Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Young and the Hormonal Revisited

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday!

Since this week was so crazy, I'm repurposing a photo and title I used last year when I was sharing snippets of Shades of Blue while it was still a WIP. This will be one of the last snippets before things get very real and you'll see that this book definitely ain't no Sweet Valley High.

The following Monday, Sam and I didn’t talk at all in the car while Daddy drove us to school, and Sam walked away without saying a word when we got there. I reminded myself of my decision to give him some time and resisted the urge to call him a rude butthead. Remarkable restraint, in my opinion.

We ignored each other all morning, but when I saw him at lunch, sitting at a different table from our regular one, I decided his time was up and he was gonna talk to me whether he wanted to or not. I started toward him but stopped after three steps because Melissa Caton and Cindy Rester sat down on either side of him in a gush-and-giggle duet.

I was glad to see that at least Sam still blushed the way he'd always done when confronted with any girl who wasn't me. When he looked up and met my gaze, I thought for sure he’d send me a silent message to rescue him and we’d be back to normal again, but all he did was look away and nod in response to something Melissa said. She and Cindy giggled some more, then I heard one of them say something about Sam playing quarterback. I turned to walk away in disgust and collided with Chip Wiley’s smirking face.

Remember Chip? He's the one who broke JoJo's bathing suit top at the creek and got punched by Sam for it. Tune in next week to see how he makes things a lot worse.

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

Follow me on Twitter: @JoyceScarbrough
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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wait'll I Get My Hanes on You

Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday!

Continuing with my YA/coming-of-age/mystery Shades of Blue, this snippet takes place a short while after Sam leaves JoJo's house after last week's excerpt.

It almost seemed as if Sam had been about to kiss me or something when he was on top of me. Where had that come from? We were best friends, and that was the way I wanted it to stay.

At least I thought I did.

I went to my window and looked across at Sam’s house, but his shade was pulled all the way down and his window was dark. I don’t know how long I sat there hoping for some sign of him, but I fell asleep and was still there when Mama came in to tell me goodnight.

I dreamed about Sam that night, but the only thing I could remember in the morning was him standing on the creek bank yelling something at me, wearing nothing but his Hanes one-hundred-percent cotton, size 30-32 briefs.

And I had absolutely no idea how I knew anything about his underwear.

Poor JoJo is so confused, and things are about to get a lot worse. Tune in for another snippet next Sunday, or you can buy your own copy of Shades of Blue here. And please check out the other WWW and SS bloggers. Something for everyone among these talented writers!

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

Follow me on Twitter: @JoyceScarbrough
Like my Facebook Fan Page here

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Why Didn't I Go Pee When I Had the Chance?

© Emmet and Edith Gowin, Etherton Gallery

Welcome back to Snippet Sunday and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Here's another snippet from my coming-of-age/YA mystery, Shades of Blue. (You can catch up on the earlier excerpts here) Sam and JoJo have been best friends since they were kids, but puberty changes everything. This scene takes place while they're watching a movie together in JoJo's living room. Sam grabs her foot during a scary part and makes her squeal, then they start wrestling. He has her pinned down and is threatening to tickle her if she doesn't do what he says. She skipped her chance for a bathroom break and is afraid she'll wet her pants if he tickles her, so she has no choice but to agree to his demands. His first one is that she has to read The Lord of the Flies, no surprise since he's always trying to get her to read more books. But his second demand is a lot different.

“Say you hate Chip Wiley and that I’m your favorite football player.”

“Fine, I hate Chip Wiley, and Sam is my favorite football player.”

He smiled, then his expression slowly changed to one I’d never seen on his face before. It felt like his eyes had mine locked in some kind of tractor beam, and I could feel his heart pounding against my chest. Or maybe it was my own heart, because it sure seemed amplified a hundred times louder than normal, and it felt like a giant hand was squeezing my chest. Sam’s hipbone was sticking me in the side something fierce, and I truly thought I might pass out at any second.

“Let me up right now, Sam, I mean it.”

His expression changed again to something else I couldn’t read--like fear and embarrassment mixed with anger--but he let me up and scrambled to his feet.

Don't you hate it when your bladder betrays you like that? Tune in for another snippet next Sunday, or you can buy your own copy of Shades of Blue here. And please check out the other WWW and SS bloggers. Something for everyone among these talented writers!

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

Follow me on Twitter: @JoyceScarbrough
Like my Facebook Fan Page here

Friday, December 11, 2015

Carrie Dalby in The House!

I don't always have guests on my blog, but when I do they're AWESOME! :-)

Today my dear friend, critique partner, road trip buddy and fellow SCBWI member, Carrie Dalby (AKA Wonderwegian) stopped by on the blog tour for her new YA historical release, Fortitude. I don't usually like historicals, but this one is so beautifully written and has such a profound message that I fell in love with it immediately. Plus, the main character is a redhead, and we gingers gotta stick together, you know! ;-)

Carrie has written a wonderfully insightful post about the importance of a support system for writers, and I couldn't agree with her more. Here's a little bit about Carrie and her book.

