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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for Middle Grade

Hope everyone had a great weekend! Middle Grade is one of my favorite genres to write in. I love slipping back into the mind of a middle grader. Although some would argue my mind has never really matured beyond that place, lol. Here's  the first (rough) 250 from my middle grade WIP, "Phony Bologna Mahoney" Hope you like it :) 

     Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! I stomped the entire way to the front of the class, making sure my second-hand combat boots made the loudest noise possible for my grand entrance. It's the first day of school. Again.

     The teacher says, "Class, we have a new student, Samantha Abigail Mahoney. Samantha, why don't you stand in front of the class and tell us something about yourself." Blah, blah, blah. I've been through this dozens of times before. Being the new kid is never easy. Because of my Dad's job I get to be the new kid every six months. Lucky me.

     Mumbling through the required intro takes me less than fifteen seconds; I've got it down to a science. Then, with every eyeball glued on me, I start to stomp my way spectacularly down the row of seats, heading towards the back of the classroom. Even I have to admit, I'm quite a sight. I've out done myself with this first day of school outfit; it's something of a masterpiece. 

     The boys were already whispering to each other about me. One decided to try and trip me while  I stomped on by. Another pretended to be coughing, but instead yelled, “Freak!” into his hand. A few of the girls shrank back when I passed by their desks, like they were scared or might catch something funky from me. I thought one kid's eyes were going to pop right out of his head. As I passed Pop-eye, he made the sign of the cross. Wow. I figured the kids in this town would react pretty strong to my goth fashion choices, but I never expected this!

     This reaction was going to make a sweet addition to my journal. I couldn't wait to go home and record it. I love to see what kind of reaction I can stir up on my first day.  Why do I do it, if I know all the kids are just gonna  make fun of me?

     Having to pick up and move every six months is tough. You try making new friends over and over again, only to have them drop you like a cheesy Hot Pocket a few months later. It's torture. So I  stopped trying. Instead, I choose to reinvent myself on the first day at every new school I attend. I can be anyone I want to be, as long as it's not me. And if the stupid kids at my new school laugh or call me names, who cares? It wasn't like they were laughing at the “real” Samantha Mahoney. Because the real Sam was hidden away, safe from anyone ever getting to know her. Well, everyone except for Gran.

     Gran Mahoney is the coolest human being on the face of the earth. I could tell Gran anything. Like the time I “borrowed” Dad's brand new Smartphone and brought it with me to sit outside by the pool. But then the ice cream truck came and I put it in my pocket and forgot all about it. Until a little later, when the ice cream melted and chocolate dripped all over my shorts and got them all sticky and I had the brilliant idea to jump in the pool, shorts and all.  Yeah, well.

     Some good did come out of that whole mess. I learned a few things (1) Never jump in the pool with your Dad's brand new Smartphone in your pocket (2) Gran could keep a secret locked up tighter than the CIA. (3) If I ever get myself  in a jam, there is only one person in this entire world I can count on and that's Gran. I sure as heck could never count on Mom. And ever since she took off, I certainly couldn't count on Dad, either.

38 comments:

  1. That's one heck of a defense mechanism! Lots of character in that excerpt.

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  2. I like this character. She sucks you in and makes you want to learn more about her =).

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  3. It sounds like she doesn't have a boring life at all with that strategy. Not too sure about the backslash it might cause her in the future.

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    1. Yeah, it's totally going to back fire on her...at least that's the plan. But not until Chapter Four or Five, I'm thinking. :)

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  4. Wow! Very well done. Now when am I gonna get the next installment on your NA WIP? Waiting not so patiently. I have Installment 6 of mine almost ready or are you overwhelmed with A to Z. Let me know. I can hold off, if you like.

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    1. T/Y!! I do have some stuff for you too but you hit the nail on the head, the A-Z has been all-consuming of my time. You can go on ahead and send me Chapt. 6 if you want and I will try to take a look. I know you are working on a time line, so I will do my best to get it back to you asap :)

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  5. I absolutely love the title. Very catchy. And this is a great start. You learn a lot about the character, and she has a ton of personality to go with it.

