I hit a bit of a slump over the last week or so. I wasn’t feeling the novel project I started in January and I couldn’t figure out why. Then a few days ago, I had the idea to take the protagonist back in time and ground her story in high school rather than post-college. It’s been a while since I’ve written strictly YA, but what can I say, I was feeling it. Here’s an excerpt of the first entry of the protagonist’s journal.
I thought, somehow, that Sophomore year would be different: a break from Algebra aka the devil’s math, getting my license, and I got into Yearbook so I basically have two bullshit periods this year. Even Coach says my distance running is really improving now—the only benefit of my post-freshman-year growth spurt. This was supposed to be the year I turned things around and really came into my own. But I guess there’s no changing what really matters:
- I’ll never be a beauty queen
- my best friend’s stuck in public school, texting me between classes
- my little sister is better than me at almost everything (and now I have to drive to school with her, alone in my car every day listening to her favorite Top 40)
- my parents expect me to go to college in 2 years
- oh, and I’ve never even been on so much as a date with a boy
That’s right: I’m perpetually single, even though my best friend, a lowly freshman, has a boyfriend.
It’s not for lack of desire, either. I spent half of last year pining over this guy in my Biblical Studies class, Kyle Kramer. Never mind the fact that he was a senior and I was a freshman, that he was the star of the basketball team and the member of an indie band. He was also one of the few guys tall enough for me to realistically even date. Except he didn’t even know I existed.
As my best friend Lila constantly reminds me, it doesn’t do me any good to pine after guys like Kyle, who are so far out of my league that it’ll never happen. It’s not that I don’t know how to talk to guys either—my only friends here at school are guys on XC with me.
“You have so many things going for you,” Lila insisted, “but you’re looking in all the wrong places.”
Deep down, I know she’s right. It’s not enough to go after a guy because he’s cute and tall and popular. I need a guy who’s on my level—which I’m pretty sure is only 10% of the entire high school. I need someone who’s not afraid of talking about something a little deeper than a) the weather, b) weekend plans, c) the football team, d) upcoming school activities, or e) our least favorite teachers. I need someone who’s not afraid to see me, all of me. As it turns out, the pickings are pretty slim.