The Silver Lining | Last day to enter the contest!

First, today’s the last day to enter my contest to win a butt-load of books. You can still comment on any entry or use Teaser Tuesday to post some crap-tastic writing. At the end of this entry, I’m going to give another awesome excerpt from the novel I wrote in high school. The dialogue is just so natural and not stilted at all. So if you’re in the mood to laugh, take a look below.

But first, I want to congratulate Cindy Pon on the release of her novel SILVER PHOENIX!

She’s also hosting a contest over at her blog. You can win a custom brushpainting priced between $250 to $400 of a $100 gift card to the bookstore of your choice. Plus a signed book. Contest runs until June 8th.

I can’t wait to read this book! Check out her awesome book trailer too:

And to celebrate Teaser Tuesday and the end of my contest, here is the much promised excerpt from the novel I wrote in high school. Please note, this is supposed to be bad. I’ve improved since I wrote this. The important thing is to celebrate newbie writing! It’s a stepping stone to where we all are now.

Set-up: As I mentioned previously, this novel did not have any character names. It mostly didn’t have a plot either, but a small plot starts to show up toward the end. The protagonist (if you could call her that, mostly she’s the girl who talks about existentialism) is upset that everything will be changing when she graduates high school in a few days. So apparently she goes crazy and cuts everything out of her life, i.e. her boyfriend. Then her friends drag her to a party where a bunch of guys hit on her. She gets drunk and meets someone at the keg. And that’s where this picks up. It’s, like, the only actual scene in the novel.

Also, this is unedited from how I originally wrote it so it remains pristine in all its ugliness. So you can see just how awesome the dialogue is. Apparently I didn’t think anyone spoke with contractions and I had an obsession with the comma. And repetition. Not to mention my habit of telling vs showing. And head hopping. This is a mess!

We exchange names, powerful words that have now branded us, pit a boundary on our lives, on our persona. I take his name as a breath, filling my lungs with it and then exhaling. It feels good in my mouth, on my lips as I say it back followed by a simple smile. We exchange more small talk, information neither of us care about or will remember tomorrow. My speech slurs and it takes me a while to get my phrases correct. I don’t know if they are actually correct but he understands them. I listen intently to him, focusing on the blue of his eyes, gazing into them.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" It’s an important question, one that must be asked, as if it were an unwritten law. I hesitate to answer, this will be my first admittance, my first defiance of the situation. This will be the first time that I announce my singleness to someone who doesn’t know already instead of hoarding it for myself, for my benefits.

"Interesting story actually." I feel I must tell him the whole thing or else I will be lying, to myself and to him, but instead I give him the short cuts, condensing the truth to a set of directions that divert him from the long, scenic route. "I just broke up with my boyfriend of a year." Awkwardness fills the empty spaces of my sentence. "I guess it’s not that interesting."

We both laugh and it eases the tension. He is pensive, thinking about what to say, how to respond. I can see that look in his eyes, that gleam, it’s perfect, now he knows that I am on the rebound, that I am fair game, I have given him my acceptance with that phrase, through the tone of my voice and my choice of words.

"I’m sorry," he says, "What happened?" The question is more of a statement, a plead. Don’t tell me, please! I don’t want to know. I just don’t know what else to say.

"Oh, it just wasn’t working out I guess. We both changed." I hate lying to strangers but I guess I have the habit of bending the truth slightly. This way I exhausted the topic and I could move on, but I need my revenge first. "Do you have a girlfriend?"

:No, I’m as single as they come." He laughs and I smile, acknowledging his sarcasm. He is not single right now.

Now is the moment, the cue for a kiss, for the coagulation of two foreign bodies combining in allegiance. (Note from future Shana: wow, is that not the most awfully detached description of a kiss ever! It reads like a science report, lol) It happens, right on schedule, like a movie script. I am the actress speaking my lines. His tongue enters my mouth and invades my space. My arms dangle at my sides, unable to reach around him, unwilling. They hang limp and lifeless without a purpose except to exist as companions but no aids. His arms wrap around me, caressing. They rub my arms with ease and care and the touch feels good against my skin.

