Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I have issues. I worked myself to the bone over my thesis, and I'm still proud of what I wrote. I still love it, and I still want to see it on a shelf someday. There is no question about that. At the same time, I've discovered just how much my writing's grown over the last year. The process of writing and revising TANGO taught me a lot about how I write, and how to self-edit better. For those things along, I'm incredibly thankful.

That being said, the last few months have been rough, writing-wise. Usually I've got a handful of ideas to pick from, but ever since I finished TANGO, I haven't had a direction to go in. One idea sounded good, then turned out to be a disaster. Then two weeks ago I got an idea for WHEN THE WORLD STOPPED (which I'm still writing. I think.), which holds a lot of promise. I've never outlined a story before, but I made some pretty good plans for that one, which means I have direction, and one I know is solid. After three months, I finally had something to write again.

Then last night I had this crazy dream. It spanned an entire storyline, and when I woke up, I knew what I had to do. It was one of those rare moments of inspiration where you know you have a story to tell. I can't remember everything about the dream, but I have bits and pieces, and an overall feeling, which, for me, tends to work pretty well. I've always been more of a write-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal, so this piece is right up my alley. Granted, I haven't written YA in a long, long time, so it's a little strange to go back. However, I spent the afternoon working through part of the first chapter of this new story, SCARRED, and I'm pretty happy with it. So I thought I'd leave you guys with a little teaser. Keep in mind, this is a really rough first draft, and I'm sick, but I like it anyway, oddly enough! Which is really all I can ask for at this point.

Do any of you guys have this problem? Aka, the too-many-ideas-to-pick-from problem?

A long, sorrowful howl drifted in through the open window, sending a rattling chill down my spine. It echoed across the field behind our house, hanging in the air like a speck of dust that just wouldn’t settle. The rest of the night was eerily still; even the crickets had stopped their tinkling song. The owl that lived in our barn was silent, the leaves on the old oak didn’t rustle, and the usual sounds that filled our house at night were strangely absent. The floorboards didn’t creak, and the foundation refused to settle. Everything was just… still.


Rolling onto my side, I pulled my comforter to my chin and blew out a shaky breath. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but something felt, well, not right. The air around me seemed electrified, causing the hair on my arms to stand on end. My heart thrummed in my chest at an unusual pace, and even though the world was silent, my ears were buzzing. I felt lightheaded, my entire body tingling as if prodded by a thousand tiny ice picks. I pressed the back of my hand to my forehead, expecting it to be warm. Instead, it came away cold and clammy.

Maybe I could call in sick today. I was so close to graduating - what was one missed day of school? I hadn’t been absent since my surgery last spring. I think I was entitled to one day that was free of high school gossip and the stares that followed me everywhere I went. Over the last twelve months, I’d come to realize just how bad some of the kids in school had it. Teenagers could be ruthless.
Pulling my blanket tighter around me, I tried to focus. Even if I weren’t going to school, I’d still like to catch a few more hours of shuteye. Last night’s dreams had been haunted by fangs and dizzying howls, and waking up to find that some elements of my dream had followed me into the world of the living wasn’t very comforting. I strained my ears for any signs of life in the house. Dad was away on business, but the loud snores that usually came from my brother’s room were missing. He hadn’t been coming home lately, so that wasn’t really a surprise. Still, I’d expected to hear something from my parents’ room, or my sister’s. But the longer I waited, the more oppressive the silence grew.

Maybe if I just close my eyes, I thought, I’ll fall asleep. I’d tried counting sheep before, and that never helped. Neither did warm milk, or sleep aids. It’s like I was meant to be an insomniac, or something. No matter what I did, sleep was nothing more than a passing phase that never lasted as long as I’d have liked.

Outside, the wolf released its mournful sound again. Curiosity got the best of me, and I crawled from my bed to pull back the thin curtains covering the window. A cool breeze caressed my face as I pressed it against the screen. Squinting into the night, it didn’t take long to spot the wolf hovering at the edge of the field. Its snowy fur stood out against the dark treeline that bordered our yard. I’d seen him before, heard his cry. It haunted my dreams and was the reason I hardly slept anymore.

I touched my cheek. He was the reason I couldn’t feel it.


  1. The reason I hate teasers is that always, ALWAYS, the writers will leave a cliffie and poor ol' me would be left starving for more. SUCH an unpleasant feeling.

    Anyway, wolves. Mmm. I've been a fan of those animals - 'Wolf Child' and 'Wolf Totem' are fascinating stuff. But they're translated from chinese, so... yikes.

    Anyway, from what I gather in this excerpt (its chock full of suspense, let me tell you) - its definitely interesting and I *really* want to read more. Though I have to say, I think there's a bit of a description overload in the first paragraph. Hahaha, but I'm just a novice so feel free to ignore :)


    just keep writin' just keep writin'~~~~ :D

  2. It's interesting so far, kind of reminded me of Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater though (but it's only a teaser so it could be totally different, idk).

  3. @Kelly: I wasn't going to post anything at all, to be honest, since I wasn't sure why I was writing it. Stupid dream! I told myself I was staying away from the YA paranormal romance trend, and yet here I am, doing it anyway. So we'll see where this one takes me :-p I plan to NaNo it this summer, and then hopefully do some revising before school starts. *shakes fist at school*

    @Anonymous: I hope not. I was not a fan of that book. I tried. I just couldn't get into it.