Today is the cover reveal for the Nogiku series by SJ Pajonas. As most of you know, I haven’t delved too deeply into the NA world, but this fabulous author is a personal friend of mine and I started reading because I love her, but I keep reading because her stories, characters and world building are SO GOOD! Plus, she recently nailed me with a spectacular cliff hanger in RELEASED. Today I get to help Lola launch the exciting new covers for this series. Revealed: Part One (Nogiku series #0.1), Removed (Nogiku series #1), Released (Nogiku series #2) and Reunited (Nogiku series #3). This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.
I wasn’t able to read and review this one before the cover release, but it has jumped to the top of my TBR pile!!!!
Revealed: Part One: New Year’s Eve with Jiro and Mark (Nogiku series #0.1)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: June 1, 2014
Get immersed in the Nogiku world with Jiro Itō as he gets ready for a boring and annoying New Year’s Eve out in Nishikyō. At least, that’s what he expects his night to be like. Jiro would rather drink with the geisha all evening, and avoid taking anyone home, but he has family business to attend to instead. When the family business leads to an unfamiliar restaurant, Jiro spies Sanaa Griffin smiling at him from across the room, and his night turns around.
But Mark Sakai, his uncle, is not pleased with Jiro’s flirtations. Mark has worked hard for over a decade to get Sanaa into position for her new life, and he can’t have Jiro interfering. Will a stern warning be enough to keep them apart?
PART ONE of REVEALED is a companion short story to REMOVED, Book ONE of the Nogiku Series. The first chapter of REMOVED is included at the end of PART ONE. Read REVEALED first or read it later, but don’t miss this look into the other side of Sanaa’s story.
Approximately 10,000 words.
You can find Revealed: Part One: New Year’s Eve with Jiro and Mark on Goodreads
You can buy Revealed here:
- Barnes & Noble
You can find my review of REMOVED here.
Removed (Nogiku series #1)by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: September 11, 2013
Duty knows no family. Love has no price. Secrets can cost you everything.
Twenty-year-old Sanaa Griffin is about to get more than she bargained for when she wishes for love, happiness, and excitement on New Year’s Eve. Ripped from the job she always loved, she is reassigned to work for mysterious Mark Sakai and spy on the corrupt leaders of her city. War looms on the horizon, and Sanaa must help Sakai determine the key players and their weak spots before it’s too late.
Mark Sakai has many plans for Sanaa that will take her into a web of lies and danger, and her only protection is to learn to defend herself. But defense training under the watchful eye of Jiro, a strong and enigmatic young man she has a crush on, was not what she expected. Between falling in love with Jiro and the information she is gathering, Sanaa realizes Sakai is holding back secrets about her family and her deceased parents, secrets as to why she was chosen for this job, and learning the truth puts all of humanity in jeopardy.
REMOVED is the first book in a captivating post-apocalyptic series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.
You can find Removed on Goodreads
Want to view some inspirational images for Removed, visit the Removed inspirational Pinterest board
You can buy Removed here:
- Barnes & Noble
RELEASED was even better than REMOVED and I rave about it here.
Released (Nogiku series #2)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: December 17, 2013
Left in the desert to recuperate from her injuries, Sanaa Itami paces the floors and contemplates her mistakes. She trusted too easily, and now people she loved are dead, killed at the hands of men coming to assassinate her. Sanaa feels beaten, but life awaits her at home. While her city recovers from the devastating earthquake, negotiations for Sanaa’s future continue. New allies must be made, new friendships brokered, new skills acquired — at all costs.
Life at the top of the chain is complicated and lonely, though. With all her friendships rocky and uncertain, Sanaa must learn to trust others again more than she’s willing. Who is left holding a grudge? And will the new family Sanaa has found with Jiro support or betray her?
RELEASED, Book TWO of the Nogiku Series, is the second book in a captivating post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.
You can find Released on Goodreads
You can buy Released here:
- Barnes & Noble
I’m dying to find out what’s on the other side of that fabulous cliff hanger I mentioned. I can’t wait for August!!!!
Reunited (Nogiku series #3)
by SJ Pajonas
Genre: Science Fiction Romance, Post-apocalyptic
Age category: Young Adult, Adult
Release Date: August 14, 2014
Yūsei has surprises for Sanaa Itami. The long trip across the stars ends with Mark Sakai delivering bad news from orbit over their new home, and there’s no turning back or moving on. Despite all their misgivings, this is where they will have to stay.
