Looky, Looky: An Excerpt From My Booky!

This is what I feel like right now…
Image: latimesblogs.latimes.com

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!

About Dawn Quyle Landau

Mother, Writer, treasure hunter, aging red head, and sushi lover. This is my view on life, "Straight up, with a twist––" because life is too short to be subtle! Featured blogger for Huffington Post, and followed on Twitter by LeBron James– for reasons beyond my comprehension.
This entry was posted in Blog, Blogging, getting published, My world, NaNoWriMo, Tales From the Motherland, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Looky, Looky: An Excerpt From My Booky!

  1. No power, phone, etc. So can’t do this for awhile, thanks.. will try
    Came into NY for brief stop, going back to NJ to be w/ the kids.. disaster all around but we have a generator so have a bit of heat and some lights at least.. so kids coming to us, tree on the roof but not that bad damage, more worried about NYC and NJ shore. more soon. Had to cancel meeting w/ Huntington guy- their office closed til next week. No transit in NY! Crazy.


    • It’s unbelievable Lisa!! Glad you are ok and your family is safe. No doubt you will make it an adventure for your grandkids and kids! Stay safe and try to have fun, now that the worst has passed and you are all ok. Hugs.


  2. I loved the excerpt. I was getting pulled in. Nice job, Dawn.
    I know you can do this NaNoWrMo challenge. And you’ll do it with flying colors. Good luck!


  3. sarafoley says:

    Well? What happened then? Very evocative 🙂


  4. etomczyk says:

    Dawn. Very nice selection and well written. Unfortunately, I can’t engage in the writing assignment. I’m preparing for surgery and will just about be able to do my blog in a timely manner with WW taking dictation. But I wish you all the best with your NaNoWrMo challenge. ET


  5. Okay…maybe this is why I live in Indiana…we are not flooded, the power is on, the water is still working, and I can write…expect something within the next week.

    Oh…before I leave let me give a shout out to cycling Grandma,best wishes to you and yours as you all try to get back on your feet, you are in our prayers…and to etomczyk, best wishes on the surgery…no surgery is fun, but may yours be successful, pain free, and inexpensive.

    Be encouraged!


  6. Thanks Stephen! By the way Dawn, the novel sounds great! Good luck with NaNoWrMo! Looking forward to your book!


    • Thanks Lisa. I’m so glad that you guys are ok and faired a lot better than so many others in Sandy’s path! Thank goodness for generators!

      So far the NaNoWriMo is going well. I worked out, chatted on line with friends, played lexulous, and procrastinated lots… but have still gotten 3000 words down today, of the 1660 you’re suppose to aim for! Ha… thankful that it’s worked today. I may be a lot fatter by Nov. 30th though. 😉 Thanks for the encouragement!


  7. meagan mac says:

    Great excerpt, Dawn! “Looks” like you sparked lots of future reader interest in your novel. Fantabulous!

    Glad to see you’re doing NaNoWriMo. I should try again. I tried once. My stamina is low.


    • Thanks Meagan… now I just have to do something with that book! If you read my recent Scary Story, you know what I’m afraid of… I heard that a few other writers feel the same way!

      In the meantime, I’ve procrastinated a LOT today and I’m still nearing 3000 words for the first day. If I have to cut half of those, I’m still on target. What if you push yourself to just sit down and work on your novel? Or, is it done and in the editing/shopping stage? I love what you shared so far! I would love to read more… so let’s get it out there. 😉


      • meagan mac says:

        OMG! I love your energy and your fearlessness, Dawn. I think my scary tale would’ve been about what the woman finds in the stories she’s writing. Either something utterly repellent or nothing at all. Both terrify me and keep me from writing on into the story. I have completion issues. 🙂


  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Dawn,
    I would like to know how this ends. Maybe I wil hve to read the book. Good job Dawn!


    • Thanks Someone! I am encouraged that others are reading the excerpt and interested in reading more. When I get it out there, you can let me know how the rest of it went. 😉 Thanks for taking the time to read the post, and let me know what you think.


  9. Hi Dawn…I was definitely pulled in by your post title…and your book excerpt is…FANTASTIC! I want to read MORE! 🙂 Thanks for sharing…I know it is hard to put yourself out there…but you are really VERY good!


  10. Cory Skerry says:

    That’s a beautiful excerpt, and such a compelling mystery regarding why she would do this. I would totally read more.



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