First of all I want to thank my lovely subscribers. I failed to notice the youtube channel had gained 4 subscribers until a day or two ago and I know I have a few new subscribers here too. Thank you for your support, especial Race and Angie who between them seem to comment on almost every post. I apologise that I don't always do the same in return but I am getting better; I now average 1 blog comment a day rather than 1 a week.
Secondly, if you read my post about talking to an agent (*waves to Natalie if she's reading*) I have an update. She did eventually take my advice and will be running a bad query contest next month, information can be found on her fabulous blog here.
As promised I have a special treat for you, here is the horribly written first draft of the opening of The List. I wrote this in about an hour and emailed it to Rachel Mercaldo for her opinion on it before I started to do anything else with it. I think I'll probably use this as a plan for the whole of the first chapter though, or at least, a chapter at some point.
It was two nights before school started back and we where having our 'back-to-school' annual sleep-over. Cynthia had declared that it was about time that I had a boyfriend, and so we now sat around Beth and I's room writing out lists of the top ten things we would look for in our potential boyfriends. As usual Cynthia had devised the rules for this game; we were to write 10 things then share our lists with each other so we could be alert for any potentials. We'd been at it for half an hour and everyone except me had finished their list. Which was all very well for them, but the idea behind this had been to find me a boyfriend not anyone else. While I wasn't the only one of our group without a boyfriend at that point, I had been single the longest. I knew it wasn't because of my looks, Beth and I were identical in that department and she had had almost as many boyfriends as Cynthia. No, it was definitely a personality thing, I just didn't know what I wanted or how to get it.
I chewed the end of my pencil as I looked over my list again, thinking about Steve and what made him someone I wouldn't date. “I don't want anyone smarter than me,” I said eventually and was promptly hit on the head by a well aimed pillow, “As if we could find anyone,” Martha laughed. “No,” I said, trying to explain, “I mean I don't want a geek like Steve. Besides, just because I get better grades than you doesn't mean I'm smart,” I said, to more laughter. “Yeah,” Beth agreed, “You only got one A+ on your last report card,” now it was my turn to throw pillows. Beside me, Cynthia had grabbed my half-finished list and was happily making her own additions, “You want someone who's good in bed, you want your first time to be with someone who knows what he's doing. And there is no way you are leaving high school still a virgin, but we have all year to deal with that.” I just sat there nodding. I trusted that Cynthia knew what she was talking about, she had dated most of our classmates after all, and even managed a few weeks with a college freshman last fall. “And you want someone who'll get on well with us.” Martha said, “No point dating someone who hates your besties.” Cynthia nodded and added it to my list.
I realized I had become the groups new project and the dismay must have shown on my face because Beth took my hand and said, “Obviously these are just guidelines to get things started, we wont set you up with anyone you don't like.” I smiled and nodded. I had known these girls since preschool and Beth was my twin sister, we'd been through everything together. I trusted them. Martha had moved round beside Cynthia and they were discussing possible additions to my list. “You don't want a proper bad boy,” She said to me, “You're not that type, but then you don't want a goody-goody either.” she glanced again at the paper, “That gives you seven.” Everyone was silent for a moment, as we thought about what else to add. The CD player had picked that point to play a song about true love. I was about to ask for my list back when Martha made a grab for it. “Of course.” she said, as if it should have been obvious to all of us, “We can't have you dating some loser, he has to be one of the popular boys.” I watched as she wrote it down, glad that my friends were looking out for me like. Finally Cynthia handed the paper back to me, “You can add you're own last two,” she said. I scanned the list and quickly added 'sense of humor' which I'd forgotten about earlier but the last one had me stumped. “Are you sure about all these?” I asked, reading the list again. I couldn't think of a single guy at school who would match all these qualities that I actually liked. Maybe this year would be like one of those cheesy romance novels and some mysterious new guy will turn up that everyone thinks is totally wrong for me but ends up being just the right guy. I got so caught up in my daydream about hot bad boy bikers that I failed to notice the argument that had started over which dvd to watch.
As the others tried to decide between some dance film and some cheerleading film I stared at my paper trying to imagine the kind of guy that would fit with everything written on it. Most of the boys Cynthia dated where exactly like that but I hadn't really liked any of them, not beyond looks anyway. I focused on trying to fill in the blank gap at the bottom of the list, the one thing that would round out my perfect guy. After a moment I carefully wrote 3 words, “Must read books” and slipped the paper under the bed out of sight in case some felt the need to comment.