tornado. Something outside jingles and footsteps slap on pavement. I squint through fat raindrops.

The house across the street’s close enough to see the silhouette of someone in the upper floor window, a girl with hair just above her shoulders and a laptop. She drops the blinds.

Cause of me, or cause there’s someone wandering the cul-de-sac below us? The jingling sound sends tingles up the back of my neck. Jingling like bells and silver and bracelets.

A shadow crosses the street and the tingles hang around my hairline. This evening isn’t a dog-walking evening, plus the person doesn’t have a dog. One house’s motion light flicks on and lights up the shadow’s pale skin and skirt before she moves back into the rain.

Something slimy like intrigue coats my skin with sweat. That metallic sound clinks. And I think I hear a voice, an old woman’s voice, sort of trembly with age, saying —

“Come have, come have…”

The words are siren calls. All dizzy and clammy, I lean out the window. Rain pelts my forehead and I shove it out of my eyes. “Wait!”

“Come have…”

The call’s faint now, messed up by the sound of raindrops pinging on the roof.

“Come back,” I whisper. But the woman vanishes into the rain.

“That’s weird,” Luke says in my head. I cut him off. Yeah, it’s more than weird. I slam the window shut and the glass seems to shut out my fear, too. When I touch my forehead, it’s dry. Hot and dry, like I have a fever or something.

Weird.

I am weird. I talk to people who don’t even exist —

I turn on the desk lamp and dresser lamp and nightstand lamp, and the brightness banishes the quivery call from my mind. Sort of.

“Come have…”

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Teaser Tuesday

But first, an addendum to yesterday’s post.

When I went home with that friend, I told the lady who waxed my eyebrows that I usually pluck (note the word, pluck), and her response was, “Girl, you pluck chickens.” Apparently the correct word is tweeze. ‘Scuse my slip-up yesterday, I’m still getting used to tweezing.

[Teaser snipped.]

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