Sunday, March 2, 2014

Writer Recharge: Final Update!

It’s the final update for Writer Recharge!


My overall Writer Recharge goal was to *fingers crossed* finish my second draft. I finished my fix-it-up draft, polished it, and sent it off to trusted readers last Wednesday. I may or may not have had to breathe into a paper bag several times in that process, and since then I’ve already changed two chapter titles and added to the ending. But the tweets I received that night made me feel WORLDS better. 

 
Considering I’m the least funny person IRL, these tweets made my heart sing.
And because I promised, I’m going to share my pitch AND an excerpt. I’m a little protective of the premise—not because I think people will steal my idea (Freaky Friday has been done how many times?!), but because I’m sure people will be all “good luck pulling that off.”
Anyway, I’m winding up. Here’s the pitch for THOSE MAGIC CHANGES...
Seventeen-year-olds Alexandra and Axl Reed may be twins but their interests (and personalities) are about as connected as baseball and the theatre. Perfect twin Alexandra is the glorified virgin of Titan Heights; Axl's the celebrated punk. But when a freak accident puts them in each other's bodies, they'll have to learn how to experience the other quickly. Or be the other. Indefinitely.

There’s a bit of an ew factor. And my boy Axl swears almost as much as the Wolf of Wall Street (okay, not that bad, but he does drop a few f-bombs). And my characters are maybe a little over the top. But I love this story SO MUCH. It's infused with Broadway musicals and baseball and classic rock and roll. It contains scenes inspired by Pitch Perfect, Can't Buy Me Love, and Monsters, Inc. And there may or may not be a few scenes in tribute to my community and college theatre groups. The story has one or two (or ten) Star Wars lines (I apologize for nothing) and almost as many lines from Grease. And it just makes me happy every time I reread it. I don’t know what will ever happen to it, but I thought I’d at least share one scene. And since the awesome Tracey Neithercott gushed about it and I tweet-teased you, I will share part of the “period scene.” My goody two-shoes Alexandra is Steppin' to the Bad Side. And this scene is for all you ladies out there. J Enjoy. I’m going to go hide in a corner.

Monday morning, I'm ironing one of Axl's Billy Squier tee-shirts when I hear Axl scream, “Oh my God!” Moments later, he throws open the bedroom door, holds up a brownish-red stained yellow sheet and barks, “Help me. NOW.”
            I smile. My body is picture perfect clockwork.
            I turn off the iron, snap out his tee-shirt, and place it atop his jeans on the ironing board from my room. “Whatever do you need help with?” I try to suppress a snicker. And fail.
            He closes the door behind him, then throws the sheet at my face. So rude.
            “I bled out all over your bed last night. And all over your precious clothes.”
            He points to my yellow silk pajama pants. Blood stains the front of them. I'm sure the stain extends to the back. Which is why I always use a super-plus absorbent pad the night before Flo pays her monthly visit. Which is every twenty-six days, four hours, and fifty-two minutes. I probably should've told Axl about that. Oopsies.
            Axl shoves a finger in my face. I can't stop smirking.
“You little bitch. You knew this was going to happen, didn't you?”
I swat away his finger. “Karma, dear brother. Karma. You broke several things that were very important to me. I just helped the karma fairies out a little.”
“You helped the karma fairies? You let me get a fucking period with no warning whatsoever. What kind of bullshit is that?”
“Your body was giving you plenty of warning. I thought you'd figure it out,” I lie.
“Did you even think about what might've happened if I got this at school?”
“I would've told you this morning. But I knew Flo would come during the night.”
Axl gives me a look that is one part confused, two parts scowl. Not an attractive look for me. “Who the fuck is Flo?”
“My menstrual cycle, duh.” I roll my eyes. How many girls has Axl been with?
“You call it Flo?” He sneers. Looks like we need to have another conversation about how unattractive that is too. “Enlighten me, dear sister. Why do you call it Flo?”
Great Gershwin. Is my brother really this dense? “For blood flow.” He rolls his eyes. Clearly he's got it now. “Some girls call it TOM—you know—for Time Of Month, but I would never even think about referring to it as something masculine. That's just gross. Katrina and Darla call it their friend, but really? I've never found Flo to be much of a friend. I always get massive headaches. For some reason, I'm more prone to breathing flare ups. Oh, not to mention the cramps and bleeding that last for days.”
“Days?” Axl looks pained.
“Six and a half to be exact. Oh, and until Wednesday, you'll want to wear two pads. Make sure you pack several in your . . . correction, my book bag. Bleeding's pretty heavy until then. Katrina tried to get me to use tampons, but I can't stand the thought of inserting something in my—”
He groans and holds up a hand. “Too. Much. Information.” He clutches his gut. “The pain is excruciating. How do you stand this?”
I heave a sigh. “Midol. Just take two this—”
“The hell with two. I'm taking the whole fucking bottle. Where is it?”
Heavens to Bernstein. He really needs to stop swearing. I sound so unladylike. “In my desk drawer. Top one.” He bolts out of the room, but doesn't head down the hall. He practically dives into the bathroom. I stand outside, but when he retches in (hopefully) the toilet, I walk down to my room, place the Midol on my desk, pull the heating pad down out of the closet and place it on my bed. I'm in the middle of leaving a note about wearing dark clothes (or at least dark jeans—not that he's been wearing anything but jeans, but a skirt is totally off limits when Flo's here) when he storms in the room with the bloody sheet.
“I still can't believe you didn't give me a heads up about this. Not cool.” He throws the sheet at me again. “Karma is about to bite you in the fucking ass.”
            I give a little gasp. “What's that supposed to mean?”
            “Meaning that when you least expect it, I will get you back.” He messes up my hair—harshly—twists his hands, and grins artfully. All that's missing is the Muahahaha.
            I bite off every nail until it's time to go to school.

