New Year, New Semester, New Attitude

Last semester I will admit that i was overwhelmed and stressed. I found it hard to find time to work on my thesis and I let it slide to the backseat because of my other course work. I will not let that happen again this semester. My thesis is going to take center stage and I will schedule my time wisely to work on my other course work. I am also hoping that the weekly meetings on Thursdays will help me keep track of my progress. The scariest part is the volume of the writing that I need to get done. It is a lot of writing in a short period of time. I just have to push myself and stay focused. I did finalize the way i am starting my novel. I’m excited about it, here is an excerpt.


Chapter 1




She woke up on the floor. The musty dark green carpet left red marks on her face. The blanket and pillow she grabbed from the couch had a distinct smell of cigarette smoke and body odor. She sits up slowly, she wants to take inventory of the room.

She doesn’t like this house. Her mom drags her here every once in a while. Its usually after the bar closes. She is always looking for an after party to drink more beer and gab about the old days. Last night they stayed up late. Talking about old boyfriends and high school while they heated up leftovers and drank out of red and white aluminum cans.

The party went on for what felt like hours. They were at the bar until it closed. Amanda, the only 8-year-old drinking Shirley temples at the bar couldn’t hold back her yawns any longer. Her mom loaded her in the car and told her that they were making a quick stop on the way home. That’s what she always said.

They stop at the house with the fading yellow exterior. The house looked miserable, the paint was chipping from the brown shutters, the grass patchy and dying. A feeling of dread washes over her. This is the same feeling she gets every time her mom drunkenly pulls up and parks outside this house. She opens up the car door and follows her mother inside.

The kids are still up and running around the living room. Four boys are practicing wrestling moves while WWE glows from the TV screen. She tries to join in on the raucous and gets ignored by the boys. They are older and they don’t know how to play with a younger girl. Amanda sits on the couch and watches. After a couple of minutes, she walks to the kitchen to see what her mom is up to. Hands waving around she is telling a story to the mother of the four boys who sits across from her at the kitchen table. The table is chipped and cracked. The ashtrays overflow with dark gray ash and the cans they drink from leave watery rims. They have cigarettes in one hand and a beer can in the other. They chat intimately because they are old friends but Amanda feels shy in their presence. She goes unnoticed standing in the doorway. She turns around and walks out of the room.

The boys have gone upstairs and Amanda can faintly hear the sounds of the PlayStation system. The boys start screaming over who gets to play the video game. Not wanting to be involved with the argument Amanda decides to stay downstairs. She grabs a blanket from the couch and a pillow and curls up on the floor. She just wants to be left alone. Sleep begins to take over her and she wishes she was home in her own bed.

Now its morning and Amanda can’t find her mom. Last she saw of her was before she passed out on the couch. She could faintly hear her mom’s friend telling a story in the kitchen as she closed her eyes to fall asleep.

Now she goes from the living room to the dining room, checks the bathroom and the back porch. Finally, she finds her mom, in the kitchen, with her head on the table and drool oozing out of her mouth. She wants to go home but she knows that there is no way to wake her mom. Amanda sits down at the kitchen table and waits for her to wake up.


I will probably be tweaking it as time goes on but that is the idea for my intro in to the story.