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!