Wednesday, March 29, 2017

New Work Available

Will be finishing up the edits on a contemporary YA I've been working on for years. It started as a book and then I finished as a screenplay in the Professional Program in Screenwriting through UCLA. The screenplay placed in the Nicholl Fellowship, Austin Film Festival, Page International Screenplay Competition, Story Pros competitions amongst others.

The Mine

Pitch:

A group of teens from the wrong side of the tracks set out on a journey to find the Lost Dutchman Mine and come face-to-face with death in an attempt to change their lives.  Goonies meets Stand by Me (The Body) meets The Long Walk.


First Page:

Chapter One

The Plan

Range Benson was my only friend lucky enough to not live in the Sunset Mobile Home Park. Instead his family lived in a farmhouse littered with rusting cars, surrounded by a tall metal fence, with a sign out front that said “Beware of Dog”. Range’s house had an abandoned trailer in the back that was wired for electricity. Range’s dad bought one of those portable air conditioners they sell next to the paint at Walmart. The trailer was supposed to be a workshop. We all got lucky when it turned out Range’s dad didn’t like to work.
            There were four of us who hung out in that trailer with the air conditioning running full blast when it got too hot to hang outside. If you counted Cory Tell there were five, but no one counted Cory. Cory had one eye, an odd disposition, and three fingers on his right hand. It wasn’t that those three things were related to each other, it was just the facts. Whenever he spoke people feigned deaf. I guess I took pity on him and that's why I allowed him to follow us around like he was part of the group even though we all knew he wasn't.
            The trailer had a table for playing cards and a small refrigerator that Range’s mom kept stocked with no-name grape soda. There was a TV on a table against the wall and an old couch that probably should have gone to the dump parked in the middle of the floor.  Every time I sat on that couch it made my skin crawl. That couch was so infested with bugs that if you looked close enough, you could see them jumping off the couch ready to pock up your skin.
            We didn’t allow girls in our club, but sometimes Jewel Carter showed up wearing a tube top with no bra, her boobs like two headlights shining out at us. The guys blamed me for the fact that a girl was allowed to infiltrate our group but we all knew she didn’t have anywhere else to go.
            The trailer was our respite from the outside world, a place where we could hang and escape a world where people like us are invisible. That trailer was the only place where we felt like we belonged.

            The trailer was always the place our group hatched out our best laid plans.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Writer's Voice Entry

The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney 
(Contemporary YA)


Dear Writer's Voice Coaches:

Thank you so much for hosting the contest. I'd like to introduce you to my YA novel The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney in which five best friends whose lives revolve around extra-curricular activities, tutors, and private schools find themselves in a death pact if they aren't admitted to an Ivy League school of their choice.

Seventeen-year-old Vivian Delaney's been faking her way through Evergreen Preparatory Academy, Seattle's most prestigious private school, since third grade. Her best friend, Layne Stevens, is the only one who knows her family doesn't live in one of the exclusive neighborhoods inhabited by EV Prep's elite. Layne doesn't dish on Vivian's secrets because he has issues of his own: he's a gambling addict, the only child of employee number two hundred thirty-seven at Microsoft, with a love of Adderall and Red Bull and a necessity to be admitted to his dad's Ivy League Alma Mater.

When Layne flippantly makes a pact with their tight-knit group of friends that they'll have to kill themselves if they don't get accepted into their schools of choice they jokingly accept the challenge. Vivian knows Layne's been under a lot of stress, but he can't be serious. Plus, they shouldn't have anything to worry about since they're all AP students with top grades and near perfect SAT scores. But when the group finds out the world is filled with students just as special as they are the cracks begin to show.

When the pressure begins to take its toll and the college responses start to come in Layne's behavior becomes more and more erratic and Vivian begins to wonder if Layne's death pact really wasn't a joke after all.  

The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney 60,000-word story about a girl who finds out what happens when you've spent your entire life being convinced your extraordinary.


The Unwinding of Vivian Delaney 


Chapter One

I'm exceptional.
            At least that's what my parents say. They've been filling my mind with specialness since we moved to Seattle and they discovered Evergreen Preparatory Academy. EV Prep is where esteemed parents send the offspring to ensure their acceptance to the Ivy League.
            The problem is that I'm a total phony.
            No, scratch that, my mom taught me not highlight my shortcomings. The truth is, I'm a second-tier private school girl living in the wrong zip code. The only person who knows the real me is my best friend, Layne Stevens, who saw me wearing saltwater sandals in third grade and decided to adopt me as his pet project. No one wears saltwater sandals to private school, but my mom didn't get the memo when we moved to Seattle. Mom's mistake sending me dressed like an REI model on the first day of third grade saved me from a lifetime of private school abyss.
            And tomorrow is the beginning of the end: the first day of senior year. One year of college applications, campus visits, and interviews. It crushes me. Like I'm drowning in a sea of air where the elements have changed and the air is no longer breathable. I'm the girl who took one deep breath and didn't bother to take another.
            Have you ever seen someone crack before? The fine lines start. They're invisible at first, like you don't even realize they're there. That's what's happening to me now.
            Cracks are taking over the place where a person used to be.