Thursday, 31 January 2008


So, in addition to posting my first page on Nathan's site, I'm going to post it here too. I thought about it awhile before doing it, as my story sits in a wire-binder full of paper, not even entered into a computer yet. But I thought eh, better do it, that kind of chance doesn't happen often.

Keep in mind it's still very rough, but if you feel like a critique-er, please feel free to do so. I got da tough skin.

And if he critiques (which I think he won't, but still) I'll post that too. I also found Flogging the quill, a great blog that critiques first pages *and* that I will submit to after I have received anything from Nathan, entered the story into my new mac G√ľnther, edited it and everything - so right before I send it out. Go check out his blog too, it's great.

The Katsinam (YA Fantasy)---(So now you know the name of my story!)

„Hey halfbreed!“

She fled before them, sending up puffs of dirt as she ran down the thin path. Rows of mud houses with various ladders holding them up stood to either side, indifferent to her terror. Leaping up the first ladder that hadn’t broken at her touch, she took refuge in a small room on the first level. Her heart was pounding, and her breath sobbed in her throat.

She couldn’t hear anything on her trail from the outside as her breath quieted, and her eyes brightened. Had they given up? For today? She touched the livid bruise on her arm, courtesy of their care from the day before.


She ducked back from the worn dirt entrance as they came swaggering up the street. Hopi jerks. She crept slowly to the only window, a lonely thing hacked out of a deserted room, looking down on her tormentors. “Come out, come out...” the tallest called in a sing-song voice. He looked around and up, eyes glinting in the setting sunlight. The empty doorways and windows of the adobe looked back at him, empty sockets in a deserted face.

“We were just goin’ to show her how we treat Navajo on the Hopi side of the rez, right boys?” the leader continued as his two followers cackled. “Especially one with a pahane white man for a father.” The shortest nudged the leader as he spat into the dirt.

“Let her stay for the ancestors. They’ll teach her a lesson. This place is freaking me out.” he said. His chin wobbled as he spoke, and for a moment she felt contempt through her fear. It was just an abandoned pueblo, after all. And there weren't any "ancestors" here to get her.

The leader looked at the sky, considering. “Fine. Let’s go get reinforcements.” He turned and jogged off through the kaleidoscope sunset, dust billowing up around his retreating form. As she watched, the other two turned and hurried to catch up, grunting with the effort.

She sighed, leaning against the dirt-packed wall and staring into the inky darkness of the room. How to get back home? If you could even call it that, she thought. One month’s time on the outskirts of a shared Navajo and Hopi pueblo with a mother that was hardly tolerated at best and actively hated at worst did not a home make.


Heidi the Hick said...

It's got action and that's something a lot of us don't get in a first page. It's tempting to go on and on with backstory.

This is really interesting- pueblo setting, Hopi and Navajo characters.

This will seem really nitpicky, but the questions kind of took me out of the story. I've done it too- had a character ask herself something while narrating. I don't know if I've been successful with it.

Overall I think it really moves. Type that sucker up and keep working on it! Go Gunther!

(This computer's name is Mac White.)

JKB said...

Thanks Heidi. In reading it from a random perspective, I think I really agree with you on the questions. Crap. In looking through my wire-bound, it seems I have many. ... crap. I am going to have to go in there and get those things out.

But that happens in March, when we're back in the states and I've got Gunther!! ;)

(My ghostly gunter says hallo to Mac White)

Anonymous said...

Jen, I want to read on! Loking forward to seeing you tomorrow, Daniela