Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February Secret Agent #44

TITLE: The Color of Cyan
GENRE: YA Contemporary

Someone should tell Mother Nature it’s June.

I shiver as cold from the metal bleachers seeps in like water and aggravates my fidgeting. Normally I love my little brother’s baseball games, but today anxiety bounces my thoughts like a pinball--the smallest distraction successful.

My gaze drifts from the field to the concession stand where three sophomore girls huddle like cattle, waiting for the guys’ game to start.

Stupid Baseball Hos.

I wince from the weight of their stares, wishing they’d stop, since this is the last of Gio’s games I’ll see this summer. But I know they won’t lay off. With my resident title of the Freak Show of the Incoming Senior Class I’m too tempting for them. I’m like crack-cocaine for gossips. Lucky me.

An aluminum bat pings, snapping my attention to the field. A second grader hurtles toward first base, feet shooting forward and somehow missing flailing shoestrings.

I glance at the Baseball Hos again. Because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. Their number has grown—like bacteria in a Petri dish. One stretches her neck, peering around me. The others bunch their heads closer, their whispers more frantic. I look over my shoulder to find what entertains them. It’s Charlee and Jacob approaching from the parking lot.

I turn away from my best friends, back to the group of girls. So this is their big deal? The huge scandal they buzz about--a meeting of Charlee and Jacob and me, Tessa. AKA, the girl responsible for their mother’s death.


  1. I had a little trouble getting into this, but the last sentence hooked me. Maybe you could bring it in a little sooner. The description of the "Baseball Hos" was a bit much for me - I wasn't sure I'd want to keep reading a narrator who's so nasty. But the ending seems to open a window on why she's prickly, if she did in fact cause the death of her best friends' mother and is dealing with all of the reprecussions. (That is, if I read that sentence right. Does 'best friends' refer to Charlee and Jacob? It seemed a little unclear.) Your writing style is solid. Good luck!

  2. While the opening line grabs me, my attention wanes until the Baseball Ho line. A bit catty, but its YA and I expect that. I want to know why, if the MC is just nasty or if there's justification. The initial impression I get from the girls, though, is that they're watching a different field and not focused on the MC. It doesn't come off clear until a little later. Their description also gives the impression of physical distance from the MC, so I have a hard time believing the one girl peered around the MC. Across a baseball field, even little league, it would be hard to discern what the girl would be looking at. Good comparison with the petri dish. The final line hooks me again, I'd read at least the first chapter to get a sense of the story.

  3. Having attended many sporting events at the local level, I thought the story gave a good description of how a game, groups of kids, and a spectator may interact. I like how the riding makes you think and how you have to read every word to get the complete picture. There are no wasted or unnecessary words. The last line is the kicker....where is the rest?

  4. I actually had no problem getting into this because I teach high school. I would totally read on! Some of the description (i.e. peering around me) can be easily fixed. Great excerpt!

  5. I love the voice! One thing I noticed is you have two metaphors close together, and they're constructed the same way. "I shiver as cold from the metal bleachers seeps in like water and aggravates my fidgeting," and then "huddled like cattle." I would change the first -- the seeps like water made me stop and think -- is there water somewhere? And almost all metaphors make the writer less invisible. Your cattle one is fine -- the picture comes to mind right away and it's a good choice.

    Nice work! I would read more.

  6. Up until the last line I was wondering how you were going to make this an original story (after all, the outcast protagonist at the hands of popular girls is overdone at times), but then I was like whoa, wait, what? And then I wanted to read more.

  7. I liked this because I could totally picture it happening, but then it wasn't that long ago I was in high school either. I know someone said they thought the baseball ho thing made the character sound nasty, but I thought she sounded real, and I liked her immediately for it. I'm really interested by the last line, and I'd definitely read more from here.

  8. I didn’t really connect with the main character here. She seemed bitter and nasty. Maybe if she tried harder to ignore the girls and they were more intrusive it would work?

    Sorry, it just isn’t for me.