Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #15

GENRE: YA Paranormal

I always failed at ordinary.

Ordinary wouldn’t have weird, freaky, come-true dreams or a scar that ached when something god-awful was about to happen. Ordinary wouldn’t have guilt hanging over my head like an anvil. And ordinary would’ve snuggled under the warmth of my down comforter, especially on a rain-soaked Sunday. Instead, I dashed down the hardwood stairs, runner-ready with iPod in hand, prepared to shave at least ten seconds off last week’s time.

Mom sat at the kitchen table, rubbing her forehead. Reddish-blonde curls pinged in all directions. Without looking away from the Asheville Citizen Times, she handed me my cell phone. “Sweetheart, do us both a favor. Don’t ignore your father this morning.”

Dad’s text read: Love the hills and they’ll love you back. Before I’d finished reading, the phone chirped again: Be one with the mud.

I twisted my hair into a ponytail, ignoring the pins and needles prickling the scar on my wrist. “What’s with his pre-flight jitters?”

Mom tapped the headline of the Sports section: WMSU Football: Coach Siefert Under Fire after 23-13 Loss.

I skimmed the article implying Dad’s contract wouldn’t be renewed. True or not, I’d tread lightly around Dad’s mood. I tapped out a quick reply: Got it Dad. Have a safe flight. Love your mud-loving, puddle-jumping machine.

I placed my phone on the table, then crouched to tie my running shoes. A sharp pain shot from my thumb to my wrist. I hid my grimace because Mom didn’t need another reason to worry.


  1. Really love that I can tell the relationship between the MC and her Dad via text message. Rings very true for a teen voice.

    Good luck!!!

  2. I like her relationship with her parents. Very sweet. I'd read on!

  3. Intriguing! I get the feeling the dad's a little crazy based on his texts and I'd read on to find out more about him and the MC's scar.

    When I read the title, I thought this was going to be a romance :)

  4. I definitely want to know what's with that pain! And the first line is wonderful, but I don't get how she fails at ordinary (I'm guessing you address that later though).

  5. I love the Dad's texts and your description of Mom's curls. I felt like the list about "ordinary" got too long by the third sentence in the first paragraph, though.

    You did a nice job showing us the conflict about Dad and his job without resorting to a heavy info-dump.

    I'd read on.

  6. You start off saying how she fails at ordinary, and the first two sentences agree with that, but the rest of the scene doesn’t feel so out of the ordinary, except for the tingling scar. Is there something else that could happen in this scene that points to the peculiar? Or perhaps she can tell the reader that even though she fails at ordinary she still strives for it?

    Overall though, it is a good first scene. The texts between her and her dad are great and you’ve nailed the voice.

  7. I think you've accomplished a lot in 250! Great job!

  8. First line is a good hook, especially for YA. Unfortunately the second paragraph isn't focused enough to really pull me in. I'd like to see focus on the scar and its portent and while your imagery is good, its not personal enough- remote to the 'internal/personal' tone you set in your first sentence. Can you connect the need to run with the portent, otherwise going for a run is ordinary.

    I like the premise. It's intriguing and you've done a good job establishing her relationship with her parents. Tighten and focus on the non-ordinary without giving anything away.

    I'd definitely like to read more.