Monday, December 10, 2012

Snow Day!

Today is our first 'Snow Day' of the school year. In our house snow days are stay-in-your-pjs, playing-games-and-watching-tv, baking kind of days. They're sitting-by-the-fire-and-drinking-hot-chocolate kind of days.

Because travel is unsafe (there's a half of inch of ice on the roads--rather like a skating rink out there), all pre-planned activities are off until further notice. Who doesn't love a free day off?

One of the projects I'm currently working on, a YA pre-dystopian set in rural Maine, opens in a blizzard. A 'weather bomb' as they sometimes call it. What if our beloved snow day was set in a rural area when the world's oil had all but run out? What if there were no plows, salting trucks and snowmobiles to help us get out of the mess? I've tentatively entitled it 'FROZEN' and I'm about 16,000 words in. Here's an excerpt for your stormy-day reading pleasure...

He’s taller than me, almost three inches taller. He looks like Dad in many ways, just skinnier. Tall, dark hair and freckles. He twiddles a piece of timothy in his hands—hands that likely harvested that very piece of timothy. Hands that have seen more work than some of his friends will see in their entire lives.

“Do you think we’ll ever see Dad again?” he finally asks. I should have seen that coming. Of all of us, he understood Dad the best.

I look away, watching as Smoke paces in his stall, then puts his head back down, looking for more hay.

I don’t want to lie to Frankie. I love my little brother, and in some ways I’m the closest thing to Dad that he’s got right now.

“I don’t know,” I say quietly, and that’s the truth. I don’t know if he’ll survive whatever he’s thrown himself into. And if he does survive, I don’t know how he’ll be able to make it back to us. Anything that can cross the ocean needs oil to do it, and the government wouldn’t risk sending its soldiers in a wind-powered ship. At least I don’t think they would.

“You miss him a lot,” I say.

“Yah.” His voice does that pitch see-saw again.

I don’t reply. I miss Dad, but I’ve learned to live without him. Frankie misses him more, needs him more. How can I help a fourteen year old boy find his way? I’m just a mall-queen turned tom-boy. I put my arm around him and rest my head on his shoulder. Instead of leaning away, like a boy, he leans back…like a man.

We sit there listening to the animals chomping and squawking until the wind begins to blow.
Brenda :)

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