The party swirls around us, and I can still hear the loud music and the mundane chattering of drunken voices. Even now I listen for gossip, but I guess I need something to take my mind off the present situation. The cool night air stings my arms and forces goose bumps to run down my skin. Or, at least I attribute this occurrence to the cold and not to his touch. He senses my shivers and pulls me closer, again I have misled him, again I have spoken an innocent lie without words.

I pull away for another sip of beer. My head tingles from both the kiss and the beer, flowing through my blood as if they are part of me.

"Am I moving too fast?" he says, not really wanting an answer, afraid it will be the wrong one.

"I’m…just cold."

That’s a good spot to end because…damn, that kiss is so cold as well! Really, what was I thinking writing this? This scene continues with a few more kisses until her boyfriend shows up and catches them. Which I thought was great conflict, but it’s not, because THEY WERE BROKEN UP!!! lol.

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9 Responses

  1. Hey, your teen writing is MUCH better than mine ever was. I’ve been meaning to enter your contest since you first announced it, but I can’t think where to find my old writing. It must be in a box somewhere at my mom’s house (’cause that was in the days before home computers — can you believe it?). I had some journals, too, but they were destroyed in a basement flooding. I recently found a journal from freshman year, but it was so silly that I had to destroy it. I think it was just me writing my name with the last names of all the boys I was crushing on. Not a hint of a deep thought anywhere.

    So I guess this comment is a single, lonely, entry to your contest?

    Now if you did a contest based on teen letters — I could do that! 🙂

    • I would LOVE to read your teen letters. Really, I’ll accept anything for this contest. I’m not picky about the rules, I just think it’s really fun to read early writing. So anything you want to submit is totally fine with me.

      Haha about the last names of boys you were crushing on. I have those too.

      I also found a letter i wrote to a boy (a la Angela’s letter to Jordan he finds on the field trip). I used to write letters to boys all the time…and send them. It never worked out well for me. You’d think I’d learn my lesson, but I found it romantic, mostly because of Angela. The one I found is really funny. I was going to post it, but I ended up having a busy week without much computer time so I kept missing blog days, doh.

      I’ll probably have more contests in the future. Because despite me trying to reduce the number of books i have in my apartment, I accidentally purchased 5 more yesterday. Oops. I specifically got a Kindle to avoid this, but I didn’t account for finding a bookstore in NYC that has YA ARCs so I keep going back and hitting the jackpot.

  2. Man, your craptastic writing is great. Seriously, I see nothing to be ashamed of. I do like the coagulation of two foreign bodies, though. If you can’t write this when you are seventeen, when can you?

    • Ha, I don’t consider this great. I was itching to edit it while I transcribed it, but I held myself back.

      So true about writing this when you’re 17!

  3. Sorry it took so long… My old writing was on the house computer (didn’t have my laptop then. lol)

    So, here are a few random poems (most probably school assignments) with less than a half hour left to enter. Since I didn’t have time to look through the bad stories for sections, this will have to do. lol

    This was a limerick from 7th grade (I must have been 12 or 13), I remember thinking it was amazing. No clue now why I thought this. lol:

    The Chicken

    There was a chicken.
    It was in the kitchen.
    He fell to the floor.
    Then, went through the door.
    To go home and get his mitten.

    Here’s an ode in 8th grade (either 13 or 14):

    Ode to Flour

    A necessity
    In most foods,
    Helps food grow,
    Found in
    Brownies, etc.
    All of which
    For one week
    We must give up
    During Passover
    Two more days
    I can have it
    Only two,
    Can I wait?

    And then here’s from 7th too (12 or 13)… I think I was trying to be deep and depressing… Don’t you just love forced rhymes? lol:

    Life and death

    We are born,
    Eventually we die.
    The people who knew us mourn.
    Now we just sigh,
    At the thought we scorn.

    When we live we need,
    To show our existence.
    We try to do a great deed,
    Then someone will remember us in a distance.
    We try to be the best or lead.

    Who do we remember from the past?
    Only the people who did something great,
    There are people we do not remember in vast.
    We try to be like them in any rate,
    We only have a limited time so we do it fast.

    What is the purpose of living?
    Something different for every person.
    We are forgiving,
    What we worsen.
    We try to be remembered for giving.

    Hope you enjoyed. lol Thanks for having the contest.


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