Monday, September 19, 2011


Last month, I accepted Laurie Halse Anderson's challenge to write 15 minutes a day for the month of August. I DID IT! Some days it was actually revising what I'd previously written in my current WIP, but that still counts. Overall, I managed to write three entirely new chapters of PENANCE, my YA paranormal novel about a dead girl named Jada.

In celebration, here's a little teaser of what I wrote:

He was in front of her in three steps and tried to grab her arms, but she met him with a forearm to his throat that sent him reeling backward, coughing and gasping. He managed to stay on his feet, but Jada didn’t give him a chance to attack again. Mimicking one of the roundhouse kicks she’d seen in countless action flicks, her foot connected with his hip and knocked him completely off the deck onto the lawn.

Before he could recover, Jada dropped to the ground on top of him. With his arms pinned under her knees, she gripped his throat with her left hand and held her right over his face in a claw, like Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid.

“Time for your lesson, jockstrap. The next time you and your football buddies decide to put the new cheerleaders through an initiation at one of your parties, you’d better stick to dunking them in the pool. I don’t care how stupid or slutty or willing to grovel they are, they don’t deserve to be drugged and raped.”

Obviously, Scott still didn’t realize his precarious position, because he tried to argue despite Jada’s hand around his throat. “I told you I don’t know what you’re talking about. Me and my boys sure as hell don’t need to drug nobody. We got girls begging us for it all the time.”

“Liar.” Jada released his throat and drove her knuckles into the bridge of his nose, hard enough to break it but not hard enough to drive bone fragments into his brain. Scott uttered a decidedly unmasculine scream and tried to free his arms, but Jada held him down effortlessly.

“Okay, I’m sorry!” Blood ran into his mouth from his shattered nose and sprayed when he spoke.

“Better spread the word to the rest of the team too,” Jada said, “because if I hear about anything like this happening again, every guy on the team is gonna pay with a broken bone. And it’s gonna be whichever bone they need the most to play football. You’re the quarterback, huh? Right-handed or left?”

“No, please!” His eyes widened with fear. “I swear it won’t happen again!”

Jada shrugged. “Guess I’ll just have to break both of them.”

“The left! The left!”

Jada lifted her knee so she could deliver a faux karate chop to his right forearm. “Sorry. Don’t trust you.”

She stood and watched him rolling on the ground, holding his broken arm and crying. Was she a monster because she didn’t feel even a shred of sympathy for him? Nah. He sure as hell hadn’t felt any for the girls he’d drugged.

“Okay, Scott, let’s review our lesson, shall we? Girls are not objects created to amuse the male of the species, and even when they’re drugged or too drunk or too stupid to make intelligent decisions and tell you no, that doesn’t give you the right to take advantage of them. Got that?”

“Yeah, I get it,” he whimpered.

“Good. And don’t forget to share your newfound knowledge with the other guys, ‘cause I’m holding you accountable for anything they do. Oh, and in case you’re curious about how I found out about your little ruffie parties, you can thank Fallon and her bitchy cheerleader pals for gossiping about the new girls without checking to make sure nobody’s in the bathroom stalls.”

Jada went back to the deck and picked up the tub of ice and beer, even though it probably weighed close to seventy-five pounds. Scott was still on the ground, although he tried to scramble to his feet when he saw her coming back.

“Hey, I said I’d do whatever you want! Please don’t break anything else!”

“Dude, how cruel do you think I am?” Jada looked offended and pushed him back to the ground with her foot. “I’m not gonna break any more bones. I just think you need one more little reminder about why this happened in the first place.”

She set the tub on the ground beside him and smiled.

“Take off your shorts.”

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