Man, this took some effort! Meagan over at Hot Pink Underwear tagged me last week in a “game” called the Look Challenge. The game is for bloggers who are also writers, and is a way to let others sneak a peek at your work. I’m embarrassed that it’s taken this long to get my act together and do it. That said, it seems that when I post non-blog focused writing, the interest drops a bit anyway. I posted a story this week, (A Scary Tale) A Solitary Woman, and it got about half the hits I usually get. Not intriguing enough? Readers seem to want regular blog writing versus the literary/fiction/writing stuff? Who knows. But this challenge is fun, so I’m in!
Here’s how it works: Search your manuscript for the word “look” and copy the surrounding paragraphs into a post to let other bloggers read. Then you tag five blogger/writers to invite them to the challenge.
The game became a lot more challenging for me, when I did a search of my novel for the word “look” and found way too many of them! Instead of picking a few paragraphs, I found myself spiraling down the editing hole. Days of looking at repetitive words and making corrections. All for the good, but man what an eye opener! The editing process never ends I fear… Until you publish, and then find the things you still might have changed. Thanks Meagan for getting me back to what needs to be done. That said, I finally picked a few paragraphs from my novel, despite the side trip. Read it and share your thoughts. I’ve included the opening paragraph of the novel to set it up. The next part, the Look Challenge, is just a page after that in the manuscript. This is from chapter one:
Though it’s been more than thirty years, I can still see the snow. The moon must have been full, because I remember that I could see everything below me, and everything around my house so clearly. The snow had a magical blue hue to it, shimmering, and the trees stood out starkly against the muted light. The cold air hit my face and my heart raced. It was so beautiful and peaceful beyond my window. And so I jumped.
* * *
Quietly she took her Keds from the closet and slipped them on. She grabbed her thick robe and put it on for warmth. Standing on the edge of the bed, she brought her legs up over the windowsill and looked down. The height suddenly hit her and for a moment she was afraid, dizzy. She gazed out over the snowy yard and the forest beyond, amazed by the stillness and color. A blue world waited to catch her and she slipped over the edge.
When she hit the snow below, shards of cold assaulted her senses while hot pain shot through both ankles. Maya sat stunned, frozen. Gathering her thoughts, she realized with a sick shudder that she’d landed just outside her mother’s window. No light, no sign from inside. Seconds, minutes, hours slipped by, she couldn’t tell. Everything hurt, and she realized how foolish it had been to think a robe would keep her warm. She stood up carefully, trying to be quiet, and made her way through the two feet of snow to the backyard. There she nestled against the porch where the snow had not drifted and she could sit. She brushed the snow off her nightgown, robe and shoes and pulled her knees in tight. Maya tried to warm herself, but the cold reached every part of her body. What was I thinking? This is crazy! What do I do now? I can’t go back in. They—that guy, Mom, Jakethey will all know what I did, how stupid I am. She began to shiver and then to cry.
There was no way to tell time but the night felt endless. The cold seemed to assault her from every angle. It burned her nostrils as she breathed in, her face buried in her robe, with only her eyes exposed. Her sneakers were wet now and her toes ached and then began to grow numb, as panic began to set in.
Here are the five bloggers I am tagging: Sweet Mother (I know you’re shopping it, but would you share a piece Mom?), Cycling Grandma (perhaps something from either of your two books?), How The Hell Did I End Up Here? (Would love a glimpse of the book you’ve referred to in your blog; it sounds fantastic!) Life Revelation (Hope you’ll share your cool story!) and Rita’s Reflections- Keeping It Real in West Van (I know you’re working on a YL book, that isnt’ about Van. Hope you’ll share a little?)
Honestly, I’m not sure who else is working on something right now. If you are, please join in and simply follow the instructions and post. Or let me know and I’ll add you to my tag list.
Tomorrow I begin NaNoWrMo, and will be insanely writing for the next 30 days! One novel in thirty days, that’s the challenge. I have two ideas, and will need to just choose one and start writing tomorrow. So we’ll see how the blog holds up under that… I may end up blogging about NaNo a lot! Wish me luck, bake me cookies, yell Go Dawn, Go! Whatever it takes… I’m in it. I didn’t buy all that Halloween cookie for the 4 trick or treaters we won’t get!