Sanaa, Jiro, and the rest of Earth’s settlers move into a coastal town and stick to their plans to live the colonization life they dreamed of. But Sanaa’s existence won’t be kept secret from her enemies for long. Kazuo promised he would see her in another life, on another world, and he aims to keep his word. Now she will face those who want their revenge and make new enemies while dispensing with old ones on her journey across the fascinating and unfamiliar landscape of Yūsei.
REUNITED, Book THREE of the Nogiku Series, is the third book in a captivating post-apocalyptic romance series that harnesses the cultures and traditions of Japan and sweeps them into the future between Earth and a faraway land.
You can find Reunited on Goodreads
And I have some fabulous news for you… You can read Revealed: Part One for free! And the price for Removed has been permanently dropped to 0.99$. Haven’t started this series yet? Pick up your copy today!
About the Author:
S. J. Pajonas loves all things Asian and has been in love with Japan and the East for as long as she can remember. Writing about Asia and Japan came naturally after studying the culture and language for over fifteen years. She studied film and screenwriting first and eventually segued into fiction once she was no longer working a full-time job.
Face Time is the first novel in the Love in the Digital Age series, and Pajonas’s first foray into Korean culture and families. Along with Removed and Released in the Nogiku Series, she continues to take the cultures of Asia and weave them into stories that appeal to people from around the world. Her writing is described as unique and unpredictable. Expect the unexpected.
Stephanie lives with her husband and two children just outside of New York City. She loves reading, writing, film, J- and K-dramas, knitting, and astrology. Her favorite author is Haruki Murakami and favorite book is The Wind-up Bird Chronicle.
You can find and contact her here:
And there’s a cover reveal wide giveaway! You can win a 10$ gift card for Itunes of Starbucks or one of the 3 e-copies of Released!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
How do you like the fabulous new covers? Have you read any books in the Nogiku series yet? If you haven’t, get reading because I really want to talk about these books with you.
I know–you read the title and stopped by to see if I’d lost my ever loving mind. Perhaps you suspected that the high pressure world of publishing had gotten to me. That I decided to start being the ghost author for a couple reality TV stars from the Bachelor. Or maybe you thought I was jumping on the Fifty Shades band wagon. Nope, What I’m talking about today is how settling into your own writing makes you a more desirable person in a multitude of ways.
There’s no “right way” to write. And even though we know this, it’s hard to remember it with the plethora of advice that is available to us online. (And here I am spouting more of it. LOL!) Now, don’t get me wrong, I can always learn a thing or two. I’ve been both unexperienced and distractible at many points in my writing journey and so much of that advice has helped me to grow as a writer. I’m very grateful it’s always been there to nudge me in the right direction. But as I try on all the different styles and approaches to crafting words, I’ve come to realize that time and practice is the best way to discover what works best for me. It’s about knowing who I am and settling into my best self.
I was just reading an article in The Writer, about YA author Chris Crutcher, where he talks about writing in his head while he’s swimming at the pool. Once the scene is clear in his mind, he then sits down for 15-20 minutes and captures it on paper. Then he’s back up and moving because brainstorming in front of a computer and it’s distractions doesn’t work for him. He’s settled into an understanding of what works best for him. He’s not forcing a square peg into a round hole. Authenticity of self not only drives his writing, but it molds how he does the writing.
Right now I’m working on two projects. Not at the same time. And they are very different kinds of projects. But I’ve never done that before. I always focused on just one thing. But this is working out very well for me. While one project is marinating, I’m trucking along on the other one. Never suspected that this might be a good way for me write, but as I’m settling into myself, I’m finding out powerful things. Instead of beating myself up for not getting as much done as I’d hoped on a story, I now find myself feeling productive even when I’m stuck.
I’m also finding myself settling into a better rhythm with my inner brow beater. This is not to be confused with my inner editor who limits his meddling to my manuscripts. My inner brow beater is the little monkey that sits on my shoulder and whispers sweet chaos into my ear–about everything.
And while I’m talking about writing, know he doesn’t limit himself to such a narrow field of attack. Yeah, that guy. He likes to pluck my inner compass and send it spinning. But because I’ve spent this week catching up on an epic ton of writer’s magazines. (I got a wee bit behind in my move this winter) I’ve had reason to shake him off of my shoulder for a little while at least. As I was reading lots of inspirational and motivational stories from very different writers, I started seeing a pattern…
THERE IS NO PATTERN other than trust your instincts and work hard. One writer edits meticulously as they go along. Another writes drafts by hand to slow down the thinking process. Some have strict butt-in-chair and word count demands. Another starts a new draft from the top every time something is revised. Even if it means just retyping parts as is. Some change POV several times before they settle in. Others just tear through and fix it all later. Some swear by social media and some treat it like poison. If I try to imitate all that advice, I won’t be a success, I’ll be a head case. Totally not attractive. Completely unproductive.