Born and raised in California but a resident of Mobile, Alabama since 1996, Carrie Dalby is a homeschooling mom with a love of literature for young adults and children. Some of Carrie’s favorite volunteer hours are with Mobile Writers Guild, SCBWI, and Metro Mobile Reading Council’s Young Author workshops.

Growing up with a Creole best friend, sixteen-year-old Claire O’Farrell held little regard for the Jim Crow laws and the consequences of befriending those of a different color. But once she leaves the haven of her home on Dauphin Island, the reality of racial intolerance can no longer be ignored. Though she’s underage, Claire makes the bold decision to serve alongside Loretta, her best friend, in the “colored camp” hospital tents during the Spanish-American War, but her idealistic attitude and choice of working location immediately puts her in danger. Claire gives her heart to a soldier in the camp, only to find herself caught in the racial violence besieging the area. When the intolerant attitudes and stigma follow her home, she clings to her faith to navigate through her social isolation and find the path she was meant to travel.

(Buy Fortitude here)

Take it away, Carrie!

*hands over sparkly blue microphone*

Thank you, Joyce, for hosting me on your site today. As someone who’s seen Fortitude from before it was a complete first draft, you’re well aware of the long journey and my emotional rollercoaster over the past several years. You’re part of my “inner circle” (whether you like it or not.) Today I’d like to share a peek into my literary support system, which includes plenty of Blue Attitude, with your readers.

The act of writing is often done alone (or in the company of great music) but to be successful as a writer, a strong community is essential. I was blessed to meet Laurie Halse Anderson at a book signing in the fall of 2008. We’d been communicating on social media for a few years and at the book signing she asked if I was “Wonderwegian” then embraced this baby-wearing, wannabe writer. Laurie knew of my struggles to write and told me I needed to find my local SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) group to help me on my journey.

(Joyce, LHA, Wonderwegian and the Little Princess)

Being the dutiful fan, I looked up information and was put in touch with the local liaison. While the LL didn’t have an active group going at the time, she invited me to come to a Mobile Writers Guild meeting, which I did in early 2009. It was there I met then president of MWG, Joyce Scarbrough. At the time I didn’t join SCBWI but I joined MWG. At the guild, I was invited into my first critique group—by Joyce, of course. Since we were both working on young adult manuscripts, we splintered from the others, recruited a few more people, and started our own Write Club, but I can’t talk about that. It was with the new group, surrounded by people who also enjoyed YA literature, that I completed my first manuscript (Corroded, coming in the spring of 2016) and began Fortitude.

When I met up with Laurie two years later she asked if I’d joined SCBWI. I had to tell her “not yet.” She told me “YOU NEED TO JOIN!” So I finally did. (When The Queen of YA/YA Goddess tells you something, you do it!) Within the next half a year, I became the local liaison for Mobile in the Southern Breeze Region of SCBWI (I still am) and the acting president of Mobile Writers Guild (I served for two years, and am currently working as vice-president.)

Without this ever-expanding circle of literary connections, I wouldn’t be where I am today—blog hopping to promote my debut novel. I’d been writing, reading about writing, and studying the marketplace for MG/YA books since I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until I joined a physical group that I took my writing completely serious. As a believer in holding yourself accountable, the best way I’ve found to do so is to surround yourself with people who will ask you how you’re doing with writing and get excited when you talk word count and query letters. You need people who understand the frustrations of form rejections and the excitement when an agent or editor requests a full. Whether you write, knit, paint, or volunteer at a shelter, surround yourself with likeminded people who will laugh and cry along with you on this rollercoaster of life. Your goals will thank you in the long run.

For more stops on Carrie's tour, click here.

You can also find her all over the Web (She's everywhere! She's everywhere!)


Twitter: @Wonderwegian



Google +:


Thanks so much for stopping by, Carrie!

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

Follow me on Twitter: @JoyceScarbrough
Like my Facebook Fan Page here

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Rivalry Weekend a Little Late

Welcome back to Snippet Sunday!

I'm continuing with snippets from Shades of Blue, my coming-of-age/YA/mystery. (You can catch up on the earlier excerpts here) This week you get to meet Sam's step-sister, affectionately known at school as "Backseat Britney." JoJo goes to Sam's house to get him and Britney answers the door.

“Is Sam here?” I said as politely as I could manage.

“He’s busy right now,” Britney replied, flipping her long black hair off her shoulder and leaning in the doorway to block my path.

“Just tell him I’m here, okay?” I felt my temper rising and started counting backward from a hundred--Sam’s latest anger-management suggestion.

“I said he’s busy, little girl,” Britney said. “Go play with your dolls or something.”

I stopped counting and said, “Hey, I heard Ford wants to hire you for their commercials to say their back seats are better than Chevy’s. Maybe they’ll pay you enough to buy yourself a brain.”

Wow, my heroines sure do have smart mouths, huh? Wonder where they get that from. ;-)

More next week, or you can buy your own copy of Shades of Blue here.

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

Follow me on Twitter: @JoyceScarbrough
Like my Facebook Fan Page here