Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Barbara

Name: Barbara Watson
Email: barbarawatson94(at)gmail(dot)com
Title and Genre: ROCKY SHORES (MG Historical Fiction)

Pitch: Discovery of his hippie mom's 1967 journal and hearing of a neighbor's bolt from 1963 Birmingham lead Mitch toward a calamitous decision.

1st 250 words:

“Grab the box labeled typewriter!” Mitch’s dad shouted. Mitch tramped down the porch stairs with shoes of heavy steel and walked to the moving truck parked in the driveway. The box was huge and heavy. Mitch struggled under its weight.

“The typewriter. The typewriter. It’s always the typewriter. I’d like to smash this typewriter on the rocks down by the ocean,” Mitch mumbled to his dog Jasper.

“What, honey?” Mitch’s mom asked as he passed through the small living room. Celeste stood in the middle of the room, pulling her waist-length blond hair into a bun and securing it with a pencil.

“Nothing, Mom. I’m just getting hungry. Can we take a break for lunch?”

“Lunch? It’s already lunchtime? I’m not even sure we have any food.”

Mitch plodded down the hall to his father’s new office and handed him the typewriter.

Celeste’s voice followed down the corridor, “Nelson, we forgot groceries on our way out of Cambria, and Mitchell is hungry. I’m heading back to town. Bye, my loves.” The screen door slammed her second good-bye.

“Yeah, I guess we did,” Nelson said, scratching his head and looking for a place to set his typewriter until the desk was fully functional.

Mitch quietly left the office, walked to the front porch, and sat down on the top step. His mother gave a hurried wave from the car window as she sped away. Mitch placed his elbows on his knees and dropped his chin into his hands.


  1. I've been giving this one a lot of thought.

    It's not quite working for me, and I think it's because of a lack of tension. Perhaps start the story somewhere else? Or, keep the scene, but work to make it more poignant by making it clear that Mitch feels overlooked, maybe even abandoned, by his ditzy Mom. The last paragraph really makes that clear, but there's more that can be done in those other paragraphs.

    BTW-It's just an opening scene, but I don't get hippie anywhere, I just get ditzy and bad Mom so far.

  2. Thank you for your thoughts. I appreciate the time you took with them. Since I posted, I did decide the story needed a different starting place. You are right on with that. The opening scene doesn't fit my pitch. And it should. It's definitely a WIP with lots of work left in it.