First, remember to join Charity, myself, and our other awesome participants for the HONE YOUR SKILLS Blogfest on March 16th (next Wednesday). One short story of 750 words (no more than 1000), and help from your fellow bloggers to HONE it to its best shape. It will help you develop your skills as well as bring thoughtful feedback so you can feel confident enough to send it for publication (if you want, of course).
Second, today is my mom's Birthday! Happy Birthday, Mom!! :)
What else is going on TODAY? I'm participating in the CATCH ME IF YOU CAN Blogfest, hosted by Kristina at KayKay's Corner.
On Monday March 7, post the first 550 words (or less) of your WIP on your blog. If you can, leave a link to your email address* in case someone has an especially long critique.
So, here it is. This is the latest new beginning of my WIP, THE MONARCHY'S LIES (although the title is still tentative). The 550 word limit is hard, since my first chapter is only 850 words, and a lot of the tension is in those last 300 words. Aw, well. If it's not in the first two pages, it's my problem, not yours, right?
Email address is at the bottom. Thanks, folks :)
I sat in my seat, tugging at the tight collar around my neck. I hated collars. In fact, I hated anything on my neck—turtleneck sweaters, tight necklaces, even my fingers to check my pulse—but today I would endue anything on my neck. Anything to get to the Mansion.
I checked my watch. “We should have left already,” I said.
My best friend Lily sat in the desk next to mine. “Relax,” she said. “You’ll get to see your beloved prince soon enough.”
“Whatever.” I yanked the collar straight away from my throat. Any second now, it planned to strangle me. I just knew it.
“Oh, don’t give me that line,” she said. “You’d swoon just like any other girl if you got within 10 feet of him and you know it.”
I rolled my eyes. “Be still my sprickin’ heart.”
I jumped as Ms. Crawlee’s voice boomed above my head.
“Detention. Tomorrow.” She passed me and continued down the aisle.
“For what?” I asked.
“Ugh.” I fell back in my chair.
“Watch your mouth, young lady,” Lily whispered, giggling.
I crossed my arms over my chest. The gesture moved the fabric of my shirt, and brought back that choking sensation. I reached my hand up again to tug at the collar.
Lily batter my hand away. “Knock it off. You’re gonna stretch it out.”
“That wouldn’t be so bad.” I tugged again.
“Except it’s your mom’s.” She grabbed my wrist until I stopped fighting.
Ms. Crawlee hushed the room. “I’m passing out a worksheet— Quiet! The front you’ll need to finish on the bus, the back during the tour. You’ll turn them back in to me when we return to the bus in the afternoon.”
Figured. I took the stack of papers from the guy in front of me and passed on the rest. A quick scan of the worksheet told me Ms. Crawlee hadn’t asked any stumpers, but had created busy work for the bus ride so the student wouldn’t get rowdy. I looked at the back. She’d asked for specifics, information that she hadn’t covered in class yet. I figured I could fill out the entire worksheet on the bus and listen during the tour in case I’d missed any.
Aw, who was I kidding? I wouldn’t miss any. My memory spells never failed me, and I knew everything ever written on royal history.
A few minutes later, we’d boarded the bus, which now rumbled down the highway. I scribbled my answers on the worksheet, knowing Ms. Crawlee wouldn’t be looking for massive detail. I could feel Lily looking over my shoulder as I wrote.
“I hate you and your memory spells,” she said.
“Shh.” I looked around to see if anyone heard her.
“Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad for the rest of us if people knew,” she said. “You’d quit throwing off the curve.”
“If I wanted to throw off the curve, I’d have graduated five years ago.” I focused on the next question.
“You don’t think you’ll be too bored during the field trip, do you?” Lily asked, and I could sense her sarcasm. “I mean, you won’t have to listen for the answers like the rest of us commoners.”
“I’ll be listening.”
“No, no, you’ll be bored senseless.”
I turned my body in the seat to face her, seeing the plot brewing inside her green eyes. “What are you thinking?”
Thanks again for reading. Post below or email me at rlconnolly01 [at] gmail [dot] com with any crit you might have.