Thursday, May 2, 2013

The Writer's Voice Submission: ABEGALE FORCE

The Writer’s Voice is a multi-blog contest hosted byBrenda DrakeCupid'sMonica B.W., and Krista Van Dolzer. For all the details about this contest, click here. I’m happy to say I was one of the lucky people to have my lottery drawn to get into the first round! Below you’ll find my query for ABEGALE FORCE and the first 250 words of the manuscript. 
Good luck to everyone else who made it into the contest!

Dear Tireless and Supportive Coaches,

Abegale's turning thirteen, and life has become as foreboding as the number itself, with a may-not-be-human landlady, a missing grandmother who could be right under her nose, and a horrifying discovery at her grandmother’s abandoned cottage.

Abegale has to take care of everything around the house since her dad died, especially with her mom busy working, singing in the choir, or hanging out with a new boyfriend. Meanwhile, Abegale’s brother's asthma has gotten worse. When the breathing becomes too difficult to control, Jeremy has only Abegale to count on. Jeremy's illness scares Abegale, and she wishes her grandmother had been more successful finding a cure in the Andes before she disappeared.

After Abegale finds the mysterious herbal medicine book her grandmother left behind, she is determined to pick up where her grandmother left off and save her brother. Guided by dreams she can't explain, and with the help of her best friend and the cute boy next door, Abegale is led to her grandmother's forgotten cottage in the woods where she discovers an environmental horror that just might devastate the small town of Three Points. Abegale must decide, save her town from an environmental nightmare, or focus on the mysteries of her grandmother's medicine book before it’s too late to save her brother--and bring her grandmother home.

ABEGALE FORCE is an upper middle grade mystery adventure with magical elements, complete at 67, 000 words. It is the story of one girl’s journey to heal injustice, and the environmental impact her town faces while rediscovering who she is.

In writing this manuscript, I drew on my studies in herbalism, nutrition, and The Tarot. ABEGALE FORCE is a stand alone with series potential. I have attended writing classes at The New School and organized monthly poetry readings at Zinc Bar in New York City. I’m a member of SCBWI, an illustrator, and founder of a MG writing group with 24 members.

I thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Karen Lee Hallam

First 250 Words:

The Maiden Villas sit on the highest peak of Pine Crest and hide under a shadow of trees. I sure don’t want to meet Mrs. Egremony, the creepy landlady, with the way she stares at me, but she told me to come.
She says she knew my grandmother.
I have to stand on my pedals to reach the top of Ridge Road. A black crow comes out of nowhere. I swerve and nearly crash. Thinking the crow might return to finish the job, I race out of there and up the hill.
At the top of Ridge Road you can look out over most of the valley of Pine Crest, and over the tops of the pine trees below. What were once the old Cabins became the Maiden Villas when Mrs. Egremony took over.
I leave my bike on the side of Mrs. Egremony’s cabin. Compared to the others her “villa” is large. It’s unusual she’s not in the garden. I ring the doorbell, looking around for suspicious crows. There’s no answer.
I know she’s just an old woman, but something’s not right. For starters, Mrs. Egremony dresses like she’s stepped out of the pages of Little House on the Prairie with those longs skirts dragging on the ground. And why does she call herself Mrs. when she’s not married? Stephanie says she sees her working in her garden late at night. That’s just WE-I.R.D if you ask me.
“Abegale!”  I jump.   Mrs. Egremony is behind me.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Very Inspiring Blog Award. My First!

I was thrown off my heels hearing that I received this Very Inspiring Blog Award Nomination from fellow writer and blogger, you may have seen her name at the top of many recent posts--Rhainn Whynn-Nolet's  Blog  Go and read all about her. Her writing is amazing!

Isn't it pretty! -->

Now, I must come up with seven things that are interesting about me. Hm?  Let me think...dun, dun, dun. I have a semi frizzled brain this Sunday morning. But here goes.

