Dialogue

“How did you even know it was me? I look so different now,” I say.

“I don’t think you look that different. You’re just the older version of you. Your eyes are the same. You still squint a little when you’re unsure about something…and when you smile, you have a careful way of curling your lips—just enough to cause your eyes to sparkle.” He smiles at me, as I melt in front of him.

Paper Airplane (a novelette)
Available now on amazon.com. 

An Excerpt for You

My second book, Paper Airplane, is releasing in just a few days. Now that the editing is done, I thought I’d post an excerpt.

Here it is. Enjoy!

Excerpt from Paper Airplane:
I was eleven years old when I first saw him. I remember it was a Monday, and dad drove me to school that wet and gloomy morning.

“It’s raining cats and dogs out here, Amanda,” he said, every few minutes.
“Yes, it is,” I replied, every few minutes.

I watched the windshield wipers sway viciously from left to right while I imagined I was in my bedroom instead rearranging the posters on my wall, or curled up in my bed reading a mystery book. I was having one of those days when I didn’t feel like going to school. Meanwhile, my dad was tapping his fingers on the wheel and bopping his head as he listened to “Hip To Be Square” by Huey Lewis and The News for the second time on his cassette player. By the third time it played, I too was bopping my head and tapping my fingers on the dashboard. It was only a ten-minute ride to school, but it took us longer because my dad always drove slower in the rain. Spring showers never bothered me. I always looked forward to the way the flowers and the trees sparkled after a good rain.

First period had just begun when we heard Principal Friedman’s voice permeate through the hallways. He was a short and stocky man, but his voice had so much authority that even when he was simply greeting someone a good morning, you couldn’t help but stop what you were doing to look at him and see who he was speaking to. But he wasn’t greeting anyone this time. He sounded more like he was giving someone a tour of the school.

Our Math teacher, Mr. Webster, sped to the door to see what was going on. Several of my classmates trailed right behind him, while I stayed where I was. My chair happened to be at the front of the class closest to the door, but I couldn’t see anything until Mr. Webster walked back toward his desk. Waving his hands in the air with sweat marks showing under his arms, he announced, “It’s only a new student. Go back to your seats.” He stood in front of the class with his arms crossed and waited for everyone to get seated. I couldn’t help but notice a couple of the buttons on his bright-patterned shirt about to pop. I was certain that Mr. Webster liked his beer because my dad liked his beer, and his belly looked identical to Mr. Webster’s.

My eyes finally strayed back to Principal Friedman and the new student. I remember thinking how peculiar it was to have anyone start school now knowing it was only two months away from the summer. Regardless, it felt exciting seeing someone new parade down the hallway. I craned my neck and caught a glimpse of his back as they entered the classroom across from ours. I thought, how lucky of him to get Mrs. Callahan as his homeroom teacher. She was the nicest teacher in the school. She had such a warm personality and was always in a pleasant mood. She reminded me a lot of my grandmother. One time, she offered me half of her chocolate cookie during recess. She said she could only eat half because she was on a diet. I don’t think she was on a diet. I think she simply wanted to share.

When Mr. Webster began writing notes on the chalkboard, I inched my chair closer to the front, curious to get a better look of the unfamiliar face. I pulled my long crimped hair into a quick ponytail and gazed out at his direction. The boy had a nice tan complexion and had dark wavy hair with bangs that covered a part of his face. He wore a brown sweater that looked a size too big for him, a pair of navy blue pants that seemed a bit wrinkled, and brown shoes that almost looked worn out. He was holding a handful of books and notebooks under his right arm. He turned his head and noticed me staring at him. His eyes were dark and intense. As he gazed at me his face relaxed, and he broke a smile. I smiled back and remember getting a funny feeling in my stomach. I glanced away for a second and when I looked back, Mr. Webster was already shutting our door. But just before the door hit the latch, I heard the principal announce his name. Felipe.

 

Want more? Click here to read the book summary.
Paper Airplane will release on August 15, 2013.

 

An Excerpt for You

My second book, Paper Airplane, is releasing in just a few days. Now that the editing is done, I thought I’d post an excerpt.

Here it is. Enjoy!

Excerpt from Paper Airplane:
I was eleven years old when I first saw him. I remember it was a Monday, and dad drove me to school that wet and gloomy morning.

“It’s raining cats and dogs out here, Amanda,” he said, every few minutes.
“Yes, it is,” I replied, every few minutes.

