“The Voice” (another blog contest, please forgive me everyone!)

So I’m participating in this blog contest modeled after TV’s “The Voice.” I have to post the synopsis from my query letter and my first 250 words. Bear with me. All in the process, right?

QUERY SYNOPSIS:

Super-brain Alexis likes everything exactly so. Perfect prep school grades. School supplies arranged eight inches apart in parallel lines. Timed phone calls with her mother. Scheduled hook-ups with her boyfriend Ben on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. As long as her secret self-destructive streak is hidden, all is well.

But then Alexis receives a bright red B on an English paper, and endures an excruciating break-up with no explanation. And now parallel cuts run down her leg an inch apart, one for each day since Ben broke up with her. She bangs her head, burns herself–anything to soothe herself and assert some control.

When her friend Miranda accidentally glimpses her scars, Alexis feels even more trapped. Now she must survive weekly therapy sessions with a counselor, forced disclosure to her parents, and worst of all: dismissal from school if she doesn’t get better. It’s up to Alexis to pull herself out of the mire–if she even wants to.

FIRST 250 WORDS:

A bright red B. Oh my G**. My lowest grade ever.

I rubbed my cheek as hard as I could and stuffed the paper into my binder. I didn’t bother to check the comments–plenty of time to memorize those later.

My throat closed up and I couldn’t draw a full breath. One full grade less than an A. My G.P.A. would sink. Miranda would pass me in class rank.

What would my mother say?

So stupid.

The bell rang, and Miranda and I headed to the door. Once we were in the hallway, she burst out, “I got an A! What about you?”

“Mmm,” I said, half-nodding.

She prattled on about her comments and each word stabbed at my stomach.

I couldn’t listen to her any longer, and escaped to the bathroom. I made it to the safety of a stall before the dam burst and the tears started flowing.

Why didn’t I work harder? I didn’t deserve an A anyway. Dummy, lazy, fat moron.

I jerked my left sleeve up. A paper clip would do, one of those big ones in my English binder. I uncurled the clip, molding the metal into a straight line. When my sleeve was up all the way, I scraped the clip back and forth across my fat upper arm until beads of blood popped up.

It wasn’t enough. I scraped four more times, changing the line into an angular B.

Shame on my body now too. The scratches would burn and remind me what I’d done. Exactly what I deserved.

Can You Hit a Perfect Pitch?

Here’s my entry for the contest. Please comment!

Title: Outside In

Genre: YA Contemporary

Word count: 51,000 words

Pitch:

Perfect super-brain Alexis works hard for approval, but inside she’s a mess, hurting herself whenever she “fails.”  When her boarding school and her parents find out her secret, she faces expulsion if she can’t stop.
First 150 words:

A bright red B. Oh my God. My lowest grade ever.

I rubbed my cheek as hard as I could and stuffed the paper into my binder before anyone could see it. I didn’t bother to check the comments—plenty of time to memorize those later.

My throat closed up and I couldn’t draw a full breath. One full grade less than an A. My G.P.A. would sink. Miranda would pass me in class rank.

One single B could ruin everything.

What would my mother say?

Miranda got her paper back and grinned in triumph. An A for sure.

How could I be such a fool? I clenched my teeth and my hands shook. I should have spent more time on the paper until it was flawless.

Dr. Shah handed out the last of the papers, but I barely noticed. Chairs scraped. Someone sneezed. There was a giggle from somewhere behind me. But all I could see was the afterimage of a—

Bright.

Red.

B.

Blogfest Contest

Over at http://brenleedrake.blogspot.com/ there’s information about a contest for YA and MG aspiring authors.

Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency is judging the contest, and the prize for the winner is a request for more pages from her (which is really cool, because she’s closed to submissions right now).

Here’s what you have to do:

Submit a two sentence pitch and the first 150 words of your novel. Post them on your blog starting January 15th. Then blog-hop around and comment on the other entries from Jan. 15-16. On January 17th, at 8 a.m., the contest goes live.

So sometime in the next few days, I’ll have my pitch and first 150 words posted. Feel free to comment!

Oh, and…    EEK!