Monday, January 3, 2011

Show Me Yours Blogfest ...

Okay so better late than never, right???

Here's my 500 words for the Show Me Yours Blogfest where we showcase some of our NaNo project. This is a YA contemporary story called Starsong:

My first real shift falls on the busiest day of the week, and I’m running late. There’s no time to ride my bike, and of course, Mom has her Pilates class, so driving me to work is an inconvenience for her. But Dad’s home for the weekend and he’s happy to take me. He drops me in front of Marshall Mania.

“I’m glad you’re back, Dad,” I say, stepping out of the car. We both understand the wrath of the Ice Queen if things don’t go her way.
“Me too, pumpkin,” he says. “Don’t worry, you’ll have enough money for your car in no time. Your mom just wants you to learn a little responsibility. She didn’t have her own car til she was twenty-two. She thinks you have it too easy.”

“Dad, she buys herself a new outfit like every week. Between new clothes and the Botox she’ll have your savings blown by the time I graduate. And she’s worried about me learning responsibility?” I try to keep my tone calm.

Dad raises a palm to stop me. “I know, I know. Just leave her be and do what she wants.  Best thing for you to do is study hard and get into a good school. Then you can live on your own. Besides, you may enjoy having a summer job. I didn’t mind when I was your age.”

I sigh. “Sure, Dad. See you later.” I shut the door and amble into the arcade. Dad has never stood up to Mom before. He’s the head big wig at his corporation—in charge of hundreds of employees throughout the country—and the one person who scares the crap out of him is my Mom.

“Hey, ready for your first shift?” Vela asks at the door. She’s perched on a stool with a stamp pad in one hand and her cell phone in another.

“Yeah,” I say. “How many parties today?”

She pulls a clipboard from the podium, looks it over. “Ooo … looks like six for you all day. Not bad for a Saturday. You’ll be working next to Darnell. She’s fun—a true wack-job, practices voodoo in her spare time.”

I head off to the back to get my party table set up.

Marshall Mania is a complete madhouse today.  Kids are running around like disturbed ants. There are three separate lines at the prize counter , with one flustered looking heavyset woman behind it. That’s Opal. I wave to her as I pass by, she doesn’t see me.

“Ma’am, excuse me … my child’s been standing here a long time …”

I look around for the voice. A tight-faced woman looming over her boy is raising her voice at Opal. Poor Opal is trying to keep her cool.

I scoot behind the counter. “Do you need help with anything?”

Her blue eyes look huge behind her thick glasses. “Hi there, Miss Wynonna. It’s your first shift on your own today, isn’t it?” Her voice is soft and calm, accented with Southern twang. It totally betrays the rattled look on her face.

“Yeah, looks like a busy one, too,” I say.


Elizabeth Twist said...

Thanks for sharing this! I like the dynamic between the narrator and her dad.

Summer Ross said...

Very interesting- makes me really curious about the mom, specially since dad is afraid of her. This was an easy read. well done.

Trisha Leaver said...

Great stuff-- but then again you already know I love you ms. Can't wait to read the rest!

Talei said...

I enjoyed reading your snippet! Thanks for sharing with us!

Happy New Year! ;)

N. R. Williams said...

An intriguing exchange between Dad and your heroine. I suspect he just wants to keep the peace after all the stress at his job. A new job is also lots of tension. Good luck with it.

Melissa said...

Thanks for sharing. This is a great snippet.

Mary said...

Wow! I really would love to read more of this. You have me very curious as to where Dad has been and how the first day at work goes!

Summer Frey said...

Interesting snippit, and I'm especially intrigued by the novel's title!

Thanks for participating. :)

Jessica Lei said...

I loved the interaction between the MC and her dad :) Very cute. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca T. said...

You set up the tension nicely here. Home problems, potential work problems, transportation problems... nicely done! I want to see how she handles it all!

Caroline said...

I'm stressed out just reading about those few minutes at work. Flashbacks from my early jobs, I think. You capture it well.

Ellie said...

I really enjoyed your piece. There is so much more going on and I'm eager to read on!

kmckendry said...

Great set up. Definitely makes me want to keep reading. I can't wait to find out more about Mom, Dad and Wynonna.

Tracy said...

That's a pretty darn good start, with great voice. I had to shiver uncomfortably though as Marshall Mania reminds me TOO much of my old days at Chuck E Cheese!

Anonymous said...

Interesting stuff. I'm immediately curious about why you chose the present tense for this piece, it's unusual and I don't see an obvious explanation for it... but it shocks me awake slightly, so maybe that's good.

Is Mom the Ice Queen?

I like the description and the voice in general, and the somewhat snarky remarks about Dad.

How does a calm voice 'betray' the rattled look? Usually I think of it the other way, that a more agitated expression or voice 'betrays' a calm facade, showing that the person is agitated but trying to show it. If the calm voice betrays the rattled look, does that mean that Opal is actually calm but trying to fake a rattled look?

Thanks for taking part in the blogfest and sharing your writing with us all! Good luck with this story.