The ever fantastic and ever floral Laura Stanfill tagged me for the Lucky 7 meme about a week ago. As it is a holiday weekend and I’d like to keep things fun I thought I’d give it a go.
The rules ask me to open my novel-in-progress and:
- Go to page 77.
- Go to line 7.
- Copy down the next 7 lines, sentences, or paragraphs as they are written.
- Tag 7 new authors.
What a lovely, self-indulgent excuse for me to post a random tidbit of my latest novel and force you to read it totally against your will! I love it! I shall choose seven paragraphs from my YA novel Institutionalized, which is currently on display – or at least the query and first 250 words – at the Surprise Agent Invasion on the Cupid Literary Connection Blog and finally getting some responses and even its first agent request – woohoo! I’m choosing the longest form because the particular section in question wouldn’t make much sense otherwise and because it’s my game, my rules, and…because I said so. (I’m also not going to tag seven new authors because I think everyone I would tag has already been tagged by this particular meme.)
Excerpt from Institutionalized:
“Why?” I turned to her, crossed my arms, and huffed. “Cause knowing he likes green is so top secret? C’mon.” I seriously was about to lose my patience with this Nazi control crap. And I didn’t want Matt to get into any trouble. Not because of me.
Courtney shook her head. “Sara, you’re a smart girl. You know it’s more than that. Think about it.”
“I don’t see anything wrong with just talking.” I flopped back down in my chair. What was she getting so uptight about? “Everybody’s always trying to get me to talk – all the damn time. It’s all I ever hear from you people! Then I start talking to someone – oooh, a boy – and you freak out. Whatever!”
“Why do you think you’re here? To find a new boyfriend?” Courtney reached over and gently took a hold of my wrists. “You are here for a reason.” She looked over my bandages and then up into my eyes. I had definitely acted crazy and she was letting me know it. As far as she was concerned, I belonged here.
I pulled away and turned my head to look out the window. There was a pond in a little circle of trees with a fountain floating in the middle. I wished I could explode like that right now; shoot jets of emotion up into the air and let them fall all over everyone. I could feel the storm edging up to the surface, but I knew I had to keep it together or I’d never escape this place. I pushed the feelings back down. After a moment of silence, Courtney spoke again.
“If you spend all of your energy focusing on a male peer, you won’t make any progress in your treatment. Don’t you want to get better?”
I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to say there was nothing wrong with me and I didn’t need to get better, but I realized that I’d been acting like a real nutcase since they’d locked me up. Besides, I’d already tried the ‘I’m not crazy” defense and it hadn’t worked. So I stared down at my feet and tried to keep the tears from bubbling out of my eyes. She didn’t understand. It wasn’t my fault that I was here. No one was ever going to understand. My parents had made sure of that.
“Can I go now?” I asked. “I have a map to finish coloring.”
I hope you enjoyed it. Happy Easter/Passover to all!
4 thoughts on “Lucky 7”
Wow, Valerie. This is dazzling. I love the strength of this first-person voice and how you’ve developed such a perfect YA sound. You give us a strong character, conflict with an authority figure and the delicious prospect of your protagonist falling for a guy she’s not supposed to talk to. I have my fingers crossed for your Cupid connection!
why thank you. *blushes*
Okay, seriously. You’re going to have to send this to me. Not even for a crit POV – just for me to read. This isn’t my usual genre that I gravitate toward, and I’m definitely into this. The fountain thing? *love*
awww. you’re too much.
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