Posts by fizzygrrl

15: THE END AND EVERYTHING AFTER

Title: The End and Everything After Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Contemporary Fantasy Word Count: 66,000 Pitch: Being the lone survivor of a suicide pact is rough. Finding a cryptic letter from your dead boyfriend changes everything. What Aura Lea uncovers as she searches for answers will completely rewrite that night. First 250 Word of Manuscript: Time. It’s what I’d been told would make all of this bearable. But time had moved forward and left me behind. I removed my keys from my backpack and found the one I’d painted burnt orange to match the equipment room door. I took one last look to make sure no one was coming and then slipped in. The fluorescent lights flickered as the small ten-by-ten-foot room filled with light. The familiar smell of damp concrete and chalk made me uneasy. The room was different. The change was subtle, but for someone who spent as much time in here as I had, it was obvious. Baseball bats were hung along the wall in order of weight and length as opposed to their usual random arrangement. The bases were stacked and placed in the corner instead of piled on top of each other in the middle of the room. The cord for the pitching machine was wound properly around its base. Four buckets of balls were placed side by side along the wall. I set my backpack on the ground and sat on one of the buckets. Not the most comfortable way to spend the next six hours, but it was a hell of a lot better than having to face the wrath of a student body ready to tear me apart with their judgmental looks and not-so-covert whispers. I reached down to open my backpack and noticed the edge of something sticking out...

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16: A RITE OF PASSAGE

Title: A RITE OF PASSAGE Age Category: Young Adult Genre: contemporary mystery Word Count: 63,000 Pitch: Fifteen-year-old Aramay can’t remember what happened after she jumped from the bridge. Her cousin’s paralyzed and she’s viewed with suspicion. She’ll struggle against guilt, bitter memories, and a shocking betrayal in search of the truth. First 250 Word of Manuscript: I squeeze my toes back and forth feeling the wood creak beneath my feet. Inches from the edge of the bridge. I don’t look down at the water; I keep my focus on the line of trees in the distance. I reach to grab the railing, but Cassidy catches my fingers. “What are you doing, Aramay?” “Nothing,” I say. “You’ve been acting weird all day. This spot isn’t like you said. You can’t really see anything from here.” Her hand squeezes mine, insistent. The shadows from the bridge girders hide the sun here. The pass sparkles with shards of sunlight and beyond the lapping waves, the sandy shore melds into the thick green of trees. If I squint my eyes. I can just make out a trail. Cassidy leans close. “What’s this about? Impressing the swim team?” she whispers. I let go of her hand. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say. I don’t look down; that will only fill me with fear. Up above the crossover, the bridge road bristles with summer heat. I shiver; I’m not cold, but I will be soon. The water below is frigid. The shock of it will be the hardest part. Once I thrust up to the surface and turn to push my way to shore, I’ll only be a half a mile away from land. Easy. Nothing like the two miles a day I usually swim. “Aramay,” Cassidy says again. I touch her...

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17: SOMEONE ELSE’S SUMMER

Title: Someone Else’s Summer Age Category: Young Adult Genre: Contemporary Word Count: 74000 Pitch: Anna’s always idolized her older sister, Storm. So when Storm dies, Anna is completely lost. Until she finds Storm’s summer bucket list and decides to have the best summer ever — her sister’s dream summer. First 250 Word of Manuscript: I remember the rain most of all. The day had been beautiful, the sun just peeking through the clouds and falling across the grass where the graduates sat on metal folding chairs. A light breeze played with tassels hanging from mortarboards and fluttered cheap polyester robes around shins as the speakers passed token words of wisdom across the podium. Then, just as hundreds of maroon caps took to the sky, the clouds opened up above us and rain washed the earth. It was just a sprinkling at first, enough to scatter dark spots across shoulders and cool sunburned skin. As the day wore on, the skies darkened more, until it looked like dusk at mid-afternoon. By the time the party started, the gutters had filled with small rivers and our back yard was a swamp. Hours later, the rain still pattered a steady rhythm on the roof as a shrill ring pulled me out of sleep. Mom and Dad insisted on keeping a landline, with receivers throughout the house, even though we never used it. The ancient, corded phone blaring just outside my bedroom door should have been my first indication something was wrong; I should have known right away. That’s the way it always happens in movies—there’s intuition, a feeling deep in the gut. I had none of that, just a mild irritation at whomever was calling. And the constant, insistent rain. Then my world ended with Mom’s ear-breaking...

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A Close Shave

Hello, my darlings! Do you ever have those nights where you can’t sleep and you start to get a little loopy? The other night, it was around 3am, and I was lying in bed unable to get to a snoozy place. Everyone in the house was asleep, all was quiet, and I’d been tossing and turning for two hours. Hell, even the Puggle was at the foot of the bed, snoring. As I flopped about the bed trying to get comfortable, I thought I felt something odd. The place of this odd is a place generally only seen by my husband and gynecologist. Now, see, here’s the thing: After the skin cancer scare from two years ago, and the luck we’ve been having lately, feeling anything odd on my skin really super freaks me out. My brain spiraled into a worry hole of all the things that could possibly be killing me and how I was definitely going to die because that’s the one thing that’s been missing from the last few months. I flew out of bed and went to inspect to make damn diggity sure there was nothing wrong. And. Okay. I was tired. Like, super tired. But it was 3am and maybe I wasn’t on top of my game. Because when I realized there was some visual impairment in the form of, uh, shrubbery, my idea was to grab an electric razor to get a clearer view of the area. Basically I panicked. Mistakes were made. I quickly realized all was well, there was nothing to be concerned about, I didn’t see a damn thing out of place. Except that now my *ahem* area was looking a little lopsided. And so, even though I haven’t done such a thing in like, fifteen years, there I stood,...

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Giving Thanks

Hello you magical, glorious, unparalleled loves of mine, I’ve been trying to write this post for a week. I sit down and no words come out because no words seem adequate enough. But if I don’t write this out, I may quite literally explode, so forgive me if I stumble. Not quite two weeks ago, I posted a blog updating on how life was going. It was a hard post to write, letting myself and our family be vulnerable in the digital age by letting others in on a deeply personal struggle. I posted that entry because it’d been a tough few weeks, and at that moment, a particularly tough few days. I needed an outlet to purge some of the thoughts I was having. I needed to share what our lives were like because I didn’t want to feel alone. Once I hit “Publish” it was this weight off my shoulders. Like, the reality of life was still happening, but it wasn’t a silent struggle I was carrying away from everyone I know. It never stops astounding me that people read this blog. It never stops confusing me that anyone would ever be interested in what I have to say. Within minutes of publishing, friends and readers were calling to start GoFundMe’s for our family. As notifications buzzed on my phone, my eyes got wider and wider, and my jaw got lower and lower. I looked like a mix between a very alarmed fish and Arnold Schwarzenegger at the end of Total Recall by the end of the night. Less than an hour later, two incredible women, Jessa Russo and Tamara Mataya, had set up an online auction to benefit our family, and another glorious gal, Alina Klein, had set up a GoFundMe. People started messaging me, sharing...

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