Which begs the question–why do we let that monkey sit there to start with? Why are we so critical of ourselves? Why do we compare ourselves to everyone else and their process? Why do we try to mimic their success? Because from where I’m standing 9 times out of 10–the people we want to mold ourselves into are the people who’ve already learned to settle into what works for THEM. They have not only adjusted to their uniqueness, but they’ve embraced the idea that who they are must be inextricable linked to what they write. In fact, I find people who have a strong sense of self very attractive. It’s down right sexy sometime.
Yup–I’m going there. Finding your voice (if you write a good book) makes you attractive to readers, agents and editors. Having an internal compass that allows you to be yourself and share that with world makes you interesting. Confidence (not to be confused with arrogance) makes you sexy. And just to be clear, it won’t make you good looking (any more than you already are) but it will make you good to look at. Seriously, I’m not monkeying around. You should never settle for not settling into who you really are. Time to get sexy, my writer friends.
What other advice do you have about settling into the best writer you can be? What do you think makes a person sexy besides the obvious?
Lately, because we moved this winter, I’ve gotten to watch my kids in the process of making new friends. It’s a lot like writing a book. (Surprise! Yeah, I’m predictable. One day I’m going to tell you something weird and follow it up by announcing that it’s a lot like making a burrito or washing your underwear. Just to keep you on your toes.) Focus Kim–it was a three day weekend and you’re already discombobulated–making new friends is like writing a book.
*Everyone does it differently. I’ve got a three boy control group and what I’m seeing is that everyone has their own process. How one person makes their friendship or writing happen, does not necessarily work for someone else.
*It takes time. No short cuts. Making acquaintances is not the same as building friendships. Just like a NaNoWriMo draft is not like writing something you can send to your agent.
*There will be false starts and dead ends along the way. Someone can be a laundry list of good things, but not be a great fit. It’s kind of like drafting a list of viable book ideas. Some of those can sound amazing in a one or two sentence pitch, but they fail epically when you try to build characters to support it. Or the plot fizzles out in 3-4 chapters. Not all good things are the right thing. And odds are someone else will be a better fit with “that” friend and another writer will discover the whole story behind the idea that never got off the ground for you.
*Making friends usually depends on shared experiences between people. Tragedy in particular can bond people together. Two kids who get locked in the bathroom of a museum and miss the bus home from the field trip–bonded for life. (And FYI–that did not happen to my kids. I’m a writer. Stellar imagination <3) But emotionally laden experiences push us to write the good words. Tapping into our own range of experiences and feelings brings authenticity to our writing the same way it does to our relationships.
*Making friends takes work and moves us outside our comfort zone. It is a period of being off balance. One of the reason we seek out friendships is to create a bond with someone that gives us a soft place to fall. Writing is like that too. We can talk all we want about writing for publication and the twisted and complicated reasons we choose to dance with the ups and downs of the business. Were masochists! But we must also acknowledge that we write for personal growth and that requires us to be off balance. Uncomfortable. Vulnerable. Yet, by exposing your weaknesses, some how we gain a layer of strength. It’s a risk-taking behavior, both writing and friendship. You make yourself weak to make yourself strong. Exposing your heart to the elements is not an easy thing to do–but the payoffs of living through it are amazing. Courage, despite fear, in friendship and writing is powerful.
So, it’s been a long and fabulous three day weekend. Now it’s time to write. Or as I like to think of it–make friends with that amazing book inside of you. How else is does connecting with your words feel like building a new friendship? Can you write something without the intimate connection? What piece of work over your lifetime would you consider to be your best friend? Mine would have to be TOUCHING THE SURFACE.
I get so excited when things I love collide. Today, for my Bookanistas review, I have a mash-up of awesomeness that I can’t wait to share with you.
It’s a contemporary novel that hits my sweet spot–not so serious it’s dark, but deep enough to make me fall in love with the characters. Just an all around awesome read.
AND it was written by my fabulous Wolf Pack Sistah Kasie West!!!
Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.
So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.
She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.
