Finally one of the doors creaked open, and I breathlessly tried to explain, using my limited nine-year-old language, that my mother had a disease in her brain and had been in a bad car crash and now couldnt answer me when i asked her. I sat in the waiting room with the kind of faceless authority figure who sits with your child when you are her only person, in my pajamas: milk spilled down the front, urine staining the crotch, reading Harriet the Spy and completely unaware of the. There was a blood clot in her brain, at the site of impact, and the doctors had to shave her head and crack her skull open to get it out before it ruptured and killed her. And they did, which was a kind of a little miracle. I brought my baby home from the hospital a few days later, swaddled at the wrong end, head and neck wrapped in thick white gauze and cotton pads. A long red, angry-looking scar snaked the left side of her forehead over her ear and coming to an end at the base of her skull. I would learn over the course of the days, weeks, and months to come, how to mask how much I was hurting.
The letter your teenager Can't Write you - bluntmoms
My mom and I left the and idyllic three-story home into which Id been born when I was four and shared one shitty section-8 apartment after another with mice and roaches, relegated to survival on food stamps, social Security, and other forms of government aid. She could no longer work thanks to her rapidly deteriorating body and brain, and spent most of her waking hours smoking cigarettes and gambling away the little bit of money we had on lottery tickets. I went next door to get the neighbor because we never had enough money to keep a phone. I should explain that I grew up in a wealthy, progressive community. That, while there were these pockets of poverty and tragedy scattered throughout our town, my experience didnt mirror those of the majority of my classmates. That I was expected to keep my fucking shit together, and learn the goddamned state capitals, that I was expected to grasp the concept of halves and thirds while terrified that my mom was going to drown in the bathtub. I didnt yet understand the difference between God and the President, yet i knew which pills go with breakfast and which ones were taken after dinner. I went to sleepovers without a sleeping bag and marveled at my classmates novelty pillows and Jem paraphernalia. They had fathers at home and multi-car garages and college funds and motherfucking telephones, and here i was hurtling up and down three flights of stairs desperately pounding on doors that wouldnt open because normal people had jobs. Healthy people actually left their apartments during the day to venture out into the world and accomplish real things.
I assumed she just needed to sleep in, that she wasnt up yelling at me to take a bath and put real clothes on because the accident had worn her out, made her more tired than usual. I tiptoed out of the bedroom and went to fill a salad bowl with cereal. I sat on the couch in pdf a cinnamon Crunch coma until the cartoons gave way to boring talk shows, which reminded me i still hadnt heard a peep out of my mom. She was sitting on the side of the bed we shared, eyes unfocused, drooling and unresponsive. A childhood that began with a sort of cautious optimism quickly devolved into absolute horse shit. My father was an abusive alcoholic, a man tormented by the demons hed brought home with him after fighting the war in Korea. Hed tempered his rage for most of their marriage, but after two failed stints in rehab he gave up and caved completely, drowning himself in liquor and taking his anger out on everyone around him.
My father, at fifty, had recently survived his second heart attack; and my mother, ten years his junior, had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis four years prior. But remission is one of those magic words, one of those words that makes anything seem possible, and once her neurologist uttered it she decided that it was time to have a baby. The obstetrician supermarket warned her against it, saying I would revelation surely be born with Downs Syndrome or some other form of mental retardation. He pointed out that she wasnt in the best physical condition, that pregnancy and childbirth were going to further ravage a body that was long past its childbearing prime. The day after the accident started out like any other. I had the day off from school courtesy of Casimir Pulaski, and to show my gratitude i kicked the covers off and bounded out of bed early to get a jump on my cartoon-watching and cereal-eating. My mom was generally an early riser, up at five every morning even though the progressing multiple sclerosis had forced her to retire a couple years before, but she was sound asleep next.
She explained that shed fallen asleep while driving and had been blindsided by another car. My mom hadnt been wearing a seatbelt and was thrown across the front seat, smacking her head pretty hard against the rearview mirror in the process. There had been an ambulance, and a trip to the emergency room. The dodge was totaled. All while i was working on my stupid spelling worksheet. I had been her first accident, or so it seemed to everyone but my parents. It just didnt seem logical to anyone of sound mind that two people rapidly degenerating through middle age down a sharp, slippery slope into the pit of senior citizenship would make the choice to have a baby. Why not get another dog? Maybe you guys could travel?
Letters to my baby: Write now
My heartbeat quickened when I rounded the corner onto our street and noticed that the creaky, rusted out Dodge we couldnt afford to keep gas in wasnt parked in front of our crumbling apartment complex. Permission to walk to and from school had been hard won; my mother was careful with me and overprotective in the extreme, resulting in a young girl who was incredibly naive and grossly underdeveloped emotionally. I wet the bed, i cried at the slightest provocation, and enertained myself with a steady stream of fantasies and daydreams, rarely connecting with the outside world. We made a deal: I could walk myself home from school if I promised not to dawdle and play along the way, and if I wasnt on the threshold of our building by 3:35 she would get in the car and come looking for. I didnt wear a watch, because watches are for grownups, so i broke into a run, thinking I might be able to catch her before she got too far away and my newfound privileges were revoked for good. But I hadnt even stopped at the corner store for candy! I didnt roll around on the ground with that puppy down the street like id wanted to!
How could I possibly be late? Maybe her clock was set faster than the one at school?! There was no sign of the car in either direction, so i turned around and dragged my sorry ass home, savoring what was sure to be the last few minutes of freedom I was going to be granted for the foreseeable future. I found her standing in the kitchen sipping a cup of coffee, the instant kind you mix with hot water that came in a gallon-sized plot drum for 2 at the dollar store and smelled like cat pee. One side of her head was bandaged, and there were some cuts on her face.
