Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Entry 9 Lydia Sharp

Genre: YA Contemp
Contact: lydiasharp4sff (at) yahoo (dot) com


At the start of her senior year, Rocklyn Geiger is moving from the city to the backwoods. Now she must come out as a lesbian all over again, in a school that's more tightly laced than her Doc Marten boots. As Rocklyn awkwardly navigates through foreign waters, she finds new friends, her first love, and an unexpected confrontation with an old enemy.

Second line of 1st par.:

I prefer to walk, to relish every step of my final trek across town.

First 250 words of 2nd chapter:

Sunday, August 20, 1995

I pass Candy in the hall on my way down to breakfast. She's all sweaty from her daily morning run, which never accomplishes anything. She refuses to accept that she'll always have a baby pooch.

"Hey, slut," I say.

"Hey, dyke."

This is about as affectionate as it gets between us. At least we acknowledged each other.

The kitchen smells like a typical Sunday morning--coffee, maple syrup, and bacon grease. Dad's sipping from a mug and reading the Plain Dealer. Mom's fussing over my nephew in the high chair, trying to get him to stop throwing Cheerio's at the stove while she's cooking. I'm pretty sure he hasn't cut any teeth yet, so why she gave him Cheerio's is a mystery.

But everything Mom does is a mystery, really.

My little brother, Jeremy--Mom's "change of life" baby--explodes into smiles when he sees me. I ruff up his hair then sit across from him, grab a plate of bacon and ignore the rest of the spread.

Dad leans over and pecks my forehead. "Good morning, Rocklyn."

Sure it is. "What're you so happy about?" I ask Jeremy.

"We're moving!" He thrusts both hands in the air like he just scored a touchdown.

"Don't remind me."

"Ring, ring!" He drops his fork full of pancakes and mimes picking up a telephone. "Oh hi, Snow White. You're looking for Grumpy? Yeah, hang on." He hands me his invisible phone. "It's for you."

Only Jeremy could get me to laugh at such an outright insult.


  1. I love this. Nothing to say about the pitch.

    I love the voice. I can see the love Candy and Rocklyn have for each other. LOL. Love it. I was a bit confused at first 'cause I didn't know who Candy was. At first I thought group home or something, but it could be because I'm missing the first chapter. Good job!

  2. Hello Lydia! Congrats on making it into the contest!

    Pitch Comments:

    I really liked your pitch, it drew me in and gave me just enough information to be intriguing. The only think I wish (after reading everything else) is that you had some of the wit and tone of the novel in there along with the info. As is, it isn't boring, but I was smiling, then laughing during your excerpt and I wish the pitch had left me likewise.

    Second Line from the First Paragraph Comments:

    I liked the second line. Even short as it is, and out of context, it gives me a sense of Rocklyn's character.

    First 250 of the Second Chapter Comments:

    I'm sold on your story by this and I'd buy it in a heartbeat. The writing is tight and sucks me along. I love the interaction between Rocklyn and Candy. It's incredibly well done in only a matter of a few words!

    The only part that confused me just a wee bit was the shift from her mom feeding her little nephew to her little brother smiling at her. I'm not sure why, exactly, it threw me, but for a second I was confused and thinking 'she just said he was her nephew?' It was only for a second, and then I realized there were two kids, a baby and then a kid (a very witty one at that :)

    Overall, loved it and would totally read on! Good luck and happy writing!

  3. Love this pitch, although one thing struck me as a little odd: you mention that she needs to come out in a new school, yet later mention her first love. Would she have come out at her old school without having fallen in love? Most girls don't realize they're lesbians until they start falling for a girl.

    The only other thing that confused me was the beginning of your second chapter where Candy and Rocklyn pass each other in the hall. I visualized them being at boarding school or something, so it was a little bit of a surprise to then find Mom and Dad downstairs.

    Love the voice though. I'd totally read on. In fact, I'd like to!

  4. Really enjoying this. Love the sisterly interaction, love the voice. I do wonder a little at a novel set in 1995 - of course, since I haven't read the whole thing, I don't know if it's set then for a reason. If there's no specific reason, I'd move it into present-day (plenty of places in the US would still be very unfriendly to a lesbian teenager).

    Only nitpick (a very tiny nit): Cheerios is the name of the cereal, so no need for an apostrophe.

    Beyond that, I'd read on in a heartbeat.

  5. I really want to read this book! I have no comments or suggestions.
    The pitch is great as as. At first I was a bit put off by the Doc Marten metaphor, but realized later that it conveyed character.
    Your second line has excellent characterization. And your 250-word passage is amazing! What a voice! I only have one question (which is actually a series of questions): Why 1995? Is there some relevance to that year? Why not today?
    Wonderful writing!!!

  6. Hi Lydia!

    Love the pitch - quick and to the point, yet get's exactly across, what your MC will be up against.

    Your submit was fab! I absolutely love your voice and was completely sold - I'd read more, for sure.

    Great interaction between your characters and solid scene building. I'm sorry, but I really have nothing to critique here (anything I did have was super small, and already caught above - i/e "Cheerios") - I thought this was really good!

    Best of luck in the contest!

  7. Thanks so much for all the comments and feedback! *hugs*