I watched the windshield wipers sway viciously from left to right while I imagined I was in my bedroom instead rearranging the posters on my wall, or curled up in my bed reading a mystery book. I was having one of those days when I didn’t feel like going to school. Meanwhile, my dad was tapping his fingers on the wheel and bopping his head as he listened to “Hip To Be Square” by Huey Lewis and The News for the second time on his cassette player. By the third time it played, I too was bopping my head and tapping my fingers on the dashboard. It was only a ten-minute ride to school, but it took us longer because my dad always drove slower in the rain. Spring showers never bothered me. I always looked forward to the way the flowers and the trees sparkled after a good rain.

First period had just begun when we heard Principal Friedman’s voice permeate through the hallways. He was a short and stocky man, but his voice had so much authority that even when he was simply greeting someone a good morning, you couldn’t help but stop what you were doing to look at him and see who he was speaking to. But he wasn’t greeting anyone this time. He sounded more like he was giving someone a tour of the school.

Our Math teacher, Mr. Webster, sped to the door to see what was going on. Several of my classmates trailed right behind him, while I stayed where I was. My chair happened to be at the front of the class closest to the door, but I couldn’t see anything until Mr. Webster walked back toward his desk. Waving his hands in the air with sweat marks showing under his arms, he announced, “It’s only a new student. Go back to your seats.” He stood in front of the class with his arms crossed and waited for everyone to get seated. I couldn’t help but notice a couple of the buttons on his bright-patterned shirt about to pop. I was certain that Mr. Webster liked his beer because my dad liked his beer, and his belly looked identical to Mr. Webster’s.

My eyes finally strayed back to Principal Friedman and the new student. I remember thinking how peculiar it was to have anyone start school now knowing it was only two months away from the summer. Regardless, it felt exciting seeing someone new parade down the hallway. I craned my neck and caught a glimpse of his back as they entered the classroom across from ours. I thought, how lucky of him to get Mrs. Callahan as his homeroom teacher. She was the nicest teacher in the school. She had such a warm personality and was always in a pleasant mood. She reminded me a lot of my grandmother. One time, she offered me half of her chocolate cookie during recess. She said she could only eat half because she was on a diet. I don’t think she was on a diet. I think she simply wanted to share.

When Mr. Webster began writing notes on the chalkboard, I inched my chair closer to the front, curious to get a better look of the unfamiliar face. I pulled my long crimped hair into a quick ponytail and gazed out at his direction. The boy had a nice tan complexion and had dark wavy hair with bangs that covered a part of his face. He wore a brown sweater that looked a size too big for him, a pair of navy blue pants that seemed a bit wrinkled, and brown shoes that almost looked worn out. He was holding a handful of books and notebooks under his right arm. He turned his head and noticed me staring at him. His eyes were dark and intense. As he gazed at me his face relaxed, and he broke a smile. I smiled back and remember getting a funny feeling in my stomach. I glanced away for a second and when I looked back, Mr. Webster was already shutting our door. But just before the door hit the latch, I heard the principal announce his name. Felipe.

 

Want more? Click here to read the book summary.
Paper Airplane will release on August 15, 2013.

 

Word Count

I recently shared with you that I’m working on a short story. Well, after checking my final word count, I realized it’s actually a novelette.

When I wrote the first draft of Paper Airplane, the word count was around 6,000 words. I continued to write and edit and didn’t pay close attention to the word count after that. I wanted to focus on developing the story and writing it until I felt the story was complete. Then I sent it to a couple of my beta readers. After I got their feedback, I did a few minor edits and checked my word count again. I was surprised to see it was now a little over 10,000 words. My short story was no longer a short story. It was now a novelette.

What is a novelette?
A novelette is basically too long to be a short story, but too short to be a novella. In terms of word count, a novelette has about 7,500 to 17,500 words.

So, will I cut my word count to stay in the short story category? No, I won’t. I wrote Paper Airplane for the story, not the word count. If it happens to be a novelette, then that’s what it’ll be.

In case you’d like to know more about word counts for fiction, check out the list below.

Flash fiction/short short stories: under 1,000 words
Short story: 1,000-7,500 words
Novelette: 7,500 to 17,500 words
Novella: 17,500 to 40,000 words
Novel: over 40,000 words

Here are a few helpful and interesting posts on word count.

http://theeditorsblog.net/2012/04/07/how-long-should-my-story-be/

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2008/02/novel-word-count.html

http://daringnovelist.blogspot.com/2011/04/novella-novelette-page-count-and-word.html?m=1