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Archive for August 21st, 2012

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life

On Friday Feedback with Gae Polisner, author of Pull of Gravity, the guest author was Caroline Star Rose who wrote May B. May B. is written in verse, like Love That Dog and Heartbeat by Sharon Creech, two of my favorite books. It was such a serendipitous stop. Like Caroline, I first wrote poetry. Only lately, the last 3 years with the work of Blessen, have I written fiction for young readers. So imagine my thrill to think about writing a young readers novel in verse.

I read all of Caroline’s advice about writing in verse. The two things that stood out most for me were 1) Each chapter or verse must be able to stand alone, and yet 2) Each verse must move the story along. I considered a book I had started ages ago and put aside. Now I think I have discovered the key that will open this old book to a new life–verse. So I tried it out. I posted one chapter that I had reworked into a verse. Before I even hung around long enough to get feedback, I was reworking more chapters until Friday night at 8 PM, I had 16 verses. I am hooked. The process has come alive for me.

I am posting the verse/chapter I posted on Friday Feedback. The main character, Jean, is writing letters to God because her best friend Simone has lymphoma. She is struggling with her own self-doubts as any 13-year-old would as well as the illness of her friend. Let me know what you think.

Dear God,
Simone’s hair,
soft and thick,
wavy blond curls I envy,
started falling today,
in handfuls she handed to me.
We looked in the mirror,
side by side.
My hair, short and bobbed,
looked shiny and healthy
next to her balding spots
appearing and frightening.
At the wig store, we had laughed
at the large lady drawling out
r-e-e-e-a-a-l hair,
The wigs are made with REAL hair!
I chose a wig, too,
I’ve always wanted long hair.
Simone handed me a lock.
It fell over my fingers.
I held it to my face,
so soft, so long,
so sad.

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