Tag: Spain Story

Taking the 777 challenge

My friend T.S. Bazelli shared a tantalizing little excerpt from her current project, and then challenged other writers to do the same. I guess this 777 thing is going around — and hey, it’s better than ebola! So here’s a slice of my WIP:

B is for Barcelona. One of Mom’s closest friends lives there with her daughter, who is only a year or two older than me. They invited me to stay with them for all of June and July. Within a week, Mom had packed my suitcase, Dad bought a couple guidebooks, and both of my older brothers chipped in to help pay for my ticket.

As I make my way through the security line, shoes in hand, I try not to think about how I’ve never left the country before. Or been on a plane. Or even been away from my family for more than a night.

If you’d like to play along, just go to page seven of your latest work, jump seven lines down, and post seven sentences. Whether you post to your own blog and leave a link, or put the whole thing in a comment here, I’d love to read it!

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On the alphabet of madness, my particular worldview, and adding sentences

I don’t talk much about my “process.” Probably for the same reasons that I feel compelled to put “process” in quotes. It’s just such a fickle, fluid thing. Some days I do X; some days I do Y. If I’m lucky, I can just go back and forth between those two. But more often, I’m forced to try Z, or G, or B, or M. There’s a whole alphabet of tricks and techniques. Of methods and madness.

But I really enjoyed Natalia’s post about writing the other day, so I’m going to participate in this blog-hop about my “process” too. Who knows. Maybe if I talk about it enough, someday I’ll lose the quotes.

What are you working on?

Right now, mostly a story about a girl escaping to Spain.

Sometimes I play in pages about a girl and her parents visiting the Galapagos. And very occasionally, I dip my toe into a story about a girl and her famous football-playing father.

But yeah, mostly the Spain thing.

It’s about mourning the loss of a toxic friendship, holding onto an identity that everyone except you questions, and dancing your heart out in a noisy, electric nightclub in Barcelona.

I like it.

How does your work differ from others of its genre?

Hm. I guess the primary difference is that my work is written by me, while the rest of its peers are not.

And of course what that means is, my work is infused by my specific thoughts, questions, and feelings. My stories embody the particular discussions and debates that I have with myself about the world. Most of all, they reflect what I see — or hope to see — in the world around me.

I especially like to focus on uncommon settings, diverse characters, and strong emotional relationships.

Why do you write what you do?

Because it is what interests and compels me most.

Because I don’t see enough of it on the shelves yet.

And because I have always liked to connect with people and explore the world through stories.

How does your writing process work?

Ah, and now we come to that pesky alphabet I was talking about…

Most days, I sit at my desk, open my Word document, and try to add sentences. Other days, I sit on my couch, with my journal and a pen, and try to add sentences.

Sometimes I go for a walk with my dog and think about a scene that’s giving me trouble. Sometimes I talk through ideas with my writing buddies, who often help me find an even better path than the one I was considering. Sometimes I read for hours — to fill up my well of inspiration, and to study good storytelling. Sometimes I watch TV or spend time with loved ones — to recharge my batteries, and to remember that there’s a world outside my own brain that I need to be in dialogue with.

I am by no means an expert in How To Write. I am just a person who tries, and fails, and tries again, and hopefully fails better.

Bottom line: Add sentences.

(Until it’s time to revise. Then delete!)

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Barcelona sunrise

Writing was a struggle this weekend, and so is blogging today. I’m pushing myself on the WIP, but I’m taking the easy road out here.For some good blog reads, I highly recommend “I’m Not” by Amy at Just a Titch, found via Lindsay at Birdykins: Fly. Crash. Repeat. As for me, I’m going to share an excerpt of a future work in progress. Enjoy!

Chelsea sat on the beach and listened to the waves rushing onto shore. The tide was low, and the water frigid, but the sky danced in color. Blue, grey, purple, and gold. She couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful last day.

Chelsea listened to the sound of her own breathing, felt her chest expand and contract. She had a sense of herself here that she’d never had anywhere else, and she hated to give that up. But the summer had ended, and it was time to go home. She would return to the States and find a real job. A real life. A real love?

She had her doubts about all three.

But she’d had doubts about Spain too, she reminded herself. Doubts about Alejandro. And look how wrong she’d been.

Saying goodbye to Alejo would be the hardest part. If he even let her, that is. Chelsea wondered if he would make it back — from wherever he’d run away to — in time to see her off. If not, she could always write to him once she was home. But she didn’t think that she would.

With a soft sigh and a heavy heart, Chelsea picked up her sandals and stood. She wiggled her toes in the sand. She hoped that at least a few grains would stick, and return with her to Pennsylvania, because they were the only things that could.

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