Also, I'm just finishing up my dragon short story, Eternal Embers, which will be online from Penguin this September, so I'll post something from that later in the week. But today, I thought I'd give you a glimpse of my new YA. Tentatively called Zero Day, it's the Pandora Book I keep telling you about-- the one where she opens an attachment instead of a box and hearkens technological Armageddon. Anyway, here's a quick look-- hope you enjoy!
My seventeenth birthday starts with betrayal.
It ends the same way but that’s a different story—at least for now.
AP English is my first class of the day and for the past two weeks we’ve been doing a unit on Shakespeare. Love sonnets. A history in the form of Henry V. Biography studies. And now, a tragedy. And not just any tragedy, mind you, but Othello, which just might be the most tragic of the tragedies, or so I’ve been told. My best friends, Jules and Emily, assure me that they have it worse—they’re reading Hamlet in their regular Brit Lit class-- but I’m not so sure. Shakespeare’s Moor is no picnic, especially at eight forty-five in the morning.
Even worse, Mr. March—who is usually pretty cool—has divided us into groups to analyze scenes. Again, not such a bad thing, except for the fact that 1) we have to act them out in front of the class and 2) he was obviously off his meds when he chose our partners. My group consists of me, Senior class president and head cheerleader Tara McKinney (who wears about an inch of make-up every day and drives a Barbie Pink Hummer—Barbie Pink! Need I say more?), Zane Connolly (the biggest nerd in the school, which is totally fine, except he has a crush on Tara and it’s painful to watch him try to get her attention) and the new guy, Eli Sanders (who I know nothing about, except that he’s seriously hot). Sleepy green eyes partially obstructed by his shaggy blonde hair, super-broad shoulders and a really good face complete with strong jaw, full lips and a dimple.
I melt a little at the sight of it, even as I tell myself to get a grip. But it’s hard. I’m a sucker for a dimple and always have been. I try not to look at it, at him, as we push our desks together. Getting to be with Eli might make putting up with the other two group members worth it, except for the fact that I look like hell.
I know, I know. You’re used to hearing girls say that all the time. But I’m not one of those girls who freaks out every time she breaks a nail (though my best friend, Emily, is). Still, today has to be an all-time low. Not just for me, but for girls everywhere. I was up way too late last night (insominia, thy name is Pandora—see, I can do Shakespeare) and slept through my alarm this morning. I didn’t get up until Jules called to find out why I wasn’t already at her house to pick her up. Needless to say, dressed in the dirty jeans I found on my bedroom floor and the vintage Hendrix tank top I slept in last night, I’m not exactly at my best right now. Or anywhere close to it.
Eli scoots his desk into the spot next to mine and I am painfully aware of the fact that my personal hygiene is a little lacking today. I brushed my teeth—on the run—but I’m pretty sure my hair is sticking up in every direction imaginable. And not because I arranged it that way.
If you have time, drop me a note and let me know what you think of Pandora. She's very different than Tempest, to say the least!