Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The WIP Unveiled...sort of

Ok, file this one under the "Laura is going to kill me" category, but I just can't take it anymore. So...here's the first few hundred words of the WIP. We won't reveal the title yet, because I think that might result in Laura divorcing me and that would make me sad.

Let us know what you think.

***

There are few things more humiliating than being dropped off at college by your parents. I guess the good news for me was that I wasn’t planning on staying.

I’ve never been to college before, but I’m assuming the scene at Cornell University on this sweltering August day was pretty standard first day fare. Golf carts zipped around campus. Parents and their awkward sons and daughters argued, glared and sometimes even wept. The lucky freshmen who'd somehow already managed to ditch their shameful forebears were cavorting around with mysterious looking plastic cups, drunk on their newfound freedom.

I was stuck trying to help my dad maneuver a golf cart onto the loading dock without maiming any students or destroying school property. In an unintentional attempt to maximize my embarrassment, he was wearing a large straw hat to protect his head from the sun and he took golf cart maneuverability way too seriously.

Ahh…like a glove!” Did I mention that my dad also liked to do Jim Carey impersonations? Yeah, just when you thought the straw hat was the most embarrassing thing about him. I felt my cheeks flush and looked around to see if anyone had heard him, but we were flying under the radar. As usual.

“Okay, Sarah, let’s grab the bags with your clothes and we’ll have you settled in no time.” My mom clapped her hands together, resembling a middle-aged cheerleader who’d long ago replaced her pom poms and cheerleading skirts with oversized handbags and mom jeans.

My mom had a secret passion for unpacking and organization. She prided herself on being able to find the perfect place for everything, and in her mind, she had finally figured out somewhere suitable to store her youngest daughter for the next four years. For my mom, Cornell was the equivalent to one of those custom made closet shelves from the Container Store that had a place for everything, including a special drawer for the antique pearls my grandmother handed down to her years ago. Those closet shelves might be expensive, but to my mom, they were worth every penny to keep her pearls safe and protected until she was ready to wear them again.  

I grabbed a bag and followed her into my dorm, the model daughter in pleated khaki pants and an ill-fitting button down shirt. Mom approved attire, of course. I had spent the past few months playing the role of the perfect daughter, and I guess I was hoping that this would somehow make it easier for my parents to forgive everything that was coming next.  

Unfortunately, wearing awkward mom clothes and participating in excruciating family date nights, didn’t make it any easier for your parents when you disappeared from the posh Ivy League school they paid for.  But I guess hindsight is 20/20.

27 comments:

Christina Lee said...

ok well let me be the first to squeal in excitement for you!! Where's the next page, so I can turn it and read on, and see just how and why she is going to leave!!! it's a good one ladies!!

slhastings said...

More! More! More! And don't let Laura kill you!!!

It's great...

Tess said...

Love it! And, the mom jeans? Perfect touch.

Kimberly Derting said...

W.O.W! You guys won't stay off the market for long. I love it!!! Really. Love it!

Corey Schwartz said...

OOOOOOHHHHH! I'm hooked!

VE said...

Thank God I never had to wear "Mom's jeans"...

Sarah said...

Omigosh! I LOVE it. The eyes nearly fell out of the head when the girl (um, me) saw the title of this post. I guess this is the part where I say: "Well played, Lisa. Well played." ;)

Also, her name is Sarah! I wasn't going to comment on that because I didn't want to come off as pathetic. But then, I thought "WTH, my secret's out anyway." So I'll just say this: good name =)

I hope we get more soon!

Katie said...

Holy Moly! Eeeeeeee! I want to turn the page! Turn the page!!!!!

More more. What on earth is she gonna do?

Tara said...

BRAVO! I want to read more!! Great beginning!

Litgirl01 said...

WOAH! I'm LOVING IT!!!! I can also do a Jim Carey impersonation. Erm...

Lisa and Laura said...

Um..so you guys know you can be honest, right? We have thick skins and we'd much rather hear criticisms from our bloggy friends than editors.

But thank you for all of the kind words. You guys totally made our day!

And it's totally appropriate that our MC is Sarah given the alarming number of Sara(h)s that read our blog. Our Sarah is a little schlumpy and broken but we love her just the same. Even having to type the words "khakis with pleats" made me shudder.

Lisa and Laura said...

What have you done oh sister of mine? Just kidding. I totally approve. This is our baby, but I'm ready to share.

~Laura

Anonymous said...

Ekk! Yes, I want more! What's gonna happen next? Why is she leaving??

~Breezy

Shelli said...

i like it! alot!

Suzanne said...

Is the word Authentic too trendy now? Because you ladies have it DOWN.

Little Ms J said...

Ok, so I kinda hate when you guys do sneak peeks. It is like literary foreplay. And I need a shower.

Not cool.

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a GREAT opening! You guys have that voice nailed. When can I read more?

ElanaJ said...

Brilliant! Simply brilliant!

Angela said...

Good voice, good hook!

Loretta said...

OK-I'm going to be the party pooper.

This is a subtle beginning--I get that, but I think you need to trim a little.

I'd start with cutting after the line that ends "...she had finally figured out somewhere suitable to store her youngest daughter for the next four years." Great line. Really great line. Let it resonate. The rest of the paragraph seems extraneous, even if the info about the pearls is necessary for the reader to know. If it is, could you fit it in later? Also, I stopped counting the "my moms" after three. It's a little repetitive.

The Jim Carey line, while cute, seems a little off. Maybe it's the switch to 2nd person; maybe it's just not an easily recognizable reference. I know I probably just asked you to kill one of your darlings--sorry!

That said, you definitely have my interest. I'd turn the page, for sure!

Danyelle said...

I love this! The voice is one that I would come back to read more of. :D

Lisa and Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa and Laura said...

Thank you everyone for your feedback!

Loretta - Thank you so much for your comments. You were dead on and we've already made the changes. And yes, you totally killed two of our darlings. It's a dirty job, but someone had to do it.

Tell us the truth, are you some kind of beta reading ninja?

Loretta said...

I wanna be a beta!!! Just let me know...you have my email address!

jessjordan said...

First off, I love the voice. Very genuine and real. And I definitely want to turn the page to see what happens next, especially knowing that Into the Wild was your inspiration :)

Now for the less fun stuff (since you said your Hilton sister skin could take it ...):

1) i think Loretta's points were pretty dead on. The Jim Carey reference did seem out of place or a little old school (not that I don't adore him), and the stuff about the custom made closet shelves slowed down the flow a little too much for my liking.

2) In the first 200'ish words, the MC uses "I guess" about 3 times.

3) I love the ending, and it definitely makes me want to turn the page. But it also confuses me. The "But I guess hindsight is 20/20 reference" makes me thing she's reflecting back on her story, but the beginning paragraph puts me more in a "I'm walking through it with the MC" type of feel. Make sense? Probably not. I seldom ever do.

Best of luck! :)

(p.s. Are either of you going to LA for the big extravaganza?)

Lisa and Laura said...

Fantastic comments, Jess! Thank you for taking the time! Umm..guess we'll need to do a find replace on I guess. Guess I really like that phrase. Oops.

And, no, sadly we aren't going to be in L.A. this year. We're so sad! But we've conned Katie into calling us at random intervals with updates. If you guys all meet for cocktails maybe she'll put us on speakerphone or something!

Rebecca Knight said...

GREAT first couple of lines to draw us in!

I agree w/ the comments above. The Jim Carrey line made me pause for a sec, but then I laughed because... that's so my dad, too. I feel her pain.

Also, I'm completely hooked. You are now required to get published as quickly as possible so I can read the rest ;)!

Thanks for posting it!