Kimberly’s Review of THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US:
Some times you read a book that’s dark, heavy and serious and it feel like a punch in the gut in a weird, but wonderful way. Other times you might read a book that’s so light and fluffy, it floats in one ear and out the other after you’ve breezed through it’s pages. It’s delightful cotton candy, so perfect in the moment, but doesn’t have a lot of sticking power. Fun but frivolous.
Then there’s a book like THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US. It’s the perfect pairing. It’s peanut butter and chocolate. It’s mozzarella and tomato. It’s warm chocolate chip cookies and cold milk. (I’m noticing I have a lot of chocolate and_________ comparisons I could use but I’m trying not to go there LOL!) One more…It’s chocolate and caramel. Yum!
Anyway, back to the real sweet stuff. West has a talent for finding the balance between light and dark, funny and serious, familiar and unique. If you like really great contemporary–particularly the awesome reads of Sarah Dessen, you’re going to want to pick up THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US by Kasie West. You don’t want there to be any distance between you and this book. <3
You can find THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US here…
*Barnes & Noble
I write YA. I eat Junior Mints. Sometimes I go crazy and do both at the same time. My novels, published through Harper Teen are: PIVOT POINT, its sequel SPLIT SECOND (Feb 2014), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN US (a contemporary novel). I also have two more contemporaries, ON THE FENCE coming out July 1, 2014, and THE FILL-IN BOYFRIEND coming out the summer of 2015. My agent is the talented and funny Michelle Wolfson.
You can find out more about Kasie West, THE DISTANCE BETWEEN us and her other totally awesome books here:
And you can find more perfect reads by the Bookanistas here…
Jessica Love adores WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN by Kristin Rae
Katy Upperman raves about PUSH GIRL by Jessica Love and Chelsie Hill
What other books do you recommend that have the perfect balance? And what else should I pair with my chocolate? LOL!
I read YA week is here!!!! And you can be a part of it. Follow @this_is_teen and the #IreadYA hashtag on twitter. Every day we’ll be talking about a different topic.
Go HERE to download on of your own colored icons for I read YA week.
I read YA is also active on Facebook at This is Teen.
Follow on Instagram and share your own #IreadYA pictures.
And #IreadYA is on Tumblr too! Go Check them out!
Now tell me what your favorite YA reads are!!!! I need to know because my TBR list is not long enough.
Recently the hashtag #WeNeedDiverseBooks has been all over twitter and the blogoshere. I’ve loved hearing and seeing the amazing requests for books and covers to reflect all the lives and faces of readers. I’ve also found the surrounding blog posts extremely interesting. They have often insightfully commented on the speed bumps we put in our own path to making change. But today I’m talking about something a little bit different. #WeNeedDiverseCritsOnOurManscripts
Not exactly the same thing, but as a writer, also pretty important.
It doesn’t matter if you’re an unpublished newbie or the author of multiple successful books. At some point, you need to have eyes other than your own on your manuscript. Of course, if you’re John Green or Veronica Roth, you’ve probably got some very eager and talented higher-ups in publishing who are willing to give feedback. But I would also imagine they have a secret stash of trusted people who will give them honest feedback on their work. And I would hazard a guess, that while those special people may not all be in publishing, they are intelligent readers who bring special insight to the table. This diversity is really important.
I very recently finished up a draft of a project to send to my agent. Because this project is a little different than what I’ve previously worked on, I really needed to have a wide swath of readers to give me feedback before I sent it for it’s first date with my agent. I don’t want to give away too much about my shiny new project. *hugs project protectively* But I have to tell you, despite having close to a dozen pairs of diverse eyes looking it over, I received very little overlapping advice on how to tighten the story. And even better, most of the suggestions were excellent and incorporated. The readers who gave me critiques saw my work with unique filters and now my writing is richer because of their vision.
Here are some general suggestions for finding diverse critiques for your writing. Since I write for kids, I’m gearing my advice to similar writers, but I think you can effectively extrapolate on the idea if you write outside of kid lit. Also keep in mind that too much advice can make you crazy. Pick your readers wisely. You should also be aware of your inner compass–be prepared to pass over advice that does’t resonate with you. Know your own voice and stick with it. But just as important, be open to trying something that doesn’t initially feel comfortable. You can always return to the original. Here are some of my suggestions for getting diversity into your critiques…
*Find someone who represents your target audience. They don’t have to be a writer–just a reader. How do they organically respond to your writing. Do they emote in the correct places? Do they get confused? Do they dislike a character they are supposed to be rooting for?