That said, this still makes this letter a great example to show here—because its proof that even a query faux pas wont result in an instant rejection. If you sell your story well enough, agents will overlook small missteps. 7, this simple sentence is a great and concise summary of necessary information. When you query, be sure to include the stats of your manuscript (genre, target audience, word count, etc.) and any relevant comparative titles—with a caveat: be sure to highlight a comp title only if it helps the agent get an accurate picture of the style. Claiming youre james Patterson meets Dan Brown is useless. Diannas comparison here was quite apt and, again, made her seem savvy—and realistic.
8 The bio paragraph and sign-off are short and sweet, and thats really all we need. If youve hit on the basics well and conveyed the essence of your story and why its a good fit for that particular agent, youve done all you can to entice us to request the full manuscript. Other writing/publishing articles links for you: Thanks for visiting The Writers Dig blog. For more great writing advice, click here. Learn more about query letter writing in the online course how to query letter in 14 days, from Writers Digest University. Klems is the editor of this blog, online editor of Writers Digest and author of the popular gift book oh boy, youre having a girl: a dads Survival guide to raising daughters. Follow Brian on Twitter: @BrianKlems Sign up for Brians free writers Digest enewsletter: wd newsletter you might also like. My mother became my daughter when I was nine years old. There had been an accident, a car accident, and it was a bad one, although I didnt know that yet.
Letters to my mom: Write now
The conflict (another essential element of all compelling fiction) rises when entry the fiancé and shredder future stepsister are introduced. Dianna does a great job of establishing her protagonists denial, and shes already built a lot of tension when she hints at what will soon shatter. This further demonstrates that her story is driven by strong character motivations—just as any good page-turner should. This gutsy scheme teaches me even more about Piper lee. Its also bound to have some disastrous consequences, and thats exactly what agents want to see in a novel: strong actions, strong ramifications, and lots of emotions tied to each. 6, this is a bit of self-analysis that I wish writers wouldnt indulge in when writing queries. Dianna couldve easily left this paragraph out (especially the vague since middle-graders care deeply about things and people) and let the strength of the story speak for itself. Of course you think the book is thematically resonant and that readers will love it—you wrote it! So refrain from editorializing.
Agents like to writing see signs that youre a savvy writer who is deliberate about the submission process—that bodes well for your working style, should we partner with you in the future. 2, its unusual to lead with accolades, but in the childrens world, the highlights Chautauqua workshop is a big deal, so this got my attention. If you have similar achievements, by all means, shout them from your opening paragraph! If not, just dive right in and start telling me about your novel. 3, in setting up your story, you absolutely must convey a sense of what your main character wants most in the world, and of whats standing in her way, as dianna does here. We care about Piper lee right away because we know what she cares about, and this is key. 4, we get a good sense of Pipers character here; its important that your query not just flatly tell us about your characters, but show us who they are.
their future, i think readers will identify with Piper lee and find her an appealing heroine as she learns that you can both cherish the past and embrace the future. 7, this story, set in the coastal region of georgia, runs about 33,000 words and is somewhat similar in tone to kate dicamillos Because of Winn-Dixie. Im a 1990 graduate of the Institute of Childrens Literature and my work has been published in U*S* Kids, Child Life, columbia kids, True love, guide and StoryPlus. Thanks very much for your time. I have included the first ten pages and look forward to hearing from you. Truly yours, dianna winget, want to land an agent? Here are 4 things to consider when researching literary agents. Agent Comments on query letter Example 1, this is pretty basic personalization, but it shows me that dianna did her research. In your query, make it clear that youve done your homework and are querying this particular agent with good reason.
No matter what youre writing—fantasy, thriller, sci-fi, romance—or whether youre writing for children or adults, theres a lot you can learn from this example about conveying characters clearly and getting an agent invested in your story in just one short page. Example of a query letter, dear. According to your agencys website youre actively seeking middle-grade fiction, so Im pleased to introduce yardage my novel, a smidgen of sky. 2, this novel won me a scholarship to attend the highlights foundation Writers Workshop at Chautauqua. It was also awarded honorable mention in the Smart Writers. 3, a smidgen of sky is the story of ten-year-old Piper lee deluna, a spunky, impulsive dreamer, whose fierce devotion to her missing father is threatened by her mothers upcoming remarriage. 4, everyone else has long accepted her fathers death, but the fact that his body was never recovered from his wrecked plane leads to pipers dream that he might one day reappear and free her from the secret guilt she harbors over his accident. Her stubborn focus leaves no room in her affections for her mothers fiancé, ben, or his princess-like daughter, ginger. 5, determined to stop the wedding, piper lee schemes up Operation Finding Tina—a sure plan to locate bens ex-wife and get the two of them back together.
How to Write letter of Interest in a job - wikihow
One of the easiest ways to learn what makes a good, standard query letter is simply reviews to see an example of one that does its job well. If you write fiction or narrative nonfiction, a query letter is your first (and often, your only) chance to get an agent interested in reading (and, with hope, signing) your work. You should put just as much care and attention into crafting and polishing your query as you did into your manuscript. After all, if your pitch doesnt hit its mark, your book will never leave your desktop. The main objective of a query is simple: make the agent care enough about your protagonist and your plot that she wants to read more. Click here to Tweet and share it! This guest post is by, mary kole. Following is a successful query for a middle-grade novel that led to me first requesting this full manuscript and later signing on to represent the author, dianna dorisi winget. Her debut book, a smidgen of sky, went on to sell to harcourt and hits shelves this fall.