"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Friday, September 16, 2011

YA INDIE CARNIVAL: Back-to-School Special

It's time again for the YA Indie Carnival, an awesome group of weekly bloggers blogging about the same topic! But before I start, last week's winner of the SOLSTICE ebook is...


Okay, this week's topic?


Here in Austin, school started three weeks ago, so I've spent the last three weeks writing and readjusting to the kids being gone during the day (sniff, sniff). And though mine are still young, there will come a time when they'll be hitting the classrooms I write about in my YA stories.

SOLSTICE has a good number of classroom scenes since the main character, Piper, is a senior in high school. I shared part of one a couple weeks ago when we talked about first paragraphs, so I won't go with that one again. Instead...


When I get to school on Monday, I immediately know something’s wrong. Tension hangs in the air like black crepe at a funeral.

“Randy Conner’s dead.”

Someone whispers it in the hallway.

“What happened?” Another whisper.

“It was the ice storm.”

“The shuttle wrecked.”

“He died instantly.”

Oh my god. I had been with Randy on the shuttle. I’d talked to him just before I got off.

“Is his sister okay?” I ask. He said he was going to pick her up.

No one seems to know.

My stomach flips over and I almost throw up. I can’t believe Randy’s really gone. Dead. And unlike Chloe, Randy will not have anyone to bring him back.

When I get to Social Sciences, I see the empty chair where Randy normally sits, and I can’t help but notice Shayne’s chair is empty, also.

Mr. Kaiser walks in and tells us what he knows. Randy Conner is dead. He’d been one of the unfortunate two hundred and eighty-seven people to die in the city this weekend. I’ll never have to worry about any more wise-cracking comments about my mom’s overprotectiveness from him. I ask about Randy’s sister, and Mr. Kaiser tells the class she is fine. She was with him when he died and then her parents came and took her away. The funeral’s going to be held Wednesday, and anyone who wants to attend gets out of school early for the day.

I haven’t been to a funeral since sixth grade when Charlotte died.


I’ve almost forgotten her.

It’s like little pieces of my time in Hell are escaping me. And I wonder: will Randy Conner go to the Elysian Fields? Because at this moment, if I had to judge, I would say yes. He’d been taking care of his sister when he died, and if that isn’t something that deserves paradise, then I don’t know what is. I feel like that’s what the blue moss was trying to tell me. I look again to Shayne’s chair, trying to command him to appear, but I don’t want to call his name. I want him to be there on his own. So I sit back try to replay anything I can from the Underworld, letting it all come back to me. Mr. Kaiser lectures on everything needed to construct an underground city, but my heart’s not in the lecture. I don’t think anyone’s is.

-- SOLSTICE, Chapter 20


For a list of all posts, visit all the blogs!

The Fuji Mermaid Dani Snell's Refracted Light Reviews
Leopard Girl Patti Larsen
Fire Breather Courtney Cole
Strong Woman Nicole Williams
Champion Sword Swallower Fisher Amelie
Siren Laura A. H. Elliott
Snake Charmer Amy Maurer Jones
Pretzel Woman Rachel Coles. Geek Mom. Book Reviewer
The Giant T. R. Graves
Jungle Woman P.J. Hoover
Shape Shifter Alicia McCalla
Tarot Card Reader Heather Cashman
Fortune Teller Abbi Glines
Knife Thrower Cheri Schmidt
Fire Dancer Lexus Luke
Fire Breather Suzy Turner
Dragonslayer K. C. Blake
Elephant Trainer Gwenn Wright
Ring-Leader Kimberly Kinrade
Prestidigitator J.L. Bryan


Stina Lindenblatt said...

Love this excerpt PJ!

storyqueen said...

This is a great scene, PJ!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, guys! I appreciate you visiting and reading :)

Patti Larsen said...

TOTALLY need this book now... great excerpt!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, Patti!

T. R. Graves said...

Thanks for sharing your excerpt, PJ. It looks great!

PJ Hoover said...

Thanks, T. R.!