*Find someone who teaches your target audience. They know your target audience intimately, but they bring a unique perspective. Is the reading level too high? Is the topic one that kids are looking for more information on? Is your dialogue completely outdated?
*Find a children’s librarian. They know what is being checked out and read over and over again. They may also be able to help you find readers in your target audience if you are having trouble with that.
*Find a parent of a child in your target audience that takes an avid interest in their children’s reading. (This is less important with teens, but can be an interesting perspective) For younger kids, it is often the parent who is doing the reading. Will a parent want to read this book over and over again with their child? And not that you always care whether they do or not (sorry parents–ultimately we write for kids) but do the parents want to ban your book? It’s never bad to know what you’re up against.
*Find an expert that compliments your subject matter. Writing historical fiction? Writing about a medical issue? Writing about a unique location? Have someone look your manuscript over who is knowledgable in the area you are writing about.
*Find someone who has great editorial skills. It’s fabulous if you can find a crit partner that knows spelling, grammar and the proper way to set up a manuscript for submission. Especially if this is an area you are weak in. *coughs*
*Find a friend who understands your emotional personality. We write with our hearts and that’s a good thing. It is a bonus to have a reader that is keyed into the deeper threads of your story. You need someone who can point out the places where those threads are seamlessly woven and on the other hand, where you’ve gotten yourself into a knot.
*Find fresh eyes. Sometimes, no matter how lovely and talented the above critique partners are, you need fresh eyes. When someone has gone over multiple drafts of your project, they can provide a lot of amazing feedback, BUT they can also get too close to the work. They may forget that they know something only because it was in a previous draft of your writing. They are familiar–too familiar with the story. Sometimes their knowledge of your manuscript can taint their response to it. At this point, it’s always nice to get a fresh pair of well rounded eyes to look over your writing with no preconceived notions.
Did I miss any? Do you have any other recommendations for utilizing diverse crit partners for your manuscript? Please share. Or if you have any questions, fire away!
And remember–it takes time to go through all those notes you get back from a critique. But it also takes time for someone to read your work and write you those notes. Not every person can drop everything to attack your MS in a pinch. Know your timeline and never forget to return the favor. Thoughtful critiquing makes you a better writer and a much more awesome human being. :o)
I’m working like crazy on a project I’m in love with and my kids are SLAMMED with allergies. But last Friday I did get a chance to see MISS SAIGON, one of my favorite plays ever, at a local play house.I have loved this show, it’s story and it’s music since my husband and I got to see it on Broadway 20 years ago for our honeymoon. <3 And now I’m so excited to see MISS SIAGON coming to the big stage in London this month. What I’m hoping is that it finds it’s way back to Broadway. Or I get to go to London. *wink*
Here’s a little bit about the music I’ve been humming and the story that never leaves my head for very long. This play has found it’s way into the threads and layers of my writing and my life. Art stimulates art…
What favorite Broadway play would you like to see back on stage? What play has had an impact on the threads and layers of your writing?
I’m blogging over at YA Outside the Lines Today. This month we’re talking about The Books We Wished We’d Written.
What??? It was like eating chocolate covered potato chips. I couldn’t pick just one or two or…
You get the idea.
But as tough as it was to decide on some favorites, I feel so lucky to have read and been affected by so many stellar books over the course of my life. As far as tough choices go, there are worse things I could be forced to do. *grin*
Which books did I pick and how did I narrow it down? You’re going to have to click HERE to find out!
What books do you wish you’d written?
I had an amazing time at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival this weekend!!!
What an amazing group of book loving people. Let me share some of them with you…
Setting up–the calm before the book storm. <3
Signing TOUCHING THE SURFACE for some very special fans.
Tiffany Schmidt and her amazing books were a teen magnet all day long.
K.M. Walton and Jennifer Castle hanging out with one of the many fabulous volunteers.
Jodi Moore and Dragon giving a tutorial on how to make your very own puppet.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to the extremely talented Hudson Talbott.
And my fellow Apocalypsie –Tiffany Schmidt
Made a brand new friend, Bruce Hopkins. Feels like I’ve known him for years.
Jodi Moore, Dragon and I got to have an early celebration with SCBWI Crystal Kite winner Kit Grindstaff. Congratulations on her win for her debut novel THE FLAME IN THE MIST.
