Weetzie Bat and Witch Baby by Francesca Lia Block
Treasure at the Heart of the Tanglewood by Meredith Ann Pierce
various stories from Myths and Legends of Japan, African Folktales, and Tales from China
and I'm about halfway through Diana Wynne Jones's Fire & Hemlock. I attempted The Catalogue of the Universe by Margaret Mahy, but the convoluted style (nearly every sentence has three or more clauses) turned me off rather early on.
I've also found myself stumbling into possibly the busiest three months of my school career. In said three months, starting three days ago, I must:
-research and write the introduction to my honours thesis
-work approximately ten hours a week in my thesis supervisor's lab
-study for and take both the general GRE and the psychology subject test
-get all of my grad school application stuff (reference letters, CV, etc.) together
-continue with regular work, my two weekly volunteer positions, and my one course
This list of course totally neglects boyfriend, friends, and other important factors.
But dammit, I still intend to have the second draft of Signi: Book One (which now has a tentative title, but too tentative to share ;)) done before New Years. And in that spirit, I've finally started the rewriting. Only about a page so far, but I can accept it's going to be slow going for now.
The first draft's opening:
From the moment she stepped into the office, Angie knew it was going to be one of those days. She’d only been at McLellan High for ten minutes, and already she was seeing things.
Leaves. They fluttered between the shadowed creases of the trench coat. They unfurled into blunt hearts, like the papery-brown shapes she’d brushed through on the front walk that morning. Poplar. She might have thought they were real, if the light hadn’t shone right through them when they flickered out from beneath the chair, and if it weren’t rather unheard of for teenage boys to shed dying leaves.
They weren’t real, but they had a fragile grace to them. Watching them, Angie felt just a little bit comfortable in the stiff plastic chair.
The second draft's opening:
Angie felt like a dwarf in the office chair. It was tall and stiff and orange. She’d tried to perch at the front with her toes just brushing the floor, but it bit into the backs of her knees, so she’d let herself slide down into the dipped seat. Her legs stuck out over the edge at an awkward angle. Her reflection, in the broad window between office and hall, showed a slender girl with a cloud of milkweed-floss hair, engulfed by an orange plastic mushroom. If her mind hadn’t slipped elsewhere, she’d have been grimacing at it.
She had only been at McLellan High for ten minutes. She was already seeing things.
Not just any old things. Leaves. They fluttered between the creases of the trench coat; unfurled, papery-brown against the gray. They were the same blunt heart shapes as those she’d brushed through on the front walk that morning. Poplar. She could almost have thought they were real, if the light hadn’t shone right through them when they flickered out across the floor. If teenage boys had been more in the habit of shedding dying leaves.
They weren’t real, but they drifted with a fragile grace. Watching them, Angie found her seat a bit more comfortable.
Still not perfect, but it's a start. Tried to make the style a bit simpler, a bit more straight-forward, and to give it a bit more of a bantering feel. Also wanted to give a better sense of the setting before I got into the "seeing things", and a clearer impression of Angie's personality. All this will come through more once I'm done rewriting and can do some really focused editing.
More to come, soon enough.