My first blogfest – Opening Pages

I love reading opening pages. It’s so enlightening and fun to see how other writers approach the all important first page.

For a complete list of the other writers participating click over to Kelly’s blog.

Below is the first page from my middle grade contemporary fantasy titled, How to Survive Ancient Spells and Crazy Kings.

Survival Tip 1       Never doubt the power of the pumpkin pie.

  I hid in the shadows of the hallway outside our kitchen—the perfect place to do a little yoga before one of the hardest missions of my twelve-year-old life.

I had to talk to my dad, who is more like a clam than a canary when it comes to certain subjects. Like missing relatives.  

My hands on the floor and my body in the push-up position, I took a deep breath and dipped into the double dog dare. Don’t get me wrong. My dad talks to me about all sorts of things, especially when it comes to the History Channel and ancient civilizations. But he doesn’t understand the seriousness of split ends or the fact that girls need cell phones (not walkie talkies).

I arched into the alley cat. Communicating with a biological parent shouldn’t be that difficult. We both speak English. And, impossible tasks are my thing. For example, I finally beat my cousin, Melvin, at checkers. Though he claims it never happened. And I figured out how to keep shoelaces tied. Just make sure you can slip your foot in and out of your shoe before using the hot glue. Seriously.   

But none of that was important.

Not compared to finding Zebulon, my grandfather, who’d been missing for two years.

Thanks for reading! I’ll be reading through a lot of first pages today! Join in the fun.


34 Responses to My first blogfest – Opening Pages

  1. Kris April 2, 2010 at 12:01 pm #

    Love it Laura! Can’t wait to see it in print! 🙂

  2. Laura April 2, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    Thanks, Kris!

  3. Laurel April 2, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    The voice here is superb. I love especially the kid-style names she gives to yoga positions–they say so much. I would definitely love to read more!

  4. Portia Sisco April 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Wow, this was so well done! Engaging, with a strong character voice. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  5. Laura April 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm #

    Laurel and Portia – Thanks so much for stopping by and reading! I can’t wait to get started reading everyone’s!

  6. PJ Hoover April 2, 2010 at 2:46 pm #

    This sounds like so much fun! I love the opening!

  7. Charity Bradford April 2, 2010 at 2:55 pm #

    I love the light-hearted feel even though it is the hardest mission of her life. I also love the way her thoughts move from the task at hand to the cell phones and beating her cousin at checkers.

    The tone is spot on! I really enjoyed it.

  8. sarahjayne smythe April 2, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    Fun opening. I’d like to read more.

  9. Tara April 2, 2010 at 4:46 pm #

    Hey, we both have a missing relative hook 😉 What a great, quirky voice on your MC. Love it.

  10. Heather Kelly April 2, 2010 at 4:58 pm #

    Laura–I second the loving of the kid-named yoga poses. And I love how seamlessly you weave in so much about her character and her story in a fun way! Go you!

  11. Roxy April 2, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    What a great character! I really enjoyed getting to know her in this first page. I liked her humor, insights, and voice.

  12. Whitney Henderson April 2, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Oh, I like her! I’d like to get to know her better. Well done.

  13. sally apokedak April 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm #

    Very nice. I like the voice and I like that she’s going to go looking for her missing grandfather. Right away I know what she wants and I know she’s going to go after it and her voice is fun and entices me to go with her. I like it.

  14. Terry Lynn Johnson April 2, 2010 at 5:40 pm #

    Great voice! Immediately like this kid and want to read more. Like the little details like how the cousin claims it never happened. Great job!

  15. Laura April 2, 2010 at 5:59 pm #

    Thanks everyone! I appreciate the encouragement! 🙂

  16. Laura Canon April 2, 2010 at 6:04 pm #

    I enjoyed this, too. I like the girl’s voice and your have a nice, spare writing style — the kind I aspire to!

  17. Elaine April 2, 2010 at 9:52 pm #

    Great voice – great fun – you made me laugh.

  18. Catherine A. Winn April 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    She sounds like my kind of girl, the one I would be friends with in school. I want more!

  19. Laura April 2, 2010 at 10:25 pm #

    Elaine – That’s my goal. 🙂

    Catherine – Thanks for stopping by. I like that kind of girl too. 🙂

  20. Nisa April 2, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Ooh! I love the chapter title and the different yoga positions as she’s going off. Loved it! She sounds like a very cool 12yo!

  21. mary April 3, 2010 at 1:22 am #

    I like this. Great voice – she’s fun. I’d definitely keep reading. Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog.

  22. VR Barkowski April 3, 2010 at 1:30 am #

    This is a terrific excerpt, Laura. Not only is the voice outstanding (I can hear the MC in my head), but the piece is funny and real. And to top it all off, I, too, want to know what happened to Grandpa Zebulon.

  23. Laura April 3, 2010 at 3:30 am #

    Thank you Nisa, Mary, and VR! Your words are too kind! 🙂

  24. Roland D. Yeomans April 3, 2010 at 3:37 am #

    This reads like it will be so much fun with a zestful, though soulful, protagonist. I believe it is a winner. Young readers want to have fun. Ah, come to think of it, so do us older ones!

    Come check out my first page, will you? Have a healing weekend, Roland

  25. Tiana April 3, 2010 at 3:41 am #

    Your writing voice is perfect for middle grade. I think you nailed it. So fun and fresh. 🙂

  26. Roland D. Yeomans April 3, 2010 at 2:35 pm #

    Thanks, Laura, for your quite perceptive comments. Samuel McCord, as befits a Noir fantasy hero, was born in 1799 and so his “voice” reflects his mind was shaped by times in many ways alien to our own. How to depict that way of expression and still be readable was a challenge. I’m glad I succeeded in some small way in that. Have a healing weekend and again thanks for taking the time to write, Roland

  27. Tina Lee April 3, 2010 at 6:53 pm #

    Thanks, Laura. Really fun to read. Love how the yoga pose names are slightly different(along with character names) and the hot glue tip! But yet she is still a regular girl. I am interested to read more!

  28. Bryan Sabol April 3, 2010 at 10:49 pm #

    This reads effortlessly. I am smiling here after reading that. Pure natural!

    Excellently done.

  29. Laura April 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm #

    Thanks Tina – I can’t tell you how many time I rewrote the first chapter and the first pages. Too many times to count!!!

    Thanks Bryan! It was fun reading your opening too!

  30. Kristin Gray April 4, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    Laura! So glad you found my site! Oh my goodness. I LOVE this. The hot glued laced made me laugh out loud! What a great voice and the missing grandfather has me hooked.

  31. Steph April 6, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    Hee! I love your protagonist’s voice. What a clever, quirky kid. The hot glue gun line is hilarious.

  32. Laura April 6, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    Thanks everyone for your kind comments!

  33. Abby Annis April 6, 2010 at 3:01 am #

    Love the voice! Great job! 🙂

  34. Lilah Pierce April 6, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    I thought that survival tip opening was a great touch. It pulled me right in. I felt cheated at the end though. I felt the section was too short. When I was done I was like “that’s it?” I wanted more of a build-up to that great ending.

    Don’t forget to sign up for Last Line Blogfest! (details on my site.)

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