Sunday, October 09, 2016

Change of Plans

Time again for Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday!

Last few snippets from my MG novel, True Blue, the first book in my True Blue Trilogy. (You can catch up on the earlier excerpts here.) I said this was going to be the last snippet before I moved on to Book Two in the trilogy, and I also said this one was going to be from Jeana's POV, but I decided to invoke Writer's Prerogative and change my mind about both things. You've met Mickey already, but I thought we needed one more snippet about him to show how important he'll be in the next books. This skips ahead a good deal from the last snippet about him. His family has since moved to Chickasaw because of his dad's new job and he's met Billy Joe, but up to this point in the book, Mickey thinks all girls are silly and giggly, and he especially doesn't understand why Billy Joe and his friend Wade are always hanging around that redheaded girl who thinks all sports are dumb and boring.

My apologies for the extremely creative punctuation, but I wanted to include all of this. I'm also going to put Jeana's poem in the comments so you can see why it made such an impression on Mickey.

Mickey had no idea what was going on—for the first time in his life, his heart was pounding in his chest, and it had nothing to do with baseball.

He'd been sitting in the school cafeteria waiting for the fifth grade honors program to begin, wondering if he might get a P.E. award along with the math award he knew he was getting and laughing at the joke Billy Joe had just told him. When the principal announced that the redheaded girl—her name turned out to be Jeana Russell—was going to recite a poem she'd written, Mickey rolled his eyes and slid down a little in his seat, thinking Man, talk about boring. He folded his arms across his chest and got ready to suffer through some dumb stuff about rainbows or kittens or ponies—or unicorns, what was it with girls and unicorns?

But then she'd started speaking, and Mickey slowly sat up in his chair because every word she said was the way he lived every single day, and it was like she knew he had to work harder and always be better than everybody else at baseball so his dad wouldn’t drink anymore, like she was telling him she wouldn’t think he was weird because all he thought about was baseball and couldn’t settle for anything less than the best.

It was like she was telling him that she understood, because she was the same way.

Mickey watched her face as she said the words that described his life, and he felt his heart speed up even more, because although he'd never noticed it before, now he realized that her hair was the same coppery red color as his mom’s, and the sunlight streaming in the windows behind her made those wispy curls on top of her head look almost like a halo. When she finished her poem, Mickey didn’t think he’d ever seen anything as beautiful as the way her smile lit up her whole face and made it seem to glow like her hair.

For a second he thought she was actually smiling at him, then he realized she must be looking at Billy Joe and Wade sitting in front of him, and his heart stopped pounding then because fear gripped it as he wondered if she liked one of them for more than just a friend. He knew they all lived close to each other and had probably known each other for a long time, but the way she was smiling made Mickey think she might feel something more than friendship for one of them.

He had to meet her and find out.

Uh-oh. Looks like the adolescent love triangle just because a quadrilateral. (Mickey's a math whiz, so he'd appreciate that analogy.) Next week we'll get that glimpse into Jeana's heart as promised. Can't wait? You can buy True Blue here. ;-) And please do also check out the other Snippet Sunday folks and the Weekend Writing Warriors. Something for everyone among these talented writers!

~Stay true to yourself and your dreams will come true!

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  1. This is Jeana's poem:

    “If You Should Fall
    by Jeana Russell

    “Never give up on your goals
    No matter how hard or how small
    It’s not as impossible as it seems
    Get up if you should fall

    “Always be the best you can be
    Don’t be afraid to give it your all
    Even when failure is all you can see
    Get up if you should fall

    “No one can take away your dreams
    Stand up proud, brave, and tall
    No one can make you fail except you
    Get up if you should fall

    “We have inside us the will to win
    God gives it to us all
    Use your gifts to make Him proud
    And He’ll never let you fall.”

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. She made quite an impression on him. The full effect might've been stronger, though, without quite such long sentences.

    1. They're not like that in the published version. I only did that to fit it here.

  4. Loved the poem. No wonder she had his attention.

  5. What a wonderful scene, Joyce! So tender, hopeful and telling. Ahhh, adolescence and its potential for heartbreak.

  6. And more complications ensue! I enjoyed the description of how his feelings changed as she read the poem.

  7. Who did she write the poem for?

    1. It's the fifth grade honors program.

  8. Wow, what an impression she made on him. Excellent snippet. I like how he sat up straighter as her poem continued and how he could relate to it. Love that he's determined to find out more about her too.

  9. I love the way the scene builds and shows his emotional flip-flop, so very realistic.

  10. Love the snippet and the poem. (You caught 5th grade poetry very well.)

    Love the "love quadrilateral." (I have a potential love trapezoid in the novel I'm outlining for NaNoWriMo,so hurray for oddly shaped love things!)

    1. Maybe we can start a new genre called Geometric Romance. ;-)

  11. I love the poem,it is so inspirational.
    I really liked how he felt she was talking right to him, and then his uncertainty came back. It will be nice to see how this develops.

  12. Great poem! She seems to have really hit Mickey hard and I love the math joke about the love triangle.

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