1. I was born in Topeka, Kansas, and grew up believing I was Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. But the only thing I know about Kansas is what I learned in a report I had to write in 5th grade.

2. I lived in the Northern most point of I-95:  Caribou, Maine at the age of 5 and Southern most point--Key West, Florida, at the age of 15.

You asked for interesting...
Um. This is hard.

3. I moved to NYC when I turned twenty-one with $400 dollars in my pocket--and many dreams. Drove up from Miami with two friends, who were sisters.

4. Kicked out of first NYC apt. unable to pay the rent. But the city was good to me, and created solutions. No street sleeping for us! But we were sitting on the curb with brown boxes.

5. Learned to longbord, and waterski after the age of forty. Yep. You're never to old to learn you can fall and not kill yourself. Of course, I really believe being a klutz all my life has helped me fall like a pro.

6. Used to work in fashion design. That was why I moved to NYC, or so I thought. I quit working in fashion, because I wanted to write poetry. All day long. So, I became a bartender. The bartender who's allergic to drinking. I made great cocktails. Used to have publishing friends come to me for the best martini's downtown. I wouldn't remember how to make a one now. But my Sea Dragon, wasabi martini is famous, it's in a book somewhere.

7. Before I gave birth to my first son, fifteen years ago, I read Tarot cards over the phone. (after years of self-study) I found it was really more of a counseling session. I had to keep all of the grief center hot lines up on the wall. I stopped when I found out I was pregnant.

Award Rules:
  1. Display the logo in your blog to show you’ve been nominated.
  2. Link back to your nominator.
  3. Share 7 things about yourself.
  4. Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award.
  5. Notify your nominees
If I nominate you and you don’t want to play, no worries. If you do decide to play, please let me know so I can learn 7 interesting things about you!

In no particular order, here are my nominees:

1. Cassie Mae   because she was my first blog follower. EVER. She made this blog feel real for the first time.
2. Ella Schwartz  I just wouldn't know who else to turn to for my writing insecurities. Plus she's a Super cyber-cop, who wears a cape.

3. Becky Appleby-Sparrow: @Bec_AS  She reminds me when it's time for the kidlit chat or YA lit chat or MGlitchat. If I could stop falling asleep while reading and join her.

4. Melanie Conklin  Since she keeps her whip handy for slacking writers, and pushes us further.

5. Jen Malone If it wasn't for her in the beginning,  MG beta readers may have never taken flight. And she's a high flyer!

6. Jeff Chen for helping me get the MG beta readers started. A very funny guy, full of fourth grade fart jokes, AND he writes NYTimes cross word puzzles. 

6. Paula L. Harvey  because her last post in the Thursday's Children blog hop was spot on, inspiring and hit right to my heart. Go read it: Inspired By The Tenacity & Persistence of Actors

7. A.E. Welch  'cause she's got a story full of monsters. And they do good things. 

8   John Krissilas  just because--you know... 'So she seems'.  And because he's inspired by T-rex! And he supports writers, like nobody's business. Or like it should be everybody's business. 

9.  Ashley Keene  because that girl can edit! Yah, Thanks Ash! 

10. Ronni Arno Blaisdell  because she can stand on the sidewalk in crowded NYC holding Starbucks Frappucino and change from running shoes into heels. True super powers. 

11. Akossiwa Ketoglo she has a beautiful and informative blog and writes short stories for kids too! 

12. Jessika Fleck  because if it weren't for her following my blog, I'd of never found the Thursday's Children. What a great lot they are. Hop on board the #ThursdaysChildren blog hop. You can follow Rhainn at the above link for more info. 

13. Gail Nall  she's a singer and a writer, like someone else I know.

14.  Sydney Maag  she's an amazingly talented interior designer. And she's fun and awesome and our sons are buddies.

15. Ricki Schultz  who helped me create my first middle-grade query ever. That was nearly two years ago. And I'm still working on that project.