The Shrinking Violet Website published this prompt that I’m going to write on. I won’t spend the twenty minutes they suggested, but here goes.
What age do you write for? What were the three most significant experiences you had at that age? Give yourself twenty minutes and do a timed writing about those three experiences. Be specific, not general.
I’m not gonna lie. I’m having trouble figuring out my age group. I think the problem is that I have to place the book in Middle Grade, but I primarily want YA readers. It’s kind of like what happened with Harry Potter. The First book was MG, but it appealed to older audiences and the original MG audiences grew up with Harry. So I’m gonna say that my primary audience is MG… grades 6-8.
When I was in the MG age range, I played softball. I was on a 14U team called the Roadrunners, & I was just learning how to be a pitcher. For a long time, our coach wouldn’t let me pitch. I don’t know why. But he was totally wrong about it. When I finally did get to pitch, I did a fabulous job. Unfortunately, I struggled with walking like 5 batters a game (that’s almost 1 walk an inning), while striking out a little more than that. I didn’t give up many hits, but really, starting to pitch was the majorest event in that time of my life.
I’m trying to think of some non-softball events that happened at that time. I suppose moving from elementary school to junior high was pretty important. I got to start using a locker, & I had my first hard math teacher named Mrs. Seerie (I have no idea how to spell it). I vaguely remember lying to Mrs. S once about why I didn’t do my homework, & she let me turn it in the next day. I felt really crappy about it, & never lied to a teacher again. I also had Mr. Heilman who was a crazy science teacher with long hippie hair and dentures. He once told my class that he intentionally had all of his teeth pulled out because it was way easier to clean dentures than to brush his teeth every night. He also told my class that if the sun didn’t come up the next day, we wouldn’t have to come to school. I don’t know why that was so jaw-dropping for us, but it was.
Finally, I need a third event from that time in my life, but I’m not convinced that there is one. I probably had crushes on boys. I was still in band, playing the clarinet, but I didn’t love it at all anymore. Hmmmm…. I didn’t really read anything. I had this friend named Dan who tried to get me to go to church, but I never went with him. My friend Sabrina invited me over to her house a lot, & she had a smokin’ hot older brother. She also had this crazy floor that had tiny stones mosaic-like all over the place, & she would dump water on the floor so that we could watch it disappear between the tiny stones. I’m sure that her mother would love to know that. Ah! I had my first slow dance with a boy. His name was Nick, & we went to the 6th grade Valentine’s dance together. Unfortunately, his best friend had a crush on me & it was really awkward. Plus, Nick didn’t seem to know that he was supposed to put his hands on my waist & I got to put my hands on his shoulders. He did it the wrong way, which made me feel weird.