SQUEE!!!!! MY CRITIQUE GROUP GOT TO HANG OUT WITH THE INDOMITABLE ELLEN HOPKINS ALL DAY LONG!!!! (ALL CAPS INTENTIONAL) And don’t forget the bonus SQUEE!!!! Megan, Jodi and I got to hang out all weekend together. We hadn’t seen each other in A YEAR!!! Seeing them was the BEST! <3
It was an amazing day. The book lovers in Hudson already feel like family.
I hope I get a chance to see them a lot more often. And I can’t thank them enough for hosting this wonderful event and having me be a part of it.
Everyone thinks that Dust Bunnies don’t like to read. In fact, because they blow all over the floor–a little to the left, then a little to the right–everyone assumes they only excel at dancing. And while they do have a particular fondness for the Cha-Cha and a good country line dance. I’m here to tell you they are also closet reader.
How do I know this? I have proof. They are the ones who’ve had all my old diaries and journals. I’d been looking for those so ling I thought for sure they’d gotten tossed.
Those sly little bunnies. Anyway, I’ve always told my readers that TOUCHING THE SURFACE was the first novel I’ve ever written. And I didn’t lie. Phew! But I’d forgotten that I’d started one in 9th grade. And now that the bunnies are done with it, I’m finding myself rather entertained. Part of me is cracking up and another piece is thinking–parts of this (small parts) are way better than I would’ve expected from my teenage self.
Since it is Throwback Thursday and I always take the advice of Dust Bunnies when it comes to reading recommendations, I thought I’d pull this untitled work back out again. Here’s my first “draft” of eleven, single spaced, handwritten (in cursive) pages.
It goes a little something like this…
(I have left in all typos for your entertainment)
Here I Come
“Mom!” I wailed as we approached the school. “They left with out me!”
“Heidi, sweetheart, calm down” my mother replied. “There is practically a hurricane going on! “Do you expect everyone to be waiting outside with their luggage in a down pour?”
I gave it a good second thought and realized she must be right. As we drove up to the front doors of Franklin Jr. High I could see all my friends including my best friend, Amber Bates,
sitting standing in the hallway and It was getting quite dark out but I could make out everyone quite clearly with every fresh bolt of lightening. I grabbed my suitcase and kissed my mother goodbye in one easymotion. As I dased to the doors which Amber was holding open for me. The one thing that stuck in my mind was “what a way to start our big 9th grade class trip
* * *
Best 80′s Quote–“I had brown permed hair hair wich I blew out on top and left curly in the back.”
Best Dialogue– “That was quite and entrance Heidi”
“Don’t you know Tony. Its classy to come someplace fashionably late.”
“Sure it is but fashionably doesn’t mean like a seal in the hundred yard dash.”
“Well Tony, at least I don’t look (like) a seal all the time.”
Best Joke– “He was most famously known for his fig newton jokes. My favorite one was ‘What do you call a fig newton that just got out of the hospital? A: All figsed up!!’”
Best Cliffhanger– “Just as everyone was making a mad dash across the room everything went black and the only sound you could hear was clumsy Nancy Emory falling over someone’s suitcase in the dark.”
Are you still with me??? Because after a cliff hanger like that, I decided to skip that whole “write a complete first draft” step and go directly to my favorite part of writing–REVISION! I started all over again. This time with nineteen, single spaced, handwritten pages…
Above me the thunder crashed and with every fresh bolt of lightening
my the feeling of anticipation grew inside me. I couldn’t really decide if I liked that feeling or not. As I continued to pack my clothes into the suitcase I finally decided I could sacrifice five minutes of my time to analyze it all again. I mean alot was at stake this weekend but the biggest risk I was going to take was with my feelings. If this last atempt on my part failed I was almost sure I would end up with a full fledge broken heart.
Best Pep Talk–“If it was your different speaclness (specialness?) that attracted him to you in the first place then the only way you can ever get him back is by being different and special. If he really loved you inside as much as he had said he did then he won’t forget you very easy.”
Best Revised Sentence–DRAFT #1 ” I gave it a good second thought and realized she must be right.”
DRAFT #2 “I gave it a good second thought and started to scold my imagination for being over active.”
Best Random Sentence–“Instead I followed him back to our group and silently
watched listened to Craig Morris do tell us about how on his vacation he accidentally walked int a nudist camp while taking a hike.”
And since I can’t top that AND my kids need my attention AND the dust bunnies want their reading material back–I’ll stop torturing you now. LOL! Go look up some of the things your dust bunnies have been reading and don’t forget to share!