Rewriting an Opening for YA Fic

Of all the pets I’ve had, a blind lizard has got to top the list. Mom and I had cross checked across three credited sources and about a dozen uncredited, anecdotal ones to find that lizards always fly under the radar in no-pet apartments and, also, our local pet store had five. The local pet store at the time, anyways. We brought it with us when we moved and that was probably why we never noticed that it would always stare at you like any other animal, with both eyes forward, instead of messed up in two directions, like most lizards. It wasn’t a big deal, except that we had already bought the tank, a hefty bag of food pellets, and the counter space in the ninety square foot apartment seemed to have shrunk. In fact, nothing fit on the counter like we imagined when we first surveyed the apartment two weeks ago, despite the universal agreement of what an inch was not having radically changed since we last used it. And so, Mom sat in defeat while I stroked Unnamed Lizard’s cage with my pointer finger on the first day of fifth grade.



Last term I had to write a blurb, opening, and 1000 word excerpt for a children’s / YA novel for class. This went terribly. I was struggling to recover from a horrible academic year, and this was no different. Since it was such a low load, work-wise, I scraped by without ever being inspired. Luckily, I seemed to have absorbed what the classroom was saying, however-and/or my inspiration for taking the class in the first place is latently exploding. Let me tell you: under no circumstances is it possible to write at the level and passion you truly can in the worst of your mood disorder so don’t hold yourself accountable. Mentally, processing wise, it is impossible. Do your work, focus on getting better, and you will have found out that all the time you thought you had wasted was really just latent learning. Don’t worry. Believe. Do all the right things. Do all the wrong things. Just live, and breathe. No matter how you turn out, the original, inspired you would be proud you lived your life.

Like all creative arts, good work is being done when you’re intuitively and in the flow: forcing unnatural bits that come from upper level consciousness rather than an interface between the inner and outer will never work. With some mood disorders, like anxiety, interfacing different parts of you is impossible. You’re just in the present, consumed by the idea of ear, so much you stumble even on surface level processing because of inner turmoil. That’s not normal. So if you feel this way, try to ameliorate your condition. Seek counselling help. Be awesome. Be excited to be yourself again, someday, only to realize you have been patiently waiting for you all along.

More bits (synopsis? blurb? ideas?)

Chastity’s excited for fifth grade. They’ve moved to a new place (the old one was starting to grate on her nerves, anyhow) and moreover, they can have pets in Mrs. Ellerby’s apartment. Chastity knows her lack of friends isn’t a result of her own deficiencies but the lack of an attentive, furry ear. Yet her mom isn’t too sure – a pet cost a lot to rear and she’s just been fired from Weatherly’s. Making ends meet and the year less topsy turvey turns out to be a bigger task than either of them imagined – until they find new friends, a blind lizard, and a camping trip aboard a punctured yellow floaty you’ll never forget.


Look, I was a weird, weird, weird child. I don’t deny it. I wasn’t braces and acne weird, but I had a bowl cut and wore baggy jeans like a cut-rate clown. If I had had more money I would have poured it straight into my college fund. But a year later, once I’d been put through the ringer in fifth grade, I was convinced what I needed more than anything was a priceless makeover.


camping trip with neighbours that goes hilariously wrong at the end that challenges the idea of the “local, settled neighbour” and how you can never really be settled in life 

When humans aren’t good listeners, animals are there!

Chastity meets her teacher:


“Hiya.” I shook her hand and took in her teal green suit. What a strange choice of professional dress.

Chastity meets a classmate:
“What’s your name?”




“Um…” Rachel tapped her nose repeatedly, avoiding meeting my eyes. “That’s a strange name.”
“Stranger things have happened.” I let myself relish in the familiarity that the phrase brought to me. “Now, are we going to (do that crazy thing)?”
“Hold on.”


They should visit an unfamiliar place

(such and such a place). 

Where was that?






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