Once Upon a Time…

Pitch Fest at CJLA Update:

The agents are critiquing them today. So far, the agent is halfway through the second page and all but two have been (tactfully) rejected. Mine is on page four… I’ll let you know how things went on Monday.


Last week on Agent Query Connect http://agentquery.leveragesoftware.com/mypage.aspx there was a casual contest for members to write the best first paragraph of a brand new story. There was no prize other than personal satisfaction. Members were on the honor system to vote only once, and not for themselves.

This week, the contest has been extended to use that first paragraph as a springboard and write a whole first page. My paragraph didn’t even place in last week’s contest, but it’s really just for fun, so I’m going for page one.

What I wrote is not very exciting, because I’m fairly sure there’s going to be a ‘first chapter’ contest next time, and I like to pounce on the reader when they least expect it…

The first one to arrive at the dinner table, Matt sat down and picked up his fork. Mom was over by the stove transferring food from the pans to serving bowls, but he saw that the jello was already set out. Hungry, he snuck a peek to make sure that his mother’s back was still turned and then reached over to scoop up a forkful. Just before he popped it into his mouth, he noticed little squiggly brown things on the top.

“What’s in this jello?” he squawked.

“Oatmeal,” replied his mother. “I’m on a diet.”

Matt groaned. “Cholesterol?”

“See how much you’re learning?” she teased with a smile.

Charlie and Katie walked into the room and pulled out their chairs.

“Where’s Dad?” asked Charlie as their mother brought the food to the table.

“Working,” said Mrs. Smith, no longer smiling.

Matt looked at her with a frown. Dad had been working late a lot lately, and his mother didn’t seem too happy about it.

“What’s wrong with the jello?” Charlie was peering at the brown blobs.

Matt wasn’t feeling too happy, now himself. “It’s oatmeal. Shut up and eat.” He stabbed his fork at a lima bean and it shot off the plate onto the tablecloth.

His mother looked up. “Everything okay, Matt?”

“I don’t know. Is it?” he asked.

His mother frowned. “Why wouldn’t it be?”

“I don’t know. Why is Dad working late all the time now?”

“Count your blessings he’s working at all, in this economy.”

Seven-year-old Katie looked over at her big brother. “You sure are grumpy,” she said.

Matt made a face at her and took a bite of his meatloaf.


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