Monday, April 18, 2011

Submission Shari

Name: Shari A. Brady

Email: Sharibrady1 at yahoo dot com

Title/Genre: Epiphany YA Contemporary/Supernatural element
Ptich: Sixteen year old Carmella must help her older sister get into heaven, but in order to do that she must face the truth of her and her sister's life.

1st 250:
As we pull out the Elmwood Park Cemetery, I think about all the dreams Francesca and I confessed to each other when the lights were out and we were supposed to be sleeping. There were so many places Francesca and I wanted to see, so many things we were going to do with our lives. She always wanted to see Hawaii and the Caribbean, where the climate was mild, people were relaxed, where life seemed so much easier than here in the Midwest. But Francesca never made it past twenty-two, never made it past the city of Chicago.

Since I was born, my life was all about Francesca. We were inseparable. I wonder when the reality of losing my big sister will sink in and that’ll be it. I’ll lose my mind. Become a mute. Stop living at sixteen. I wonder when the pain in my gut will subside. I know I’ll never laugh again, let alone manage a real smile. I feel like I’m walking around with bricks on my back, and I’m convinced God must hate Francesca and me. I wonder what we did to deserve this?

My mother’s resting her head in her hand, looking out the window, silent while my Dad drives. I stare at my dad’s shiny black hair. The dark charcoal suit he has on is the only thing he’s worn for the past two days. It’s the same suit he wore a few years ago for Grandpa’s funeral.


  1. “face the truth of her and her sister’s life” read a bit clunky to me.

    Hawaii and the Caribbean, where the climate IS mild, people ARE relaxed—since even though the sister is dead, these features will not have changed about the locations.

    The second paragraph feels like you’re telling me about the sister’s connection rather than showing me. A bit of it feels cliché too.

    My dad drives—dad is not capitalized unless she were to say, “while Dad drives.”

    A sister story is a nice change from the usual paranormal boyfriends. The visual details in the last paragraph make the scene the most real for me.

  2. You create a good mood here. But there's a lot of tell instead of show here. Maybe start with more action. She can have people say the cliche stuff they do after a funeral and her thoughts can come in between. Did you read The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson? It was about two sisters who were very close. The book starts with her returning to school. The feelings and the relationship with the sister take some time to come out. It's more poignant.