Okay, so... late night, crappy day, just now reading blog posts, and I noticed this contest linked by several people I follow...
So, hey, why not?
I've been sitting on 'The Rules of Riding Shotgun' after finishing another round of edits a few months ago... completely because this story dredges up so many 'happy' memories that have now turned sour in retrospect. (seriously, today has been a very, very bad day).
...but since I'm a 'silver-linings' kinda girl, what better way to sweeten the sour by getting someone to slash the hell outta my first 250 words & query?
I'm not sure if I officially have made it in yet (they're cutting it off after 50 entrants), but part of this contest is a bloghop, so here are the questions, and my answers:
1) How do you remember your first kiss?
Like many others I'm sure: awkward. Though, perhaps somewhere on the upper-end of the scale. Mine was on a camping trip the summer between grades 8 & 9 with my (then current) 'best friend' and her family, and she had been... hmmm, what's a more politically correct way of saying 'heinous bitch*?' the entire week. Anyways, she had an older brother... are you seeing where this is going? Wait, it gets better... To escape her... mood swings, and the fact that all she wanted to do was sit in the trailer and complain (and actually her parents told us to go so they could fight with her in private), I went on bike rides with the brother. No ulterior motives, simply to save my sanity, and I had no idea where we were and wanted someone along to make sure I didn't get hopelessly lost. One night, after a campfire, all three of us were lying on the bed that gets converted from the kitchen table**, me stuck in the middle between two siblings, and just when I was starting to fall asleep (with no thoughts other than, 'I'm freaking tired!'), the guy starts kissing me. With tongue.***
AWKWARD????? Okay, not by half. Let's go with 'creepy'****.
SOOOO, trapped in a trailer, sharing the same space for another 3 days with my 'soon-to-no-longer-be-best-friend' and her older brother. That was fun... we should skip over when she told the world I was a slut who seduced her brother and alienated all my friends, then pushed me down a flight of stairs on my birthday ;)
Oh, and the fact that I think he only kissed me 'cause he couldn't get my older sister. Yeah, that does spectacular things for your self-confidence when you're 13.
Can you tell why I don't write a lot of romance? ...and why my characters (might?) have some trust issues?
2) What was your first favourite love song?
Probably 'I don't want to miss a thing' by Aerosmith, inspired by another 'first kiss'... I was sleeping/just waking up at the time. How does that keep happening?
3) What's the first thing you do when you begin writing for the day?
I often start writing while eating breakfast, and in this crazy hot weather, that's normally a salad with tomatoes, turkey deli meat, parmesan cheese, pepper, and a little oil & balsamic vinegar. Think I'm weird? Raw veggies are the best thing to re-hydrate in the morning. Then, after my coffee is done, I walk my beagle, Eva, for a couple hours with headphones blaring loud music to clear my head. After I get back, whatever I started over breakfast is usually a lot clearer.
4) Who's the first writer to truly inspire you to become a writer?
I'm going to say it's a tie between Laurie Halse Anderson's "Speak", and Banana Yoshimoto's "Amrita". I bought both books during a summer sale and read them both in a single day.
5) Did the final revision of your first book have the same first chapter it started with?
...you mean the book that is on near-permanent-hold? Nope, different beginning. I think it was changed 3 or 4 times before I moved on to write something new.
6) For your first book, what came first: major characters, plot, or setting?
A scene woke me up in the middle of the night and I couldn't get back to sleep. Three characters fighting something... invisible in the desert, and one character (female) getting beaten so bad her ribs were broken and she was bleeding all over the place.
7) What's the first word you want to roll off the tip of someone's tongue when they think of your writing?
Maybe not a 'word', but the sentence, "That made me think." I entirely blame my parents for giving me Poe and Kafka to read before I hit the double-digits. Books that don't make you think are forgettable. I don't want to be a 'beach-read-author', I want to be one of the ones that twists someone's world-view, even by just a fraction, even if I don't sell well. Books that made me think are what got me through my teen years, even strange ones like Jostein Gaarder's "Sophie's World", Douglas Cooper's "Delirium", and Simon Singh's "Fermat's Enigma".
* by the way, TOTALLY a reference to the movie, '10 Things I Hate About You'. Yeah, love that movie... 1/2 for Julia Stiles, 1/2 for 'Letters to Cleo' on the rooftop during the end credits. The cameo by 'Save Ferris' was awesome too.
** seriously, I am NOT a camper... first, and only time in a trailer EVER, I'm sure there is a proper name for what that kind of bed is called, but I have no idea what it is
*** I will forever associate the taste of 'Juicy Fruit' gum with my first kiss, and 'Green Apple Jolly Ranchers' with my second first kiss.
**** Slightly incestuous, even, considering his sister was a foot away and snoring her face off.