My poor twins. I'm so mean to them. J
Life-wise and writing-wise I had a pretty crappy December and an even crappier January. I want to thank Sara and my incredibly awesome co-hosts, Katy, Elodie, and Liz for helping me to get back on track. I’m taking this week off to beta read some pretty fabulous manuscripts. But next Monday I shall be back at TMC, turning that pitch into a query (ugh) and drafting a synopsis (double ugh). And I’ll get back into my regular habit of updating through What’s Up Wednesday. Don’t know what that is? Click here. J
Oh, and I can’t resist sharing that amidst the crazy of finishing and sending and gushing about WiPs, my daughter turned 15 Saturday! 
 
Next week, we’ll get her permit. And I’ll have something else to be nervous and anxious about. Oy.
I hope you’ve had a super productive and absolutely wonderful Writer’s Recharge! Make sure to sign your update post up on Sara’s linky. I look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to!

26 comments:

  1. I love love love this excerpt and CANNOT wait to dive in! I am so so soooooo excited for your story :-))))
    (and that birthday picture of your girl is adorable!)

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    1. Thank you, Elodie! I'm both nervous and excited for your thoughts! Have a wonderful week!

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  2. EXCERPT RAWKS !!!!!!!!!!! lol -- I could see these two perfectly, so you've done a great job. And I am a little sorry to see Feb go and all the fun I have had keeping up with all the posts. Keep going, I will be back to visit :)

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    1. Yay! February was fun, wasn't it?! The YA Buccaneers are doing a similar writing challenge for the next three months. You should look into it. :)

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  3. Well done for completing your goals, Alison! And, yeah, the concept may be similar to Freaky Friday, but the execution is... um... a little different! :) Seriously, this sounds like you had a lot of fun with it. I wish you every success! :)

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    1. Thanks, Colin! And glad you had a productive month too!

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  4. Of course I love your pitch, and obviously your excerpt rocks. I feel so lucky to be able to dive into this whole story today... Lucky CP!

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    1. Yay! Both excited and nervous to hear your thoughts! And I'm so glad I have yours to dive into! EXCITED!!!

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  5. HAH!! I'm so totally curious as to how he's going to get her back!

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    1. :) Hopefully one day I can share. :) Thanks, Sarah!

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  6. those tweets are awesome, I'm so happy for you! And that excerpt is freaking hilarious. Just once I want a guy to experience what we women have to for an entire week every month!

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    1. Thank you! So glad you liked it. And yes - those tweets had me charged all day. :) Have a great week!

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  7. I should not have taken a drink before I started reading - I pretty much spit water all over my cat :) This scene is like the ultimate *YES* for any girl who's had to deal with a guy going, "haha, is it your time of the month? is that why you're so bitchy?" Love it!

    Happy birthday to your daughter!

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    1. Oh, no! Your poor cat! And glad you liked the excerpt. Definitely TMI. Actually I feel like my whole story is a little TMI, but well...if the story fits.

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  8. So I have had such a great time hosting this with you and everyone else. Thanks so much for letting me join and for writing with me this month :) I've been excited about this story since you started posting bits and pieces this summery--so glad you have it in reader hands!

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    1. Thanks, Liz! And I'm so glad we were able to write together and accomplish SO MUCH. Have a great weekend!

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  9. Awe love it! The whole post :) So excited I got to participate in this!! Hope you have a good March!!

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    1. Thank you! And so glad you could participate too!

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  10. Congrats! That's a big moment when you hand off your manuscript to readers. Enjoy the downtime while it's out :) (or you know, start on something else!)

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    1. Thanks! I'll be revising a bit next week and writing that query, but I do have plans to work on something different in April. We'll see!

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  11. Very funny excerpt! I suppose that would be pretty horrifying to a guy. Sorry your December and January weren't very good, but I'm happy to hear things have improved. I hope your daughter had an amazing 15th birthday. My son turns 14 next week. Where do the years go?

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    1. I know. I take mine for her permit tomorrow. I want to freeze time! And thank you, Erin, for all your kind words!

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  12. O. M. G. This is freaking hilarious. I love it! You should definitely share excerpts more often!

    Glad you had a super productive recharge and THANK YOU for joining in as a co-host. It was just awesome. Enjoy your week off and good luck with your next steps - you're going to rock it.

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    1. Thank you, Sara! And thank you for drumming up this fabulous idea! It helped me SO MUCH!

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  13. Hi Alison, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris
    http://chelencarter-retiredandlovingit.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Thank you! And I will definitely do that! Enjoy your week!

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Yay! I LOVE comments!