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    1. Thanks so much! I appreciate the honest feed back. I know you said you would take a look at this for me a while back, but I haven't had much time to work on it or send it to you since. But look at me, putting my work up for everyone to take a look at and critique. I've come a long way, haven't I? Or maybe I really needed a post for the letter "M"...lol

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  6. Oh my god, where do I begin with this. So much LOVE! The title is amazing, Sam is amazing and her voice is excellent. Poor kid, having to deal with all that, and what a coping mechanism. I also adored the onomatopoeia at the start. All in all this was excellent. Good luck with it, and if you ever want someone to beta/ critique it, I'd be more than happy to. :D

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    1. Clare- you always make me smile! Thanks for the confidence boost. I am so glad you liked it. I usually throw all my MG stuff past my biggest critics first, and if they don't seem into it, I'll move on. (My biggest critics would be my daughters and all of their friends, lol.) When I read this beginning to the kids, they begged me to tell them the rest and demanded to know what was going to happen to Sam, beginning to end. I took that as a good sign. Thanks for the offer to beta, I will most definitely take you up on that. Not enough time to work on this right now, but in the near future, I'll be ringing you up. Thanks again!!

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  7. YA is mine but they're lots of great MG out there to read. Funny title and good work.

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    1. YA is fun to write too, but a MG idea will just grab my attention sometimes; and then I'm off and hooked! Glad you like the title and intro- Thanks Sheena.

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  8. Yes! my favorite line is dropping me like a cheesy Hot Pocket. I get the dilemma and reinventing herself at every new place. (I can be anyone, as long as it's not me)
    Great first page.

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    1. Robin- thanks so much! I'm so happy you like it and for the positive feedback. YAY!

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  9. I went to a small school, in a small town...and getting a new kid was so rare...any that came got instant rock star status. It was like we all lived like cast-aways and someone new could fill us in on what was going on in the outside world! Poor Sam needed to go to Middlebourne, WV!

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    1. Elizabeth, I can totally relate! I went to a small school, too and it was the same way. :)

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    2. Hey Elizabeth (and Rach!)- Small towns can be a blessing or a curse, I think. I'm glad to hear new kids were rock stars in your schools. That's a good thing. The small town where we live the poor kids here solidify their reputations in freaking pre-k and it is so hard for them to get out from under it. Even if they move away, when they come back to visit, their old rep follows them. Not fair.

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  10. Jaybird, I love this! So cute. :) I want to read more!

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    1. Glad you like it. And I may have to take you up on the reading more part, in the near future! :)

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  11. I like it and can really relate to Samantha.

    Let's see more! :)

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    1. YAY! Thanks Mark. I'm glad you were able to relate to her. That must mean I'm doing something right. Thanks for the imput!! I appreciate it.

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  12. Cute title. And you write middle grade so well. I love gran too!

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    1. Thanks girl! I appreciate that. I LURVED my Grandma so much; she was my best friend. This character is almost as cool as she was :)

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  13. Great grasp of the language and thoughts!

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  14. Great piece! You've captured the voice completely.

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    1. The voice is something I was really trying to nail here- thanks for the compliment!

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  15. This is really good writing, I was completely engaged with the character. Can't wait to read more and meet Gran.

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    1. Thanks Brandon! I will be posting another installment, most likely after this A-Z challenge is over. Just no time to work on it right now. But I'm super glad you liked it and I was able to engage your interest! That means a real lot to me, so grreat big thank you!!!

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  16. How fun! I'm so glad you shared. I don't think I could write middle grade, so I'm impressed!

    :D

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    1. You are such a sweetheart Morgan, thank you so much!!

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  17. Wow, loving this snippet! It's so fun, just like your WIP's title. There's also a lot of great depth near the end, which just makes this snippet even more engaging. The voice is already so strong and full of life--makes me want to to read more as soon as possible so I can see what other kind of mischief Samantha will get into! :)

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    1. Wow, thank you so much Heather. I'm happy everyone seems to be digging the title and wanting to read more to see what's going to happen to Sam next. Thanks a ton!!

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  18. Writing for middle grade is fun! I enjoyed your excerpt. Great voice. If you're ever looking for a beta reader, (I'm always on the lookout for them) I'd be happy to oblige.

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    1. Hey Kim- wow, you just made my day! Thank you so much. I might just take you up on that offer to beta in the near future. A-Z has left me with little time to work on this, but Sam is one of my fav MG characters- so I will be finishing her story, as soon as I'm able. :)

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  19. This was great! I felt like I was exactly hearing a middle schooler speak. And I definitely wanted to hear more about her and gran! Love it :)

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